Digitalization, Industry 4.0 and sustainability at interpack 2017

interpack 2017

18 exhibition halls were filled with packaging professionals from 190 countries during the 7-day long trade fair that took place in Düsseldorf, Germany in the beginning of May 2017. Trends, innovations, designs and materials are just a few of all the topics that were discussed at the trade fair. In this article, we summarize FlexLink’s participation at the trade fair and highlight the top trends in the processing and packaging industry.

Provides all sectors in the industry with tailored packaging solutions

interpack is the essential event for the food, beverage, confectionery, bakery, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, non-food and industrial goods sectors. It is the only trade fair in the world that represents the entire supply chain and provides all the sectors in the industry with tailored packaging solutions and innovative designs based on a large variety of materials. Interpack is also a trendsetter for progressive and visionary concepts and ideas in the global field of sustainability. Therefore, the trade fair is a must for global players, innovative mid-sized companies and traditional small businesses in the manufacturing industry.

Focus on sustainability leads to alternative packaging materials

One of the top trends that were discussed at the trade fair was the digitalization of production processes in connection to Industry 4.0 applications. These production changes make it possible to manufacture personalized packaging solutions more efficiently as well as improve traceability. It was also highlighted that modular design of packaging machines, process lines and optimized digital operating concepts play a large role in order to reduce complexity in manufacturing. In addition, they help achieve a high degree of flexibility when changing batch sizes and product versions.

A few exhibitors at the trade fair focused on virtual reality applications that allowed their machines or equipment to be experienced inside a 3D World. This method helps to get an overall picture of manufacturing processes when it comes to machinery, equipment, training and operation. Being able to simulate a future production line enables the verification and optimization of system capacity, which reduce investment risks. Also, the sustainability theme was highly evident at the trade fair. Companies presented improved resource efficiency in terms of, for example, materials and manufacturing processes. The sustainability focus shows that alternative packaging materials are gaining ground.

Stainless steel conveyors with primary and secondary packaging applications

Together with Coesia and our sister companies, FlexLink set up two fully functional production lines showcasing the filling processes and smart packaging. The aseptic carton line by IPI and FlexLink ran a 10-minute real production sequence every hour. The Coesia Smart Factory Line was an integrated line that produced personalized gift boxes for the visitors with tea pouch samples, a hand cream tube and a power bank. Both production lines were monitored by FlexLink’s OEE tool which permits easy access to important line performance data, in real time. In addition, bottlenecks and root causes are easily identified through utilization reports, trend analyses and comparisons. The visitors could also enjoy a virtual walk inside the Coesia factory.

FlexLink displayed the latest within narrow stainless steel conveyor systems including our latest equipment for food production, the WLX conveyor, which has recently passed the 3-A qualification. This is unique among providers of conveyor systems. The modular wide belt conveyors with stainless steel beams are designed to fit into demanding primary and secondary packaging applications.

Latest trends and innovations in packaging solutions

For FlexLink, it is important to keep up with the latest innovations and trends in order to stay competitive on the market and deliver high-quality factory automation solutions. Therefore, we highly value to participate at interpack 2017 where we took part in discussions about technological progress and gained inspiration talking to manufacturers and machine builder from all over the world.

Did you visit interpack 2017? If so, please share your thoughts about the trade fair in the comments.

FlexLink Blog team 9 Articles
The FlexLink team is a group of individuals with a passion for great content.

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