On 27 March 2015 the organisers of the Anuga FoodTec in Cologne drew a positive balance after three trade show days with a record number of exhibitors and visitors: more than 45,000 trade visitors took the opportunity to sound out the product ranges of the 1,500 exhibitors. The meeting of the food and beverage industry once again focused on innovations and developments that enable the optimisation of efficiency and the extension of production facilities in the food sector, because the industry is continuing on its expansion course.
The trade show was also a success for Beckhoff. “Automation technology is a decisive factor if you want to rethink and optimise production processes in food production and packaging. Thanks to its openness, the universal control platform from Beckhoff can easily be used not only for retrofits and extensions of existing plants, but also as a seamlessly integrated, co-ordinated complete system for the automation of entire plants. More and more notable machine manufacturers are making use of the possibility to universally automate entire applications with control technology from Beckhoff, for example in the filling and packaging sector”, reports Frank Würthner, Branch Management Packaging Technology. One of the reasons for this is that PC-based control offers outstanding performance with fast and highly precise EtherCAT communication right into the terminal and drive equipment, thus enabling a maximisation of the production efficiency while at the same time minimising the plant footprint and the resource consumption.
However, end customers were also interested in the product innovations from Beckhoff, for example the eXtended Transport System (XTS), which helps to tap optimisation potentials especially in packaging, because it replaces complex mechanical systems by flexible software functionality. The individually configurable multi-touch panel for modern operating concepts and the space and cost-saving compact drive technology from Beckhoff for the dynamic control of large numbers of axes were also the subject of many enquiries. Frank Würthner adds, “Further important topics at this year’s Anuga FoodTec were Industry 4.0 and the digitisation of the factory. Production data have now become a valuable corporate asset, because with fast communication and the analysis of these data every process can be optimised. With integrated communication from the sensor into the Cloud and the company-spanning exchange of information over safe channels – for example, in the case of supply chain management – we are able to give companies a competitive edge in the market.”