Tea bag machine overhaul and upgrade for Tetley Tea

TATA wanted to produce a new product format for their Tetley Tea range, however their existing tea bag making machine required an overhaul to accommodate this new product line. The original manufacturers were unable to support, so TATA reached out to Sewtec to see how we could support.

Tea bag machine overhaul


TATA was looking to launch a range of speciality teas to complement their traditional everyday Tetley Tea range. The customer had the ability to mix the loose tea with the existing production equipment but could not create the tea bags or packaging to meet their brand expectations. There was also a requirement for a new end of line packaging system.


Sewtec Automation looked at the requirements of the project and concluded, through a machine overhaul, that we could re-engineer the existing tea bag making machine to manufacture the new speciality teas. This included a full mechanical and electrical controls upgrade, plus new software, to ensure the machine could not only meet the current tea bag production demand, but also managed the obsolescence issues they faced with the old machine.

We then designed and built a new flow wrap feeding system which collated the tea bags into two stacks of 10s and transferred into the flow wrapper chain. We purchased a flow wrapper and integrated it with an integral checkweigher into the overall solution.

The wrapped tea bags were then packed into a carton via a side load carton loading machine. An overhead transfer mechanism transferred the incoming flow wrapped tea bags into the cartons. The final operation was to close the carton using a traditional closing mechanism on the lower face and a bespoke closing mechanism to close the upper tea caddy hooded lid.

The cartons were then discharged from the machine and entered a tray loading system. As the cartons were placed in the tray, the tray walls were formed around them.

This complex project was awarded to Sewtec due to our ability to turnkey a project. Whether it involves equipment upgrades and refurbishment, new equipment designed to meet the projects demanding requirements, or integrating third party equipment into the overall solution. Sewtec Automation can take on projects that others cannot or will not tackle.


The design of the machine meant we could achieve the required throughput of 50 cartons per minute initially, but it also allowed for future production volumes with a capability to pack at 100 cartons per minute.

Our client won an inter-company award for the success of this project. This is testament to the quality and efficiency of the systems we build.