Interpack kicks-off in style showcasing dynamic systems launches
Wouter Tanis, with the company's record breaking gummy. PIc: Neill Barston
A broad array of technology, systems and equipment have been unveiled on the memorable opening day of this year’s major Interpack event in Düsseldorf, Germany, reports Neill Barston.
There was an especially strong sense of anticipation surrounding the event’s return after six years, which has promised much in terms of new machinery and automation solutions that are set to make a difference to the global market this year.
The last event attracted a total of 170,000 visitors across the week-long industry extravaganza, and hopes remain high from observers that the total gained back in 2017, will be matched with the latest edition of the global event, bringing 2,700 exhibitors.
Proceedings kicked-off with a major presentation led by Gerhard Schubert’s sales director Marcel Kiessling, and Ralf Schubert, offering their insights into the full spectrum of equipment being offered by the company at the show.
This included its striking Cobot tog.519, which is now ready for series production, and is considered highly flexible and versatile. They also discussed new Box Motion sealing technology for its flowpacker, as well as the compact TLM Power Compact system with Cobots for the natural cosmetics manufacturer Börlind.
There were also a number of other demonstrations such as its TLM Comfort Feeder, Schubert’s solution for handling blanks directly from the pallet, and a showcase for the company’s new “Packaging Perspectives” programme, with which Schubert combines consulting, packaging development and research for more sustainable packaging solutions
As the senior figures from the business noted, the fast tog.519 Cobot system, as well as its other innovations had the potential to deliver gamechanging results with delivering automated pick & place tasks in the infeed, as well as enabling greater manufacturing flexibility for packaging and processing operations.
According to the business, the integrated systems – from the robot arm through the control system and image processing all the way to the cooling and protective cell – make the cobots entirely autonomous and mobile. They can reportedly be used effectively to close automation gaps at different and ever-changing points along the production process.
World record delivery
Among those speaking to Confectionery Production, which is reporting live from the event, was Wouter Tanis, of Netherlands-based Tanis Confectionery, who expressed his gratitude at the global show’s return, as well as reflecting on the company’s major achievement in gaining a Guinness World record for the world’s largest gummy sweet.
“We’re really excited by the first day at Interpack – we also see that partners, customers and prospects are here with a smile, along with ourselves, and we’re really happy with the booth.
“The gummy is such a beast that attracts so much attention, everyone is just smiling at it – it went viral in Holland, and I have been on every talk show going there, and now we see it at the exhibition, which is really good.
“It’s a huge achievement for us – at first we thought it was going to be easy for us as we are specialists in this, but it was harder than we imagined. But we worked with a really big team on this, including working a lot of hours at the weekend, and we’re delighted to have the Guinness World record,” explained Wouter, who added that the initial preparations for Interpack had gone according to plan, and noted that the business will be using the show to highlight its turnkey capabilities.
Meanwhile, Italy’s Cama Packaging reported strong interest in its booth, which includes a striking innovative avatar greeting visitors to the stand, which it has dedicated to showcasing a wide range of industry packaging solutions, including for confectionery.
Paola Fraschini marketing manager for the group explained that having been with the company several years, this was her first Interpack, and had been greatly encouraged by the sector response.
“Interpack is a huge and amazing show, and just one of the many events that we have been part of in the past year, and in addition, we have also looked to partner with a number of businesses in the sector which has kept us connected to the industry.
As she revealed, among this year’s focuses for the company, has been a smart packaging initiative from six Italian businesses, which has enabled a greater level of collaborative improvements for the region’s sector.
“We always look to tell a story about our customers, who provide our best testimonies – and we are very proud of being able to discuss our range of applications,” explained the marketing manager, who said that it had made a major investment in its booth for 2023.
For his part, Michael Corfixen, Somic’s area sales manager for Nordics, noted that its stand had received a significant stream of visitors eager to explore its latest 434 packaging machinery line, which offers key upgrades over previous iterations.
As the sector specialist explained, the enhanced series has applications right across the spectrum, including food and confectionery, which has been instilled with a high degree of focus on delivering a quick format changeover.
“There’s been a lot of development time put into the new line – while we are working with known principles, it still takes that time and hard work to ensure that it is perfect,” adding that the new series’ ability to deliver four lanes of production by a magnetically-controlled system, ensured greater levels of flexibility for manufacturers.
Regarding packaging systems, US-base Fresh-Lock also spoke to Confectionery Production on its updated series of environmentally-friendly packaging options, which the company noted had gained plenty of interest from visitors.
As Todd Meussling, senior manager, market development, explained that there had been encouraging early signs at the event.
He added: “It’s been a really good start – what has been interesting is how it comes at you in ways, there may not be anything for a little while, then suddenly lots are on the stand. A lot of the questions they have had for us have been from what we can do for them from a sustainability standpoint. There has also been a lot of discussion about how people are looking to transfer from rigid packaging to flexible options, which by itself brings down companies’ carbon footprint.”