Components – for processing and packaging
interpack is one of the world’s most important fairs of the packaging industry and represents with its offers the entire value chain. The range is from the production and refinement of packaging products and packaging materials of all classes on the packaging and distribution to quality assurance and consumer protection. Trademark of interpack is not just the world offering unrivaled scale, but also the unique international mix of exhibitors and visitors. Invited are primarily companies that offer packaging and process technology in the fields of food and beverages, confectionery and bakery products, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, non-food consumer goods and industrial goods or related services.
The ability to manipulate previously unseen objects under visual control is one of the key tasks in the successful implementation of robotic, automated assembly and adaptive material handling systems. The automation of such complex industrial environments will require the development of machine vision systems that are highly adaptable and capable of dealing with a wide range of variable products. An important group of applications of this type is found in the automated packing and nesting of arbitrary shapes. The aim of this work has been to produce an efficient packing strategy that is flexible enough for a wide variety of industrial uses and which can be implemented using fast moderately priced hardware.
A systems approach, as distinct from a purely algorithmic one, has been deliberately adopted since the work is concerned with industrial vision applications in which significant problem constraints exist. This paper also outlines the background to this research, and reviews a selection of industrial packing applications. The packing procedure that has been devised consists of two major components. The first is a geometric packing technique that is based on morphological image processing operations.
This is used in conjunction with a prolog based heuristic packing procedure. Some of the factors considered at the heuristic level include shape ordering and shape orientation, both of which must be carried out prior to the implementation of the geometric packer. The heuristic procedures deal with problem constraints that are specific to a given application.
Food processing and packaging technology is the second most important area of application for pneumatic drive systems, and it continues to get more appealing. Pneumatic drives are known for simple and robust operation, as well as high power density. In food processing technology they make it possible to meet the hygiene requirements of the various protection rating categories – from production to packaging. A reasonable initial cost, overload protection and the ability to hold steady without using energy speak for pneumatics. Automated packaging of food and beverage products, pharmaceuticals or non-food items requires reliable systems with fast cycle times and a near-zero failure rate. Highly dynamic drive systems ensure superior productivity, precision and flexibility, as well as minimal downtime during product and format changes.
The size and shape of robotic gripers depend primarily on the type and nature of the products to be gripped, as well as the task they are supposed to execute. Consequently there are grippers that use vacuum technology to suction in products or that grip in interlocking and force-fitting ways using clamps, jaws or mechanical fingers. Special pick-up technology makes it possible to grip from below floppy foods such as sliced deli meats or cheeses. Thanks to intelligent sensors, grippers can handle highly sensitive products such as chocolates, biscuits or other delicate baked goods in rapid pick-and-place applications – they can even perfectly execute the looping motion required to make pretzels.
However companies often run several networks simultaneously. These networks may not be able to communicate with each other or are able to do so only with major efforts. Collaboration becomes more difficult this way and significant friction losses occur. Many companies therefore rely on a unified protocol to relay information from point A to point B. Ethernet and TCP/IP have become the standard in this area. Industrial Ethernet is the solution that allows for homogenous intra-company vertical communication from the planning stage to the field level.
Due to the high wear and hygiene requirements for forming shoulders, they are mostly produced from stainless steels. Tableting tools must have a long operating life. But above all they must be consistently precise over the course of their entire serviceable life because the powders to be pressed into tablets can sometimes be highly abrasive. That’s why manufacturers use high-alloy stainless steels in this case. The forces impacting the die depend mainly on the measurements of the tablets to be pressed. The transition from flat-edged to sharp-edged shapes also plays a critical role here. When implementing this process in real-world applications, the effects of shear force, abrasion, thermal load and other forces produce major challenges for design engineers. That’s why they rely heavily on powerful simulation and FEM software when designing tableting tools. That’s the only way to guarantee that customers get the customized tool they need.
These solutions can help to synchronize several axes, increase equipment output or reduce changeover delays when converting equipment from one product or format to another.
Furthermore, in order to gain market advantages in today’s fast-paced global economy, customers must significantly reduce equipment start-up and new product rollout times. Intelligent control technology in conjunction with an appropriate software environment is a key success factor in this regard.
PC-based control technology makes it possible to control and monitor the entire process chain not just of individual packaging machines, but also of entire packing lines, which include tasks such as filling, molding, sealing, labeling, collecting, re-packaging and palletizing, to name but a few. Modern control technology paves the way for processes that are leaner, faster and – most importantly – safer. In addition it helps conserve energy and resources.
components makes interpack 2020 to a double package. This supplier trade fair on the Düsseldorf exhibition grounds is an integral part of interpack. And exhibitors such as, for example, the mechanical engineering company BOSCH will definitely not miss out on components.
he avid interest taken by exhibitors in the run-up to interpack 2017 that brought the world’s biggest and most important trade fair of the packaging sector and related process industries record attendance of 2,865 companies, was followed by trade fair days from 4 to 10 May with high spirits and further records: 74% of the approximately 170,500 visitors travelled to Düsseldorf from abroad – three quarters of them were decision-makers.
The avid interest taken by exhibitors in the run-up to interpack 2017 that brought the world’s biggest and most important trade fair of the packaging sector and related process industries record attendance of 2,865 companies, was followed by trade fair days from 4 to 10 May with high spirits and further records: 74% of the approximately 170,500 visitors travelled to Düsseldorf from abroad – three quarters of them were decision-makers.
