Sell-out exhibitor hall a good sign for AUSPACK

AUSPACK, a biannual event that brings manufacturers from across the globe together, sold out its exhibitor hall four months before the doors are due to open on March 26. The four-day event, which runs during Packaging and Processing Week, is one that companies in the food, beverage and packaging industry won’t miss.

AUSPACK provides visitors and exhibitors with a face-to-face environment to experience the latest in fast and flexible machinery, track and trace, smart packaging, digital printing, Industry 4.0 and robots. The expo covers accessibility and convenience, e-commerce, safe food and sustainable solutions.

There will also be a conference that will concentrate on packaging and processing and business growth. More than 25 speakers and panellists will present new data and ideas at the event. Speakers will include Andrew Manly from the Dutch-based Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry Association; John Broadbent, adjunct professor of engineering at UTS in Sydney; and John Baird, whose roles among other things include being chairman of the Cyber Security Advisory Council of NSW.

Exhibitions and Trade Fairs marketing manager, Anne-Marie Mina, said the 34th AUSPACK event will be packed with exhibitors and additional programs that complement Australia’s leading processing and packaging trade event. “There will be 350 stalls and 1,200 brands. The experience for visitors has been designed with the industry’s mega trends in mind,” she said.

The trends include global automation, Industry 4.0 and sustainable packaging. “All of these different exhibitors have products and services that align with these global trends.”
One of the themes being promoted at AUSPACK is smart connectivity and sustainability. “Smart covers Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0 and connected equipment. We are providing visitors the chance to hear first-hand and learn about new trends from international and domestic exhibitors,” said Mina.

Safety and inspection
One of the companies promoting smart manufacturing and sustainability is Heat and Control. The company provides food manufacturers with equipment that will help them minimise waste and save money.

Heat and Control business manager for packaging and inspection systems, Robert Marguccio, said that while companies often inspect products at the end of line, inspection during the manufacturing process also helps companies to save. This is where Heat and Control’s inspection systems come in handy, he said. “Generally, everybody wants to carry out inspection when it’s in the bag, from a due diligence perspective, because that’s when theoretically nothing can contaminate the product. However, that’s not always the best place to do it.”

For sectors including fruit and vegetables, particularly for products such as packaged salad leaves, it is important to inspect them for bugs, sticks and dirt early in the process, said Marguccio. “A good inspection system can also look at the quality of the product.” Be it wilted leaves, green potatoes or burnt fries, the system removes unwanted items before the products are cut, cooked or bagged. “This all relates to not putting money into products that will eventually need to be removed for customer satisfaction, safety and regulations. Certain inspection systems can also detect items such as bones in meat, relative to cut thickness,” he said. Heat and Control has provided services to a major fast-food chain to allow them to detect fish bones before the final product is made, said Marguccio.

“We have inline metal detection for potato chips and French fries before they are bagged. We have also supplied up stream detection on these lines to remove discoloured product and/or not-to-size products. We can inspect on a large range of products, including metal detection in flour or frozen meats for example.

“The earlier you can remove unwanted product or contaminants in a line, the greater your productive efficiency. The other side to this equation is that by minimising the amount of unacceptable product and/or contaminants, one improves the probability of taking out nearly all your unwanted issues. The higher the amount of unwanted product, the higher the risk of missing the removal of an issue. It all comes down to pure statics and probability theory,” said Marguccio.

“Early removal of any contaminants and unwanted product means that you are not wasting energy or resources in adding value to a product that needs to be removed. The overall effect of complete and progressive inspection at appropriate points of your production line, as well as at the end of line, ensures a higher quality product and customer satisfaction, while at the same time achieving a higher productive, efficient and profitable way of manufacturing,” he said.

Heat and Control, which has participated in AUSPACK in the past, will showcase its complete processing, packaging and inspection systems at the 2019 event.
One company that is new to the AUSPACK scene is Nord Drivesystems – a specialist in manufacturing helical geared motors.

Nord Drivesystems managing director, Martin Broglia, said the company’s product range has been well received by the Australian market over the 10 years it has been here. “We have worked alongside some of the biggest end-users and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the country and AUSPACK is another great opportunity for us to showcase our latest drive technologies.”

