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Process and packaging solutions on display

05 September 2022

Food Processing reports on some of the highlights of the forthcoming PPMA Total show, which is taking place from 27-29 September at the NEC in Birmingham. 



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The PPMA Total Show 2022 returns in full force this year, playing host to a wide variety of innovative product launches, technology advances and live demonstrations of the latest smart manufacturing solutions of process, packaging machinery, robotics and industrial vision. 

Now in its 34th year, and incorporating three major exhibition brands, including Pakex and Interphex, PPMA Total Show 2022 will deliver a mix of best-in-class machinery, ancillary products and live equipment demonstrations catering for a wide range of sectors including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, household products and toiletries, building supplies, pet care, FMCG and contract packing.  

This year the event will see over 350 stands representing 2,000 brands, with exhibitors ranging from multi-national corporations to specialist niche companies – what they all have in common is a genuine interest in making a positive difference to the businesses of visitors to the show. 

“I can say with confidence and experience that PPMA Total’s success over the years lies in the fact that the show’s agenda is always a true reflection of the direction of the industry with the needs and the requirements of visitors at its heart,” said Richard Little, PPMA show director.  “There is always something to discover throughout the aisles – be that new processing equipment, a small niche product or a whole integrated production solution that can increase production efficiencies, deliver cost savings or simply enhance operations for visitor’s businesses.”

Visitors will also benefit from the networking opportunities and the potential to developing future business partnerships, with the event giving access to industry experts who are willing to share their insights, expertise and knowledge.  “Where else can you access such a wealth of free consultancy whilst being surrounded by the largest gathering of live technology demonstrations and new product launches – there really is no substitute for face-to-face conversation and getting real ‘hands-on’ experience with the latest equipment,”  continued Little.

“While innovation will remain a key theme throughout the show, machinery, equipment and services that offer real production efficiencies, labour and cost savings as well as helping to deliver on sustainability commitments will be a high priority for visitors at solutions to help them through the increasingly demanding economic challenges.”  

In addition, this year the PPMA Group Industry Awards for 2022 will take place at the show.  On Wednesday 28th September, visitors to PPMA Total Show can join the celebrations of the industry’s finest, who will be rewarded for their achievements and commitment to delivering innovative products, performance-enhancing solutions and best-in-class services, when category winners will be announced and presented with their awards.

Industrial safety engineering specialist Euchner will be launching two new products – the Industry 4.0 Ready CTS safety switch and CKS2 coded key system. In addition, it will showcase its range of guard locking products available for common fieldbus connections.
 
The all-new, one-fits-all CTS is Euchner’s first FlexFunction device which expands its product range by sitting between the all-round CTP and specialist CTM safety switch solutions, combining the best of both worlds in a single switch while offering maximum flexibility. A key innovation of the compact CTS – which is IO-Link compatible and Industry 4.0 ready – is the w FlexFunction feature that, by using the transponder-coded actuator to determine the switch’s function, allows a single device to perform a wide variety of functions that would otherwise require several switch variants. Its compact dimensions, high locking force of 3,900N and suitability to mount in three orientations ensures the CTS is suitable for use across numerous safety engineering applications.
 
Combined with highly-coded, transponder-based keys, the CKS2 forms a safe system that meets the high safety requirements required for machine and installation lockout and starting. Various safety engineering tasks are possible with this key system. Additionally, combining it with Euchner’s IO-Link Gateways expands its applications and enables comprehensive diagnostic and communication functions.  Further, the CKS2 can be integrated as a module within Euchner’s Multifunction Gate Box MGB2, expanding the functionality of the simple door interlocking solution to a small control terminal with access control.

AI deployment 
A single demonstration line running on the Omron stand will reveal how a dynamic manufacturing operation – in this case filling – can see dramatic efficiency and uptime improvements from the deployment of AI in at least two areas: intelligent machine control; and fault detection and remediation. 

Many operations gather large amounts of often unusable data, which is stored in the cloud at plant level, and requires subsequent analysis before it can be acted upon. The first of Omron’s two areas of digital intelligence is focused at machine-level, through its Sysmac controller with edge-based AI. With filling handled by an i4 SCARA robot, the small bottling line will demonstrate how this technology can deliver real-time trend analysis and alerts on the fly. 

This live data-at-the-edge, combined with the controller’s adaptive intelligence, allows the system to flag up any anomalies. Depending on operational priorities, these could relate – for example - to fill level, visual defects or mechanical properties such as machine torque. Any deviation outside a defined window can be preset to trigger a visual alert, alarm or even – in the case of safety-critical variables – line shutdown.

Omron will also be demonstrating its Advanced Services offering based on the use of augmented reality (AR). Using AR glasses, in-house engineers can work with a remote expert to correct any machine malfunction they cannot diagnose or remedy themselves. The bottling line demo on the stand will also give visitors the chance to see Omron’s Advanced Services in action. 

Making connections
HARTING will be showing its Han F+B connector series which is Ecolab approved and resistant to the aggressive cleaning agents used in the food and splash zones. The polypropylene housings conform to FDA 21 and all hoods, housings and seals are IP69K rated, so the connections are fully resistant to water cleaning jets.

