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foodpro 2023 – Day 1 snapshot

foodpro 2023 - Day 1 snapshot

Australia’s largest and most trusted food manufacturing show foodpro, had a massive first day at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday with more than 400 exhibitors, constant foot traffic and engaging speaker presentations. The best of new automation and innovation was out in force.

Key exhibitors featuring new machines set to revolutionise food manufacturing

Vemag – Super fast sausage making machine – 400 sausages a minute

This year Vemag is occupying the largest floor space area at foodpro, with numerous massive machines in operation. One of which is the HPE HP Coex CC215 + LL335 – a massive sausage making machine.

This machine can produce up to 400 sausages a minute using alginate casings – a vegan gel casing obtained from algae (instead of animal casings). These machines already supply to both Woolworths and Coles.

Vemag also have a new burger making machine the DJM which can produce 350 burgers a minute via low pressure which produces a more succulent bite in the patty compared to other machines. Another new burger machine – the BF255 creates ‘hasha burgers’ – up to 150 a minute – which are free formed mincemeat similar to burgers found at cult burger chain Grill’d. These patties are hugely popular in Europe but have still not caught on totally in Australia, so there are high hopes that these innovative machine will take off.

This video shows the sausage making machine in action:

MHM Automation – Automated pallet moving robots

MHM has their MHM Automated Robots (AMRs) on display which are autonomous vehicles that can move products on pallets or in crates without conveyors, making them ideal for congested production environments.

The AMRs feature integrated navigation and vision technology, enabling them to move safely around people and objects. They will also have their The H&C Gantry Palletiser and De-Palletiser (SimPal50), which can palletise or de-palletise up to eight boxes or bags per minute.

With the technology being relatively new, only a handful of these machines have sold in Australia since 2022 so far. Overseas they are currently in use by Amazon and Alibaba. The cost of each machine, which can lift 1,500kg is the equivalent of the cost of a forklift machine and driver’s employment. The advantage being there are less safety risks as the machines have sensors so they will stop automatically if need be, and there is no chance for driver error.

This videos shows the automated robot and gantry palletiser machines in action:

Australian Wrapping Company – Automated large scale packaging wrapper 

The new robotic PKG Motion Packaging Machine is brand new to Australia. Produced in Italy, the machine can be programmed to automatically wrap large scale objects, with the ability to move around a factory floor, instead of traditional packaging methods of manually shifting items to a stationary packaging machine, one by one.

Speaker presentations

The speaker presentations at the Schneider Electric Smart Food Lounge kicked off with topic Exploring the need for food marketing to go beyond packaging, presented by Rachael Hedges from RMH Consuluting. Hedges stressed the harnessing the power of digital technologies, brands can forge deeper connections with consumers, stand out from the competition, and thrive in the ever-evolving food industry.

In the following session, Cryogenic Freezing – addressing food safety and spoilage concerns, Fumie Hokao of Air Liquide touched upon the vital role that processes involving cryogenic refrigeration – using liquid nitrogen or liquid carbon dioxide to cool and freeze, play in supporting preservation of food products.

Markus Witor from CSB System then enlightened visitors in Smart Food Factory – How to enhance agility and versatility in production. Witor presented insightful case studies of solutions that have proven successful in the development of smart factories.

Wrapping up, leaders from SEE, Plantic Technologies and Amcor Flexibles ANZ took part in a lively panel discussion – Sustainable packaging for the meat industry. All the experts have recently been recognised for their unique innovative and sustainable packs.

Meanwhile over at the Wiley Product Innovation Stage, another panel discussed What does the future hold for alternative proteins. Speakers from Nestle Australia, the Alternative Proteins Council (APC), Vow Food and Change Foods discussed the alternative protein landscape, key drivers, consumer attitudes and trends and opportunities for the category.

The show continues until July 26. Stay tuned for more exciting highlights today and tomorrow.

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