The digitization of production has set in motion a comprehensive change in automation that many experts already refer to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or simply Industry 4.0. Where today’s food industry plants are centrally controlled, future cyber-physical systems will take command and organize production themselves. The goal is the intelligent factory, which is characterized by adaptability, ergonomics and resource efficiency. Industry 4.0 can be a reality within the next two decades.
Visitors to Anuga FoodTec, which runs March 24 to 27, 2015, in Cologne, Germany, can experience how real the convergence of production and enterprise information technology (IT) already is and the challenges involved for future automation. Industry 4.0 will be the buzzword in many booths of this international trade fair for food and beverage industry suppliers. Nearly 200 companies of the more than 1,400 Anuga FoodTec 2015 exhibitors will present solutions in the field of automation. These include industry giants such as Siemens, Rockwell, B & R, Endress + Hauser, Festo, Mitsubishi and CSB, as well as many small- and medium-sized companies with special solutions.
These companies want to assist with making food and beverage production more flexible and more efficient. To do so, machines and products need to communicate with each other, similar to a social network. The factory of the future will be intelligent and networked. One example is how robotics might change. While industrial robots still perform their tasks behind safety barriers, lightweight robots will soon assist humans without a fence and rigid controls. Industry 4.0 is about the convergence of production and enterprise IT, and Anuga FoodTec is the place to get a jumpstart and be a leader not a follower.
Anuga FoodTec is the only trade fair in the world that covers all aspects of food production. Five exhibition segments of Anuga FoodTec—Food Processing, Food Packaging, Food Safety, Ingredients (new for 2015) and Services/Solutions—form one transparent information system for all areas of the industry and for all levels of resources. For the industry visitor, Anuga FoodTec encompasses all the synergies of a process-orientated production chain, from raw material to delivery-ready end product.
At the last edition in 2012, Anuga FoodTec drew a record-breaking 43,000 highly qualified trade visitors from 126 countries. Visitors grew by 27 percent, space by 21 percent and exhibitors by 10 percent. Current exhibit and space sales promise yet another record-breaker for the 2015 edition.
To assist visitors with organizing their visit, it is now possible to search the database of new technologies that will be on display. This can be accessed here.