As well as hygiene, HARTING has also considered the impact of machine downtimes, designing in features which keep production line disruption to a minimum. Also on show will be the Han F+B Hybrid data, signal, and power integrated cable assemblies, which are available in customised lengths. These are supplied pre-assembled and fully tested.

Support services
Fortress Technology will present a framework of new support services, digital tools, real-time data capture and machinery designed to help food processors adapt their resources to the new post-Covid landscape.
Collaborating with global audit specialist AIB International, Fortress has created a modular cultural food safety roadmap underpinned by a new package of digital tools to engage workforces. Targeting growth opportunities, production inefficiencies, QC reporting and audit transparency, the ‘Food Safety Cultural Playbook’ focuses on eliminating workplace hierarchies – creating a culture where everyone is a food safety custodian that ‘works like no-one is watching’ every day. Short presentations will also run daily throughout the show on the Fortress Technology stand. 

With mounting challenges facing the manufacturing industry, including rising costs, skills shortages and supply chain disruption, Yamato is committed to supporting new and existing customers to maximise their best results. 

Each of the solutions being displayed on its stand are said to offer high performance, easy use, and cost-efficiency. They are also compatible with a range of product types.

The team will be presenting a special selection of the company’s weighing solutions including the automated Epsilon and Omega multihead weighers, providing fast and accurate weighing, and the semi-automatic TSD-N3, which offers delicate handling with reduced labour requirement. A static scale will be on display for those looking for an accurate end-of-line weigher. There will also be a focus on product inspection at the stand, with an I-Series checkweigher, metal detector-checkweigher combi and the YX20 x-ray system on show. 

End-of-line savings
Endoline Automation will be highlighting the sustainable features of its end-of-line packaging systems, and its eco-friendly sealing options, including power saving features which reduce energy consumption, and the use of servo drives to significantly drive down noise emissions whilst only using power while operating.

The 248 fully automatic High Speed Case Erector is the company’s latest response to customer calls for sustainable sealing solutions. It reduces the use of plastic and drives down material waste by sealing cases with hot melt glue rather than tape. 

Further responding to demands to create eco-friendly sealing solutions, Endoline will also highlight recyclable Kraft tape as an additional eco-friendly sealing alternative. 

Punnet packing
UK-based end-of-line retail case loading company, Brillopak will debut the multi-material handling capabilities of its new high-speed Tray & Punnet PAKer. The machine is able to automatically pack trays and punnets into retail cases neatly. The solution is said to be ready for any material trend – today and in the future.
 
Designed to help companies keep pace with increasing output of modern food and beverage production lines, while also adapting and transitioning from plastic to cardboard punnet packaging, the Tray & Punnet PAKer is the result of three years research and development. The 150 punnets-per-minute machine combines robotics with servo-driven end effectors and then deploys them in a pick-and-place operation that addresses many of the challenges companies face when automating this traditionally manual process. To deliver high speeds, while still maintaining control of the pack, one robot accurately picks and places trays into a layer formation. A second robot then closes them up into an array dimension, before picking an entire layer of punnets that fits neatly into the receiving plastic/cardboard case.

Flow wrapper
A Delta 3000 flow wrapper with automatic infeed will take centre stage on IMA ILAPAK’s stand to demonstrate how food producers can reduce their line-side labour requirement while reliably and efficiently producing hermetically sealed MAP packs from latest generation films.
 
The equipment demonstrates how food producers can overcome the challenges posed by workforce shortages and the need for more sustainable packaging. Automating the infeed of the flow wrapper is a relatively simple step that eliminates the need for manual loading. 

With its heavy duty, hygienic design, the Delta 3000 is said to be a popular choice for the fast-growing chilled sector, where it is used to pack everything from sandwiches, pies and cheese portions to fresh fruit & veg, meat, poultry and fish. Indeed, the company is experiencing particularly high demand from producers of sandwiches and hand-held snacks thanks to the ability of the wrapping machine to accommodate complex laminates, paper films and recyclable PE and PP mono-films with its long dwell sealing technology.

Packaging solutions
Advanced Tooling Systems Group (ATS) will be making its debut at the show this year, displaying its wide variety of packaging solutions. It will be featuring four of its latest machines.

The FBL-150 jar lidding machine provides a fast and efficient automatic placement and tightening of metal Twist-Off (TO) and Press-on, Twist-Off (PT) closures onto glass jars and bottles with a vacuum seal at speeds of up to 500 jars/min.

The RSC40 from ATS’s Omega range is a high-speed rotary capping machine, which can be supplied with up to 10-heads and offers speeds of up to 240bpm. It can accommodate both traditional magnetic clutch and advanced servo-controlled tightening technologies.

The Gemini LSC40 Linear Servo Capping machine is a new style of machine which removes the need for costly bottle change-parts and allows the machine to be mounted over an existing conveyor system and moved between production lines for maximum flexibility. Dependant on the number of capping heads and bottle handling system selected, production of up to 80bpm is easily achievable.

Also on show will be a bottle unscrambler that allows multiple container formats to be carefully sorted and orientated in a single machine system. 

PPMA Total Show 2022 is free to attend. To avoid missing out on the must-attend event this Autumn, go to www.ppmashow.co.uk/visit to secure your free visitor pass.


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