The high percentage of German and international top-notch experts from a total of 168 countries made for highly satisfied faces among exhibitors, who delighted at promising business contacts and even concrete deals concluded in the seven-digit range. Visitors in turn benefitted from an internationally unrivalled multitude of innovations on display and a unique market overview. This was also reflected in the corresponding high scores they gave the trade fair: just under 98% stated in the official survey that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their visit to interpack 2017. They took an interest in all ranges and segments of interpack but packaging media received significantly more attention than at the previous event.
“interpack is an absolute must-go event for companies in this industry and provides unique momentum. Every three years it is not only a one-of-a-kind performance showcase but also the place where suppliers and customers from all over the world get together to network and do business,” underlines Friedbert Klefenz, President of interpack 2017.
Commenting on this Hans Werner Reinhard, Managing Director at Messe Düsseldorf, explained: “interpack has again impressively confirmed its claim of being the world’s most important event and innovation platform for the industry every three years. Due to the concept of the newly created global ‘interpack alliance’, interpack as its flagship has also obtained more exposure in the growth markets abroad thereby attracting even more high-caliber experts to Düsseldorf.”
A digitized and sustainable industry
Proving a top trend at many stands was the further digitalization of production processes on the way to Industry 4.0 applications. Production linked along these lines makes it possible to manufacture personalized packaging efficiently or to guarantee traceability, to name but two options. Furthermore, the modular design of packaging machines and process lines and optimized digital operating concepts play a pivotal role in order to reduce complexity in manufacturing and achieve the highest degree of flexibility possible for changing batch sizes or product versions. Some companies even focused on virtual reality applications that allow machines or equipment to be experienced holistically in order to manage complexity better even in the manufacturing process of machinery and equipment as well as in training and operation. The sustainability theme also remained “omnipresent” at interpack 2017. Companies presented improved resource efficiency in terms of both the material used with ever smaller wall thicknesses and of manufacturing processes. Moreover, alternative packaging materials are gaining ground.
Especiallly successful special features
Not only the exhibitors had innovations in store for Industry 4.0 – the interpack special show of the same name organized in cooperation with the German Engineering Federation VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V.) also showcased the latest ideas and approaches and was received extremely well by visitors. Proving one of the major attractions here was the Demonstrator “smart4i” that produced and packaged personalised powerbanks. Here, not only the entire workflow was digital from online ordering to tracking and tracing, but the machine itself was also installed in record time thanks to a virtual twin and the networked planning in cooperation with several universities.
innovationparc and Congress for SAVE FOOD
Six years after SAVE FOOD was launched, the initiative has grown into a broad-based alliance of over 850 international members from industry, associations, NGOs and research institutes. One of the milestones of the Initiative is the SAVE FOOD Congress at interpack; its third edition held on 4 May was highly praised by delegates for its broad thematic coverage. The Congress pursued a multi-dimensional approach in order to address the issue of food losses and waste comprehensively. Participants included high-ranking political representatives as speakers such as Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, and Gargi Kaul, Joint Secretary & Financial Adviser at the Indian Ministry for Food Processing Industries, as well as committed NGOs activists and representatives from business. Over the course of the Congress the perspective changed, focusing either on global views or national details and conditions – with India as a focal theme this time. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) presented results of a study in India funded by the Initiative; it had been carried out with the aim of identifying the mechanisms involved in losses of important base foodstuffs and of finding approaches for solutions.
As part of the congress the SAVE FOOD partners Messe Düsseldorf and FAO also signed a memorandum of understanding, in order to fix the cooperation for the coming four years. “It is an absolute hallmark of interpack to focus on attention-grabbing special topics. We are therefore delighted to be able to also fight food losses and waste with our partner, the FAO, and in cooperation with the industry and other supporters in future, too. This means we are committed to a good cause and communicate the potential that the packaging industry and related process industries hold in this context at the same time,” explains Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President & CEO of Messe Düsseldorf.
innovationparc, the special show organized as part of interpack 2017, also addressed the theme of SAVE FOOD and presented very practical solutions for minimizing food losses and waste. These also included the finalists and winners of the WorldStar Awards of the World Packaging Organization (WPO). Awards went, for instance, to plastic bags for fruit that can enormously prolong shelf life thanks to built-in ripening-gas absorbers.
Components’ New Concept, Very well Received
the concept of “components – special trade fair by interpack”, which had been revised for interpack 2017, was received very well by visitors. According to the feedback received from the extremely satisfied exhibitors the quality of visitors was also high. “The decision to place the second “components” after a more subdued debut three years ago, in a central location of the exhibition Centre now and to hold it in parallel with the complete interpack, proved absolutely right. There had never been any doubts about the importance of this theme anyway since upstream suppliers with their components and software for packaging and process technologies play a key role for the digitalization of manufacturing processes all the way down as Industry 4.0 approaches. We will therefore also establish “components” at trade fairs of interpack alliance abroad in future,” added Bernd Jablonowski, Global Portfolio Director Processing & Packaging at Messe Düsseldorf. The coming interpack will be held in May 2020 in three years’ time at Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre – then with a completely new South entrance and a new Hall 1. The exact dates will be published at a later date.
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