At interpack, the world’s largest packaging show held recently in Düsseldorf, Germany, exhibitors seemed to be listening to the challenges that bakers and snack manufacturers face as they strive to bolster internal plant efficiencies that create a competitive edge in the highly competitive global market. In many ways, those upgrades in technology targeted the issues that can, on a monthly basis, add up to tens of thousands of dollars in unwarranted downtime, unplanned maintenance and unexpected changeovers on production and packaging lines that continue to run faster than ever before.
Today, intuitive software now allows bakers to analyze reams of data gathered incessantly on the production floor to predict a potential failure in a key component or critical system, allowing bakers and snack manufacturers to avoid costly downtime. Additionally, remote maintenance seemed omnipresent throughout the exhibition, especially for jerry-rigging a broken-down production line until an actual service technician can arrive onsite.
Since the previous interpack, held in 2014, long-distance communication between equipment companies and their customers has taken several steps toward making the process more seamless using tablets and even Google Glass, which frees a maintenance engineer’s hands to make repairs. From an equipment perspective, new generations of linear and servo-motor-driven baking production and packaging lines also demonstrated their flexibility and speed at this year’s show. At this year’s event, most exhibitors didn’t always make quantum leaps, but the packaging and processing equipment displayed took smart strides at simplifying and streamlining everyday operations on the production floor.