Putting the latest technology to use
With robotic automation and factory of the future highlighted as key topics at AUSPACK, Broglia said Nord Drivesystems has solutions that fit into these categories. “As a German-born company, Nord Drivesystems is no stranger to the world of Industry 4.0. Its intelligent drive units have created quite the stir – both locally and abroad. Today, there is a call from more and more customers for IoT technologies to keep them informed, remain flexible and provide efficiencies.

“More than ever it’s about increased outputs, reduced inputs, more accuracy, more profits and more communication. Most recently, Nord Drivesystems joined the likes of SMC Pneumatics, Balluff and Beckhoff to form Open IIoT, a forum dedicated to addressing the complexities of Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies, and breaking down the jargon,” said Broglia.

Nord Drivesystems will be focusing on three products at AUSPACK that use the latest technology to give people efficient and cost-effective products – the Super Premium Efficiency synchronous IE4 motor, the Sealed Surface Conversion System and the Variable Speed Drive.

The company makes the equipment with longevity in mind by using materials that are rustproof and won’t deteriorate. The Sealed Surface Conversion System for example, is made of aluminium, which is coated with a special process that makes it up to seven times harder than a basic aluminium and up to 1000 times harder than paints and lacquers, the company indicates. “Instead of using a stainless-steel option, we can provide an option that is much lighter and cheaper,” said Broglia. “There’s not going to be paint flaking or any paint chipping away. The material won’t deteriorate.”

Efficiency and cost savings can also be made with the Super Premium Efficiency synchronous IE4 motor. “This technology is different to the normal motors that are out there. Customers can save up to 50 per cent energy by using it.” The motors operate more efficiently than induction motors, specifically in the partial load range, said Broglia. The motors feature a high power density and a long product life and can help keep a factory clean. The efficient smooth-surface motors are suitable for use in dry areas, as well as in applications requiring frequent cleaning. As they generate very little excess heat, they don’t need fans, and therefore do not contribute to the spreading of germs.

While these products will be on display at AUSPACK, Broglia said, Nord offers plenty more to help new and existing customers meet cost efficiency and hygiene needs. The products are made in Germany, but the Australian counterpart is not dependant on waiting for products from overseas, he said. “At the moment we hold a fair amount of stock in Australia, so we can deliver this pretty quickly. We also assemble it locally. We can build any type of combination at a fast rate.”

Nord Drivesystems is not the only company that has more to offer. AUSPACK will also feature new and re-established events during the 2019 packaging and processing week. Adding to the action-packed week is the launch of the AUSPACK business and industry conference. It will focus on industry key challenges and opportunities around sustainability, innovations in technology and design, and systems thinking.

More in store
The business and industry conference is all about exploring new ideas and business potential through case studies, interactive Q&A sessions and keynote plenary sessions – of which there will be seven – along with 18 breakouts across 2 streams, which are packaging and processing, and business growth.

Mina said four key note speakers had been announced and more would be announced in the lead up to AUSPACK. Among the speakers are McCormick US vice-president for global sustainability and packaging Michael Okoroafor, economist Stephen Koukoulas and Diversity Partners CEO Katie Spearritt. The conference MC is Absurd Entertainment and Game of Inches founder, Nigel Collin.

The Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) Awards of Excellence have also been reinstated. “The overarching theme for the awards is sustainability, and materials used on the night are recycled and repurposed,” said Mina. The awards recognise industry innovation and outstanding performers in the packaging and processing sectors.

The award categories include Best New Product, Customer Collaboration Award, Design Innovation Award, Export Success Award and Imported Equipment Award.

Keeping in theme with the week, the awards evening will use sustainable materials such as recycled copper – for the table centrepiece decorations – and low-energy LED lighting. The menu is designed in partnership with Yume – a wholesale market place for surplus food. “It will be designed using surplus stock from local manufacturers in an attempt to reduce food wastage. This year we are really focusing on pushing those exhibition and industry trends,” said Mina.

The exhibition is free to attend, and registrations are open. “We encourage the industry to take part in this opportunity to get the latest industry insight,” said Mina.

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