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Looking towards the future

The Anuga FoodTec will be held on April 26-29, 2022 as a compact attendance trade show accompanied by a digital platform. The organizers continue to rely on their proven concept as the international fair for the food industry, one which displays all food processing steps.

The trade fair was postponed to April 2022 due to the pandemic but continues to register a high level of interest in all product segments, according to the organizer. This international show informs the food industry about all process steps – from handling raw materials to the finished product. This year the Anuga will present itself as a “Special Edition” and thus as a combination of a compact trade fair with the far-reaching digital platform Anuga FoodTec @home.

As a result of exhibitor and visitor surveys from the Anuga FoodTec 2018, the organizers revised and restructured their offers to present competencies and solutions along the entire value chain. Their intention was to bring supply and demand together in an even more targeted manner.

With the new segments “Intralogistics”, “Automation”, “Digitalization”, “Energy & Environment” and “Science & Pioneering”, the Anuga FoodTec focuses on key topics for the food and beverage industry.

“Intralogistics” handles the internal flow of materials, including product groups such as conveyors, large containers, storage systems, and industrial trucks. All global food and beverage producers require intralogistics solutions. Additionally, this segment touches on complementary topics like warehousing and facility management as well as on the closely related areas of automation and digitalization. Converting processes from manual to automatic operation, i.e. machine operation, is one cHallnge in the food and beverage manufacturing process. Digitalization connects automated processes through innovative technologies that can control and network all applications based on demand and product.

“Energy & Environment” is central to food and beverage production. Energy, fresh water, waste, and reprocessing are important in all production processes and can be used to control costs and effort. Such issues are also becoming increasingly vital to the public, which expects food and beverage manufacturers to take a clear stance on environmental issues. This area offers various solutions and innovations across all process stages.

“Science & Pioneering” focuses on the future more than any other segment. Here, experts look at solutions that will be market-ready in the next five to ten years as well as where the industry is headed. This forum provides a platform for start-ups, young companies and research institutes or universities to discuss the future.

Guiding theme of the fair

The Anuga FoodTec 2022’s motto is “Smart Solutions – Higher Flexibility”. This motto plays a key role in determining the product segments and exhibitors’ trade show presentations. Particularly evident in the areas of digitalization and automation, it is also the common thread found in trending industry topics like energy efficiency, resource consumption, and sustainability.

The technical program organized by the DLG (German Agricultural Society) – available online now at www.anugafoodtec.de – also emphasizes this key theme. Smart solutions for the industry’s current cHallnges are the goal, as is enabling even more flexible, efficient, and likewise environmentally friendly production. Expert forums held as part of the program will highlight many current topics in food technology and link scientific findings with business practice.

Volatile markets, tight raw material supplies and highly competitive pressure pose considerable cHallnges for food manufacturers worldwide. Added to this are greater consumer desires for product quality and safety as well as sustainable food production. These developments are additionally fueled by the trend toward individualized products and ever shorter product life cycles. Against this backdrop, needs-oriented, resource-saving and customer-specific production will become more crucial than ever for suppliers and manufacturers. The key to a diversified product range adapted to consumer wishes is flexible, efficient production that is also environmentally friendly. Development, production, and logistics processes must increasingly respond dynamically to achieve maximum adaptability. Smart solutions are in demand. This is precisely what Anuga FoodTec 2022 will present with its leading theme.

More energy efficiency required

Faster, more flexible, more sustainable – the food industry is becoming more resource-efficient. Renewable energies and their decentralized generation are providing additional momentum. Modern photovoltaic systems and combined heat and power plants that generate electricity, heating, and cooling are saving companies operating costs and reducing CO2 emissions. However, the energy turnaround poses major cHallnges. While climate policy targets are becoming more cHallnging, efficiency regulation at the EU level is also evolving.

Innovations that help companies optimize their energy efficiency will be on display at Anuga FoodTec. They will illustrate the even greater role that energy considerations play in machine and system design – and that innovation is always linked to digitalization.

Compact electrical and pneumatic components specifically developed for higher productivity coupled with lower energy consumption are essential. In March 2021, the new Ecodesign Directive came into force across Europe. This meant that standard asynchronous motors designed for continuous operation must be further improved. For the first time, frequency converters now fall within the scope of the new regulation. Drive specialists already offer a comprehensive portfolio of electric motors that meet the tougher requirements of efficiency class IE4.

The drive train as a complete electromechanical package is the prerequisite for energy-efficient integration of individual components. It allows energy savings of 20 to 50 percent, depending on the machine type and specific constraints. In this case, decentralized synchronous servo drives have an advantage over asynchronous motors. Weight also plays a role, because the lighter a servomotor is, the less drive power it requires. Such savings quickly add up in high-performance packaging machines with 50 or more servo axes. In parallel, more and more assemblies such as compressed air valves are moving from the control cabinet directly into the machines. The result of the plant manufacturers’ decentralization strategy is fewer lines, shorter hoses, and less leakage.

Avoiding energy waste

In addition to efficient electric motors and pumps as well as energy-recovery methods, food producers are increasingly focusing on demand-controlled energy use. Digitalization enables identifying additional savings potential. In the future, Big Data and self-learning algorithms will create a comprehensive picture of all energy flows in the company – all the way to heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems. Considering forecast data for production, building use and weather, total energy turnover can be simulated, with cost minimization and CO2 savings as targets. Such systems do not react to the actual state but control energetic processes in advance based on calculated electricity, heating and cooling needs.

Intelligent, robust sensors that collect data, generate information, and communicate it in real time are the foundation for networked energy management 4.0. They record energy consumption and basic electrical quantities. Mobile apps enable energy data to be evaluated regardless of location. They record and evaluate heat, electricity, or compressed air consumption down to the individual machine level and display this data on clear management dashboards.

Even beyond the corporate level, such Big Data technologies play a key role in the success of the energy transition. At Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences’ Institute for New Energy Systems, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Holzhammer is working on the “BlueMilk” project to identify opportunities for companies to play an active role in shaping the energy transition. “Our goal must be to cover residual electricity demands in the future via renewable energies from wind and photovoltaic,” he affirms. Together with partners from the dairy industry, Holzhammer and his team are investigating where substitution of fossil heat can take place in dairies through sector coupling and the use of renewable electricity, and where there is still potential for increasing energy efficiency in production.

www.anugafoodtec.de

The following Die Fleischerei articles provide an initial overview of innovations that will be presented at Anuga FoodTec.

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