10 January 2015
The recent Foodpro 2011 event was the biggest on record, not only sporting the largest number of exhibitors (326), but also drawing an unprecedented 8829 visitors. This stellar event, held every three years, showcased the Food Industries brightest stars and our team of Wiley tradeshow troopers was there to experience all the latest and greatest food processing technology on offer.
One of the common trends and themes that we saw this year was not only first class equipment and components, but whole production lines. We were impressed with the quality and scope of these displays, in particular, Multivac and Vemag. It was excellent see some equipment operational even if it was processing plasticine.
With over 30 staff attending this year’s event Multivac were once again the leading exhibitionists. Their first rate display was developed and managed by Multivac’s Systems and Project Engineer, Jason Gledhill, working with 40 Multivac Australia personnel nationwide. All this experience guaranteed the extent and quality of their equipment, along with loads of on-hand display sales, support, and hospitality, was second to none.
Another outstanding display that really gave us on the spot understanding of their product and equipment were world class company Cryovac Sealed Air. They had installed a complete line that weighed, scanned and labelled the cut of meat; it then identified the correct size bag for the operator to use and once the bag was placed into position the equipment automatically fed the cut of meat into the bag.
This degree of total system supply ensures that your product and the integrity of the package are maintained right through to the carton and out into retail markets.
McLaren Stainless showcased their exciting new product that could soothe the age old installation headaches for vacuum packaging lines: the venting and heating of shrink tunnels. The Electric heating circuit eliminates the need of ugly and costly venting systems, provides the correct temperature for your process and can also be configured to generate hot water elsewhere in the production plant. This sleek machine can also be configured to utilise plant steam as the heating medium.
Quality products and equipment are the requirement of any production line or process. You also need the correct product supporting your process, in particular stainless steel pipe work and drainage. Capitalising on European manufacturing and quality, and backed up by Ian Johnson and his dedicated staff, you cannot go past the range of Blucher Australia products.
Interestingly, we noticed Blucher also have a full range of zinc plate steel and nickel plated copper Mapress systems to supplement their stainless steel lines. The Copper products are mostly for marine applications and the steel range is going to be quite attractive for relevant applications.
It is good to see someone has commercialised a round bottom drain which will be popular with the meat and poultry industries as will be much easier to clean and maintain.
Chinese exhibitors such as Zhejang Da Yu Machinery and Yuelong Machinery, are on the rise and had displays of packaging materials, equipment and stainless piping components.
The quality of their product is improving and if you want a bargain you can’t go any further. Though take care to ensure that you have secured acceptable after sales support and warranty with your purchases. The cheap cost may not be realised if you need to wait 6 – 10 days for parts when in the middle of the Christmas rush.
Key Technology unveiled their new high speed sorting system. Utilising laser vision, vibratory conveyors (eccentric drives) and fast processing times it is now possible to sort, grade, and provide more efficient Quality Assurance on a wide range of products. The system will scan and analyse product streams for not only colour but also density which opens up new possibilities to improve production processes.
Matrix Process Solutions had on display an excellent pigging system that can be used to reduce product loss by pushing in excess of 98% of all product in the line to the end. The other benefit of this is a reduction waste treatment cost as much less product is flushed down the drain. This is good technology with magnetic inserts in pigs to allow proof of position within the tube via sensors.
With magnetic inserts within the pigs, this allows proof of position in the tube via external sensors for safety and automation. The pigs themselves are definitely not a throw away item, but in certified applications will exhibit good life expectancy. The certified installations will require that they are used in combination with Matrix specified valves which is ideal for new application, but more challenging for retro-fits.
Matrix also had on-display a sterile sampling system ‘keofitt’, a large range of sampling systems for food and pharmaceutical and automatic systems and manual systems.
Watson-Marlow had a great sanitary electric pump which utilised the ‘MasoSine’ principle giving it the ability to pump a varied range of media including soft fruit or chicken breast. The pump was a simple design with few components and high functionality, including reversible, high suction and low pulsation settings.
Heat and Control now represent Stalam and were promoting the radio frequency (RF) thawing systems in particular. These have advantages over other systems by providing more even heating throughout the product and eliminating the subsequent overheated zones.
CST Wastewater Solutions and Global Water solutions both highlighted projects and experience in waste water processing. Their projects specifically relating to waste gas recovery and power generation is certainly pertinent with the country’s latest move towards a carbon economy. This is going to become more relevant and possibly more viable in the future.
The scope and quality of the displays, information and support we experienced at this year’s Foodpro event are solid and exciting indicators of the consistently smart design and innovative technologies our industry can employ now and into the future. If these are all the small steps we have taken to further the future of processing technology, then Foodpro 2011 has marked a giant leap forward for food production and our Industry as a whole.
About the authors
This article was collectively written by the Wiley Engineering Team who visited FoodPro 2011 – Arthur Seiler, Michael Mathewson, Brendon Kerr and Scott Hebbard. The Engineering Team can be contacted on 1300 385 988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in Food & Drink Business Magazine.
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