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Fibre King’s highlights from the world’s largest processing and packaging equipment tradeshow.

Spanning over 20 exhibition halls with over 170,400 specialist visitors from 190 countries, Interpack is an impressive and sometimes overwhelming event that showcases all of the trends, innovations and new product developments in packaging.

Fibre King’s Senior Management Team from both Australia and Thailand were lucky enough to attend the show, and spent five very full days catching up with existing clients and partners and to view the latest innovations within the global packaging industry.

Some of the main highlights from the show came from Fibre King’s automation partners, Rockwell Automation, Festo and SMC, and the key trend observed across the value chain was the move toward Industry 4.0. A brief overview of these are included below.

Festo – Programmable Valve Technology

Festo has developed a new programmable valve technology that enables a standard valve module to be reconfigured to operate as a completely different valve using software only. The other capability of this system is complete monitoring of the valves picking up of any cylinders may be leaking or actuation duration is increasing. These can be early signs that items are failing making preventative maintenance an easier thing to implement.

SMC – Suspended Load Technology

There were two items of interest at the SMC stand, and the one that particularly stood out was the solution to have dual feedback on a standard cylinder to hold suspended loads. This was achieved by connecting a braided airline to each end of the cylinder, thus suspending the load connected through a pilot check valve, with each check valve wired into the safety circuit. For Fibre King Palletisers, this could be an additional safety mechanism.

Industry 4.0

The biggest trend influencing packaging equipment at the moment is movement towards Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 is the fourth industrial revolution and is based on the collection and analysis of big data and the connected enterprise. For a manufacturing facility to be considered Industry 4.0 ready, it must be:

  • Connected - machines, devices, sensors and people that connect and communicate with one another.

  • Intelligent – self-controlled manufacturing processes for optimum throughput, quality control and energy consumption

  • Collaborative – integration of tasks between humans and machines, including Cobots and AGVs.

  • Virtualised – Virtual Simulation for product commissioning and Virtual Workplace for training and improvement.

Fibre King is working towards incorporating these new products and trends to deliver on its promise of innovative design that aligns with our customer’s needs.

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