FoodTech QLD – providing solutions for the food & beverage industry

FoodTech QLD opened to positive reviews from both exhibitors and attendees. Hosted at the Brisbane Convention Centre, more than 130 companies had their wares and services on show aimed at the food, beverage and bulk handling industries.

Event director, Jonathan Wilczek was pleased with not only the quantity, but the quality of exhibitors, plus the different types of businesses on show.

“You have different groups here,” he said. “You have the food and beverage manufacturers who have come down here, which is our key group, and there is a lot of other things on offer here. You’ll see ingredients, processing equipment, packaging equipment – people will be coming for a variety of things. A lot of people will be looking for solutions and our exhibitors will be providing solutions. It’s a place to come and network and matchmake.”

Tony Tate, head of the food division at Total Construction, had a couple of reasons for exhibiting. “We’re looking to talk to new clients, as well as connecting with current clients who are looking to extend the current premises. The stands around us, and the people who are exhibiting, are of very good quality.”

“We’re looking to meeting prospective clients from the Brisbane area or Queensland,” said Aerofloat’s Michael Anderson. “We’ve done a number of projects up here, and it’s always nice to come back here and let them know we are around. You need to be seen. ”

SMC is a first-time exhibitor at the event. National sales manager for Australia and New Zealand, William Lebihan, wants to get a couple of key messages across.

“For us it’s a celebration of 60 years in business,” he said. “What better place than to celebrate it here. We also want to talk about energy savings. It is our first public outing of our energy saving initiatives on a road map. We are going to help our customers optimise their plant and machinery to be as energy efficient as possible. Today has been a good day. Being a Sunday, we’ve seen a few people that we might not have seen if it had been during the week, so it is good.”

“For us it is chance to talk to everyone we already know,” said Rachael Hedges, marketing manager for project specialist’s Wiley. “It’s also a great place to network and meet new people and tell them about our business and how it can help them grow.”

Digital technology a main focus at this year’s Queensland FoodTech

Queensland will open its doors on July 28 to the second edition of the FoodTech exhibition, showcasing the latest innovations in the state’s food manufacturing industry.

The exhibition, which is held every three years at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, provides exhibiting companies with the opportunity to showcase brands, products and services to key decision-makers within the industry.

The event is hosted by leading food manufacturing trade show, FoodPro, through Diversified Communications Australia (DivCom) from the 28-30 July.

DivCom event director for FoodTech, Jonathon Wilczek said that the global development of technology within the industry has meant that this year’s edition of FoodTech promises to showcase the latest trends in digital technology.

“Right now globally, food and drink manufacturers are experiencing a digital shift. There are some huge efficiencies that can be gained by implementing a digital plan and the offset can be mammoth,” he said.

“This year there will be a high level of content and the exhibition stands to showcase the latest products in the market.”

One of the main areas of focus for this year’s exhibitions has been an increased concentration on educational content through key industry workshops and seminars.
“We’ve spoken with industry about who is the best to speak at FoodTech and we’ve put together a list of the top 20 topics of interest,” Wilczek said.

Representatives from the federal government and key players in the food manufacturing industry such as the Australian Institute of Packing (AIP) will run seminars in order to encourage innovation and growth within the food manufacturing industry.

Food Factories of the Future is one of the new seminars being presented at this year’s FoodTech which provides information on the impact digitisation can have on bottom line and also in driving operational excellence.

This coincides with the presentation of case studies which entices companies from different states to attend FoodTech due to common issues that are occurring across the industry.

“That’s why FoodTech came about – companies like to hear case studies, so we made an event for them,” Wilczek said.

“We’ve designed the event so that it suits specific needs and purposes, as a lot of issues that are occurring in Queensland are similar to those in Melbourne and Sydney.”

The cyclical nature of the food manufacturing industry means that the event aims to pick up on trends that have affected the market both locally and on an international scale.
This year’s increased focus on IT and digital techniques represents a growing push by the state and federal governments to compete with European food manufacturing companies – who Wilczek said are leading the way.

“The Queensland government is fully endorsing food manufacturing. They can see that in 15-20 year’s time, if manufacturers don’t get on board the digital wave, we’re going to struggle to compete.”

“We are behind Europe and other parts of the world, so this exhibition ensures that we are still competing and, in particular, getting onto this digital idea.”

The Queensland food sector contributes more than $16.9 billion to the state’s economy and is the second most important export commodity earner.

Its close proximity to Asia-pacific markets, coupled with the quality of local produce, makes it an important industry for the government to protect against increased competition overseas.

