Four days, over 300 stands, 20,000 square metres and one gale-force storm. When foodpro 2014 went to Melbourne for the first time last week, it quite literally blew us away. Even gale-force winds couldn’t stop people from visiting the illustrious event at the Melbourne Exhibition and Conference Centre. And it’s no wonder. The vast space of “Jeff’s Shed” was filled with suppliers from every part of the food-manufacturing process: from ingredients to packaging machinery. (Check out our wrap-up of foodpro 2017, too, where robotics, robots, information-driven manufacturing (iDM), Industry 4.0 and IoT were centre stage.)
We took some time out from our stand to explore, and here are some of our highlights:
- Dedicated packaging and processing area: Name a piece of packaging and processing equipment for meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables, and it was here.
- Palletising precision: Bill Saylev, Engineering Manager at JMP Engineering, gave us a demonstration of its palletising machine with vacuum gripper. We watched in awe as the machine twisted, turned and placed carton after carton with exacting precision. In fact, we were so impressed that we’ve decided to run an exclusive blog on JMP Engineering, on their tips for choosing the right palletizing system!
- Flavour Makers: Behind our stand was a technical area covering food science and technology, including ingredients, additives and flavourings, laboratory equipment and food safety. Every now and then, a waft of delicious aromas from Flavour Makers would envelope us. It wasn’t long before we were on their stand sampling their culinary delights. (No wonder foodpro organisers named them best stand! Our vote was for Best Smelling Stand…)
- Breaking new ground: As we walked past Walls Machinery’s stand, a “patent pending” notice grabbed our attention. Celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2014, the company is still innovating, and has just launched its Adaptapack automated shelf-ready case packer. Look out for more on this in an upcoming blog…
- Weighing up the goods: Back on the Matthews Australasia stand, our range of coding, labelling, vision and product traceability solutions was attracting lots of interest – especially our new checkweighing range. Our weigh-price labelling system was a hit with fresh produce suppliers who are looking for a user-friendly machine that accurately weighs and labels produce without stopping.
The success of foodpro 2014 is a timely reminder of just how important the food industry is to Australia. It’s our largest manufacturing industry, employing more than 300,000 people and representing 27.5% of Australia’s manufacturing sector, with a turnover of more than $111 billion. And if this year’s event is anything to go by, this is only set to grow.
And just thinking about how important our food industry is, check out our wrap-up of the Live Future Forum, which featured upfront talks by Nudie’s GM of Sales & Brand, Richard Glenn; former Kellogg Australia MD Jean-Yves Heude; David Beak from Beak & Johnston; and Richard Sauerman, aka “The Brand Guy”. Nothing was off limits.
Did you miss us at foodpro? Contact us for information on our systems today!
And speaking of shows, see our wrap-up of AUSPACK 2015 here.