Does the beverage and liquid food industry also have Olympic aspirations? Manufacturers of beverages and liquid food and machine manufacturers have long since recognized the potential. Digitalization and digital transformation are one of the four main topics at drinktec 2022, which will be held in Munich from September 12 to 16, 2022. With its range of exhibitors and supporting program, the world’s leading trade fair for the beverage and liquid food industry offers broad views and focused approaches aimed at helping the industry become faster, achieve stronger results and intensify its focus on sustainable plant concepts in the next years.
And the strong momentum around data use and process improvement is not only on the manufacturer side; retailers and consumers have long been active in these areas: Merging virtual and real worlds at the point of sale of the future is aimed at improving contact with consumers. One way to achieve that is through automation and networking with supply chain management, multimedia shopping environments for an individualized customer approach or online retailing.
An international study by the consulting firm PWC puts “digitizing products and services” in second place among the top ten challenges of the next few years. The study by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) on the future of food processing machinery also points in this direction: A supporter of the drinktec trade fair, the VDMA identifies digitalization and concepts for intelligent networking and data use as a major focus for the industry’s future alignment until 2035.
Digitalization in the world of beverages and liquid food offers real added benefits for many users. One area that benefits is process engineering, where precise temperature profiles in the manufacturing process can seamlessly track production and identify quality parameters during the early stages of production. The best example of this is in the brewing process: In collaboration with equipment manufacturers and breweries, researchers used machine learning to model an efficient and more sustainable malt yield, and identify significant influencing factors for the malt yield.
Real time is another keyword. At this fall’s drinktec, machine manufacturers will offer numerous solutions for obtaining real-time information from machines: The online tracking of production and filling processes can yield higher performance, predictive maintenance, efficient conversion processes, an overview of consumption values and clear data on product quality. Providers of software solutions, such as manufacturing execution systems (MES), can already give preliminary estimates of the optimization potential: Efficiency gains of up to 20 percent are possible for line operations, overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is improved through maintenance cycles that are up to 30 percent longer, and product changes can be made at the planned time with 99 percent certainty.
While these solutions often require “only” extensive data collection and recording, another supplier goes even further: Thanks to more accurate detection of water droplets, an empty glass inspector trained in deep learning significantly reduces the output of glass bottles identified as defective. Needless to say, this saving can also be directly converted into CO2 savings: Depending on the line output, 25 to 100 t of CO2 can be saved through this improved rejection rate.
The possibilities of machine learning software also raise the expectations for maintenance tasks: One exhibitor at drinktec is already using this digital tool to detect anomalies in separator machinery. Condition-based maintenance with AR data glasses seems to have been taught almost everywhere and has been widely adopted by machine suppliers.
Every digital application is also another checkmark on the sustainability list. This is particularly clear in the case of cleaning technology, which uses optical realtime detection of contamination even inside containers and tanks and enables highly specialized cleaning cycles. A machine learning tool ensures that individual contamination levels are learned, detected and treated correctly.
drinktec 2022 brings together the full scope of innovation for the beverage and liquid food industry: In addition to the exhibitor portfolio, including a directory that lets visitors find providers of solutions to digitize production operations and their supply chain, visitors can also look forward to the supporting program when planning their visit: With presentations on the key topic of digitalization at the drinktec Inspiration Hub in Halls A3 and B3, exhibitors and visitors will have the opportunity for in-depth interaction: Concentrated expertise and innovative applications offer fresh impetus for the future-oriented alignment of the industry.
Tickets are now available online