09 May 2016
IFFA officially opened its doors over the weekend to showcase the wares of a record-breaking 1,027 exhibitors and welcome more than 60,000 visitors. Three of these visitors are Wiley’s own Process Engineers: Arthur Seiler, Beau Taylor and Michael Matthewson. After day one of exploring the seven halls of meat manufacturing displays Arthur, Beau and Michael have reported back their best finds to improve your business.
Wiley’s IFFA Meat Daily Top Three:
Weber Shuttle System: I was particularly taken with a shuttle system that was displayed at the Weber Packaging Solutions Stand. The shuttle system displayed at IFFA illustrated the control that automated processing brings to the handling of retail-ready products; allowing for full traceability of single SKUs (stock keeping units) on a multi-SKU line!
Using magnetically driven conveyors the rapid transfer and merging of products was seamless. The in-situ application for display was demonstrated for a sliced, retail-ready product and showed how all products were tracked throughout the system. 90° transfers were facilitated easily by the system which guided individual modules onto the main run using magnetic force. Due to the absence of a continuous power-driven mechanism like a motor the system could be easily stopped by hand with minimal force.
Most impressive, however, was the fact that multiple SKUs could be managed, traced and tracked throughout the entire system. This is similar to ASRS (automated storage and retrieval system), however instead of managing cartons that are filled with any number or combination of SKUs, the Weber system manages individual products which are later packed into cartons. This sort of system easily integrates food traceability with automated product handling (using pick and place robotics) to add significant value to any retail ready production line.
Retail Ready: Before I made my way to IFFA over the weekend, I had the privilege of networking with some colleagues from Multipack in Switzerland. A few key learnings came out of this opportunity. While exploring the aisles of a local Migros (Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain), I noticed that the retail-ready market here in Europe is significantly different to what we see elsewhere.
Firstly, consumer trends have begun to favour the more artisanal, handmade, retail ready meat products. The butcher presentation cabinet in Migros was incredibly impressive, all products were handmade on site and presented by the Migros staff. These products attract a higher price point due to the personalised service and the high customisation the butcher provides.
Also noteworthy is the push towards vertical hanging for retail packs which makes for great presentation and an increase in consumer interest.
High Pressure Pasteuriser by Hiperbaric: Touted as the ‘biggest vessel in the world’ Hiperbaric showcased their latest 525 HPP (High Pressure Pasteuriser) model. What caught my eye was the sheer size of these vessels! This means that greater throughput can be achieved at a similar production cost which will push your OEE (overall equipment efficiency) up just that little bit more.
The control of contaminants and food safety is always a hot topic at trade fairs like IFFA and Hiperbaric are obviously always aware of this. Offering up the largest HPPs in the world Hiperbaric machines are built to be fully integrated, meaning that there are no additional external accessories to support the machine; it all comes as one unit.
Stay tuned for more of the latest from IFFA, as Wiley continue to deliver daily content straight to you.