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Prepare to get physical at PPMA

20 September 2021

The PPMA Show 2021 will return to the NEC Exhibition Centre in Birmingham - from 28 to 30 September, following a year’s hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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Recent research conducted among PPMA’ audiences reveals a strong appetite for the live event, with 70% of respondents seeing trade shows as an essential platform for reviewing and making future product purchases.

Putting a focus on supporting the processing and packaging communities with sustained business recovery following the challenges of the past 17 months, the event aims to bring together over 250 exhibiting companies, offering businesses a long-overdue opportunity to see emerging technologies and explore the latest trends in the industry.  

Commenting on the forthcoming event, Richard Little, show director of PPMA Show 2021 said: “Although online platforms help people to gather information about products, our research shows that visitors want to move on from virtual product launches and events to get closer to the technology- hands-on and to speak face-to-face with product and application experts. The appetite for investment is definitely there, as well as the enthusiasm to resume business as usual. We’re setting out to support our community’s business recovery.”

AVE UK will showcase two new solutions – THE  OMNIA B cross flow filtration system for brewers and a mozzarella ball processing line.

The mozzarella line comprises six individual systems including an automatic coagulation vat, drainage trolley, whey recovery system, cradle coagulation vat, ricotta trolleys and salting cheese vats. 

The OMNIA B cross flow filtration system, is designed to deliver beer clarification, product recovery and microbiological stability in a single solution. Incorporating ceramic membrane technology, this compact automated filter enables beer producers of all sizes to increase their yield by maximising product recovery from lees, as well as significantly limiting the Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) of brewery effluent. 

Intelligent solutions
Intelligent production solutions will be the focus of the Mettler-Toledo stand where its product inspection, industrial weighing and service divisions will together display a range of new technologies.

New product inspection innovations will include a metal detection system, which brings advanced sensitivity and smart intelligence to an entry level detection platform. Plus, a ‘triple combination’ checkweighing metal detection system with Product Data Check smart camera. This is based on Mettler-Toledo’s modular C-Series checkweighing frame, and incorporates checkweighing, metal detection and vision inspection in a single machine to facilitate production line space constraints.

The Industrial Weighing Division will display SmartShelf – a real-time inventory management system based on load cell weighing – the Portion Control System, which enhances efficiency and production quality in food assembly lines. 

Visitors will also be able to view the Rapid Cal Tank, a weighing vessel that can be calibrated in a matter of hours. These solutions are complimented by intuitive software solutions for formulation and recipe management to enhance quality control plus a robotic arm weighing cell for smart working.

Yamato Scale Dataweigh UK will demonstrate its inspection and automatic weighing equipment, including a new range of multihead weighers, dubbed the new ‘Stick’ machine, which has been created to weigh and orientate long products. The product is aligned on the top of the weigher before being weighed utilising the unique feed and weigh bucket gating system. Once weighed the product is discharged perfectly orientated ready for packing.

Yamato UK is fully focused on helping its customers succeed in business, which is why its products undergo rigorous testing, to ensure accuracy, COP compliance and hygiene. 

Yamato will also be demonstrating its entire weighing and checkweighing solutions, showing how they can be installed at various stages in the production line to achieve the best results to meet individual needs.  In particular, it will demonstrate how it can help ensure compliance with government and supermarket standards using state-of-the-art metal detection and X-ray technology. The YX20 x-ray inspection machine, for example, is compliant with BRC, supermarket standards and features an advanced linear array with proven inspection algorithms.

Brillopak will showcase its newest UniPAKer robotic crate packing platform, launching its most compact and energy-efficient system to-date. By lowering compressed air consumption in the generation of vacuum by up to 45%, the overall carbon footprint of the system has been significantly reduced. The single dual head crate packing cell simultaneously reduces supply chain waste by minimising damage to protective ready meal films. 

The UniPAKer’s compressed air pressure system and end-effector vacuum generators have been re-enegineered to create sustainable value across the packing cycle, by adopting this ‘whole system air flow approach’ and improved control and distribution of air, Brillopak reports a 10% reduction in power usage compared to previous models in the series.

Striking the optimum balance of fast acceleration and gentle pick and placement, the new UniPAKer is said to be especially beneficial for crate loading perishable products which are more prone to leaks and damage, including meat, fish, ready meals and fresh produce. 

Responding to manufacturers’ end-of-line labour challenges including staff shortages, social distancing measures and self-isolation, OMRON UK will demonstrate its  RB1200 cobot palletiser. Developed in partnership with Reeco, the system is said to offer a 50% cost saving, as well as modular plug-and-play system architecture. The RB1200 has a maximum payload of 10kg and a cycle time of 12 picks per minute. It requires no system integration and has a 60% smaller footprint than conventional robot palletisers. 

Three-in-one inspection 
Fortress Technology will debut its new zero-contaminant pandemic-recovery Raptor series which comprises all three food inspection disciplines – metal detectors, checkweighers and X-ray – plus any combination category. The Raptor series is said to feature every British retailer COP digitally pre-programmed into every inspection machine before installation. 

The standard Raptor Checkweigher can weigh lightweight product packs, up to a maximum of 8kg, with the XL version available for bulk applications. 

The Raptor’s debut at the show will feature four different conveyor configurations, including a compact Combination Metal Detector and Checkweigher and the Fortress X-Ray first.

Digital coding company, Clearmark is moving into the logistics labelling space with the launch of its ICE Vector Pallet Labelling System. The new offering completes Clearmark’s coding portfolio, enabling customers to benefit from joined-up coding solutions across primary, secondary and tertiary operations, paving the way for the factory of the future.

The ICE Vector incorporates a climate controlled cabin to ensure consistent print quality; a robust long-reach cartesian-style arm to guarantee GS1 specification label placement on all pallet configurations; a dual operator interface for continual working during ribbon/label reel changes; and an intelligent I/O system to seamlessly communicate with thighly automated warehouses.  

On the back of its strategic partnership with FANUC UK, Endoline Robotics is answering calls for flexible robotic solutions which improve productivity and efficiency, through its 1000 series of three robotic palletising solutions.  

The compact, 1001 features a robotic arm on a platform, and can be easily moved and quickly incorporated into different production lines within a manufacturing facility as and when demand dictates. 

Designed to handle various pre-defined products with quick changeovers, the 1001 receives product directly from the production line and palletises on a pallet stationed on the floor. Once the operation is complete, the system signals the operator to remove the full pallet and add a new one to be palletised. 

At speeds of up to 12 cycles per minute, the robotic arm provides precise product handling of carton boxes, display boxes, trays, multipacks, bags, and totes. 

Dustcontrol UK will be showcasing its upgraded GFF (Good For Food) range of food grade dust extraction equipment. The range is designed to offer efficient dust extraction and cleaning of food contact areas while opening up new recycling possibilities; while Olympus Technologies will launch an upgraded Universal Robot Palletising System. 

COVID precautions
Participants can rely on all the necessary health and safety precautions relating to COVID and, to reassure visitors with regards to cleanliness and safety, the NEC has introduced advanced cleaning measures and hand sanitising stations are located at all entrances of the NEC and at numerous locations around the venue. Physical touchpoints will be reduced throughout the show and there is also ample outdoor space at the NEC for visitors wanting to get some fresh air and to take a break from the exhibition floor during their visit.

There will, of course, be differences in the way the event runs compared to previous years. On-site catering provisions have been modified and visitors travelling to the show are advised to to limit what they bring. 

Pre-registration will be compulsory for all visitors this year register and visitors should follow the latest local guidance at the time of the show with regards to face masks, isolating and symptoms to ensure the safety of themselves and others in attendance.

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