FoodTech’s positioning in Queensland therefore allows for ease of access from neighbouring countries as well as local residents according to Wilczek.

“A lot of our exhibitors are going through Sydney and Melbourne and we also have a lot of New Zealand and international visitors,” he said.

“We would normally struggle getting people from Queensland down [to Melbourne and Sydney], so that’s why we’ve been asked to host FoodTech in Queensland.”

The dominance of food and beverage events in Melbourne and Sydney means that FoodTech also assists in putting Queensland on the map, potentially attracting more business from both within Australia and neighbouring countries.

While FoodTech currently boasts a 42 per cent retention rate of exhibitors, more than half the stalls this year will be new, offering a range of the latest equipment and ideas to visitors.

Key players within the industry will still be present among the 140 exhibition stands this year, including Vemag Australia, Multivac, Select Equip and J.L.Lennard.

The exhibition is aiming to attract an array of companies ranging from small butchers to large-scale food manufacturers. However, an increase of SMEs entering into the industry over the last three years has seen a slight change in FoodTech’s target audience. “There are a lot of incubators popping up in Queensland due to a lot of SMEs wanting to take the next step, whether that be through networking with contract manufacturing or taking the big step of setting up their own factories,” Wilczek said.

“FoodTech this year isn’t just for big companies but also SMEs. And Sunday’s content (28th July) is actually designed to be very SME focused whereas Monday will be focussed a lot more around food safety.”

FoodTech is anticipating a similar turnout to its inaugural event in 2016 given the steady number of participants within the market.

The last exhibition attracted 2,431 attendees, with a total of 136 exhibitors – numbers are expected to be replicated this year, according to Wilczek.

“The total area market size is the actual market size, hence we have kept the exhibition to the same floor level this year,” he said.

“We haven’t allowed exhibitors to go larger because we want to match exhibitors to visitors and we’re expecting around 2,300 – so that’s going to be representative of the market size.”
In terms of visitors, FoodTech is expecting to have a wide variety of occupations from a range of industries present at the event.

2016’s exhibition saw the meat, poultry and seafood industry most heavily represented, taking up 18.98 per cent of visitors, closely followed by the packaged foods industry at 15.68 per cent.

In terms of occupation, 14.53 per cent were CEO’s or Company Directors while 13.04 per cent of visitors held the occupation of manager.

SMC brings the best to Brisbane for FoodTech Qld 2019

Following on from their success at AUSPACK 2019 and the launch of Open IIoT, SMC will be showcasing at FoodTech Qld in July 2019.

Bringing only the best to Brisbane, SMC will use this as an opportunity to engage with visitors and demonstrate their solutions for the food and beverage industries.

No stranger to the industry, SMC has been promoting its customer energy saving journey which has seen great success around the country and internationally. Here, their qualified team walks the entire journey with its customers and urges any businesses who have not moved towards reducing their footprint to make small in-roads that will in-turn lead to big savings.

In today’s climate, 24.7 operations, stringent hygiene standards and zero defects must be met. William Lebihan, Head of Sales and QLD State Manager from SMC says that this is where their specialist team comes in. “We deliver customised solutions to the industry and ensure that our customers experience the highest levels of OEE (Operational Equipment Efficiency)”.

“Whether you’re farming cattle or vegetables, we have what it takes to support your automation requirements from paddock to plate” he continues.

The company is firmly focused on developing products for the future, delivering the ultimate competitive advantage for their customers. “Our mandate is centered around flexible, efficient components that are designed alongside our customers with factories of the future in mind”.

SMC has a clear strategy and the technology to help implement Industry 4.0 solutions for all its customers. Today its all about faster and more flexible processes and plants to ensure sustainable, increased production and reduced costs.

“SMC is also playing an active role in upskilling industry via ongoing training and using state-of-the-art training systems and aids, to further enhance the skills of maintenance teams for optimised productivity maintenance scheduling and fault finding analysis.” says William.

In addition, SMC will use FoodTech Qld as a platform to showcase one of its latest innovations for robotic applications, the EX600 wireless manifold (EX600-W). This decentralised solution is EtherNet/IP™ and PROFINET compatible, can withstand electric noise and is suitable for harsh, industrial environments.

“This wireless and decentralised fieldbus system can manage both digital and analogue signals, as well as pneumatic products. As a highly reliable unit, it makes use of frequency hopping techniques to prevent interference from other wireless equipment. Data also encryption stops unauthorised access.

 

Visit SMC at Stand D16 from 28 to 30 July 2019 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

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