A look inside Anuga FoodTec 2024
Efficient production processes have turned into a decisive competitive factor in the food and beverage industry due to depleting resources, challenges on the energy markets and strict environmental requirements. With consumers expecting new approaches and increased commitment from manufacturers, Anuga FoodTec, taking place from 19–22 March 2024 in Cologne, will focus on the key topic of “Responsibility”.
Automation and digitalisation hand in hand
Anuga exhibitors will address the themes of energy efficiency and the conservation of resources. Systems for seamless energy monitoring, as demanded by the DIN EN ISO 50001, must be intelligently and flexibly implementable. The aim is to represent corresponding energy performance indicators (enPI) to enable the development of measures to reduce energy consumption. Without an exact analysis of possible weaknesses directly on the shop floor, this is difficult.
This is where automation and digitalisation come into play. Efficiency and sustainability are best achieved through automated processes, which are monitored digitally and in real time so they can be adapted as required. Data transparency is the key to this, enabling companies to break down the energy consumption, for rinsing, cleaning, washing or heating, into the individual processes. The shorter the reaction time of a temperature sensor on the heat exchanger, the faster the heating valve can be controlled, saving thermal energy and reducing negative influence on the taste. With the help of exact flow measurement, on the other hand, the required heat holding time can be observed exactly and a control concept can be implemented to increase the production capacity.
Smart sensors and AI ensure transparency
Modern sensors and data managers act as an interface to the process control level and support all common fieldbuses. They connect plants and production systems vertically with each other, whether in on-premises, Edge or Cloud environments. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being increasingly implemented in the systems, analysing measured readings and correlating them. Suppliers of automation systems and process-measuring technology specialists will be exhibiting at Anuga, introducing new dimensions of data collection and implementing machine-learning algorithms that go beyond the functions of individual sensors.
Manufacturers of measurement and control systems are solving increasingly complex tasks with new sensor software concepts. The sensor fusion — transitioning over to multisensors for the simultaneous measurement of physical, chemical or biological values in a sensor assembly — is a trend that will also be reflected at Anuga. Vortex flowmeters with integrated temperature and pressure sensors are an example here. They are suitable for the flow measurement of liquids, gases, saturated steam and superheated steam in industrial supply circuits. In the scope of an intelligent energy management system they also enable the measurement of the gross/net heat volumetric flow rate of steam and condensation.
Future-proof systems thanks to efficient technology
Compressed air also contributes to increased energy efficiency, requiring precise design so compressors can work at the optimum operating point around the clock. This can improve the energy efficiency of whole production chains, from ventilators, to pumps, to conveyer belts. Converting the motors over to more efficient models can increase overall efficiency. For example, asynchronous motors with an efficiency of IE4 and synchronous reluctance motors with an efficiency of IE5 are available. Retrofits can also optimise the reliability and energy efficiency of already installed electric motors and converters. Solutions in this area will be presented at Anuga.
Climate goals cannot be achieved with efficient energy consumption alone, however. The next step involves the integration of renewable energy sources, which will be addressed in the “environmental technology and energy” exhibition area at Anuga. Cogeneration units and combined heat and power (CHP) plants, which provide at the same time electricity and heat in the form of steam or hot water, offer further promising potential. Thermal storage technologies are comparably quickly implementable alternatives to fossil raw materials. They enable electricity to be sourced favourably-priced from the grid, stored and used on demand during sunny and windy periods.
The Anuga program, comprising lectures and panel discussions, is starting to take shape. One of the key questions of the program will be: How should food production be aligned across the supply chain to ensure a sustainable change in our food system and global food security in future?
Anuga will cover all aspects of the production of food and beverages, from process technology and filling and packaging technology through food safety and packaging to digitalisation and intralogistics. Environmental technology and energy will be integrated into the trade fair as a new exhibition area.
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