Sustainability and technology solutions to take centre stage at Interpack

This year’s Interpack is set to showcase a notable array of equipment and solutions. Neill Barston reports from Ishida Europe press launch for the event

A total of nearly 3,000 exhibitors are expected for this year’s Interpack in Düsseldorf, Germany, which has now completely filled its trade hall space.

For 2020’s event taking place between May 7-13, its layout has been optimised, including a new Hall 1, which will feature equipment and systems for the confectionery and bakery sector (along with halls 3 and 4).

As organisers explained, its latest exhibition space replaces an original 1970s built facility, with the freshly created Messe Sud providing an architectural flagship. It features an entrance area with a foyer directly in front, which boasts a 17-metre-high pointed canopy with a translucent glass-fibre fabric and integrated LED lighting. As well as 500sq m more space, the building includes six conference rooms and is directly connected to the Congress Centre Sud.

The trade fair will focus on sustainability and environmental impact, hygiene and the reduction of food waste as among its core subject areas.

Speaking at the Ishida Europe press event, Thomas Dohse, deputy director of Interpack, said: “More than seventy 70% of the visitors at Interpack in 2017 were decision makers at the last Interpack, which is very important as an exhibitor to have the right people coming to your booth.
“If you look at many trade shows around the world, the actual numbers of visitors are down slightly, but with Interpack, the quality of those attending has been high. While we cannot predict if there will be the same numbers as in 2017, it is our goal to reach that figure.”

With exhibitors hailing from 60 countries, ranged across 18 halls, he asserted that the event, held every three years, remains the ‘must see’ show for the entire food and drink sector for packaging and related solutions.

He said that a notable aspect of the event had been in creating an Interpack alliance of related umbrella events around the world, which directly served local markets, including upakovka (Moscow), food pex (Shanghai), china pharm (Shanghai), bulk pex (Shanghai), pacpro Asia (Shanghai), packtech India/food pex India (Mumbai). These have provided an added focus on the sector between each of its core shows in Düsseldorf.

Dohse added: “There are number of challenges that the food and beverage industry is facing, including the level of competition within these markets. They also have to deal with issues such as rising costs of energy, and exhibitors at Interpack will be showcasing solutions to some of these areas. That includes making equipment as available as possible, as well as product optimisation that will bring benefits to buyers and users of these machines. I think there will also be a lot of Industry 4.0 solutions on display for these industries.”

For the Ishida press conference, managing director Managing Director Mr Dave Tiso, offered an overview of the company’s history and approach to creating industry systems.

He said that there was a strong emphasis on delivering complete turnkey solutions for its customers, in addition to its series of checkweighers, multihead weighing systems, as well as x-ray food safety inspection machinery.

The company confirmed that models on show at Interpack will include systems for accurate weighing of sticky, breakable items and granular products such as sugar and powders, as well as a machine for weighing small target weights at ultra-high speeds and a top-of-the-range 32 head model capable of handling up to eight different products simultaneously.

Furthermore, the company added that its ‘sugar extraction’ multihead designed to prevent sugar compromising pack seals at extremely fast speeds and with Ishida weight accuracy, will also be among equipment presented.

Broad Interpack programme

As for Interpack itself, among the new elements for this year is the  Life without Packaging conference, examining the issue of packaging, sustainability and the environment to enable both critics and advocates to have their say and explore what is essential and what is avoidable.

Speakers include Professor Dr. Thomas Muller-Kirschbaum, head of R&D and sustainability at Henkel; Louise Lindenberg, global packaging sustainability director at Unilever; and Xavier Caro, head of packaging for the food category at Nestle as well as Alexander Baumgartner, CEO at Constantia Flexibles. Dr Marina Beermann from the WWF as well as representatives from environmental organisation will join the line-up.

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