AnugaFoodTec: Enhancing efficiency is essential for F&B players across the process chain

16/02/2022 – Event / Anuga FoodTec / Efficiency / Sustainability / Cologne / Germany

AnugaFoodTec: Enhancing efficiency is essential for F&B players across the process chain

Efficient solutions for the food industry will take centre-stage when Anuga FoodTec returns to Cologne in April 2022.


Faster, more flexible, more sustainable – the food industry is faced with numerous challenges and is setting out to reconfigure its production to become more resource-efficient. Renewable energy and its decentralised generation is providing additional momentum: Modern photovoltaic systems and cogeneration units for the combined production of electricity, heat and cooling are helping companies save on operating costs and CO2 emissions. However, the energy transition presents great challenges for the industry: Whilst climate policy goals become ever more demanding, the efficiency regulation at EU level also continues to evolve and tighten.




Food producers, who are striving to guarantee their security of supply under compliance of the legal provisions, will find innovations at Anuga FoodTec from 26–29 April 2022 to help them realign their energy efficiency. Incorporated at the design phase of machines and systems, energy considerations are already increasingly front of mind for these equipment manufacturers – and all such innovations are inevitably combined with aspects of digitalisation that can ultimately serve to further enhance efficiency.




Maximum powertrain efficiency



Compact electrical and pneumatic components, which are specifically optimised to provide higher productivity with a lower power consumption, are an important factor. In March 2021, the new Ecodesign Directive came into force across Europe. This led to standard asynchronous motors designed for continuous operation also having to be further developed. Frequency converters fall under the scope of the new directive for the first time. Drive specialists already offer an extensive range of electric motors that correspond with the more challenging demands of the efficiency class IE4: in order for the switch-over to the new motors works, they place web-based tools at the disposal of their OEM partners and end customers.




As an electromechanical overall package, the powertrain is the conceptual prerequisite for an energy efficient integration of the individual components. Indeed, depending on the machine type and the concrete demands, an energy saving of between 20 and 50 per cent can be achieved. Decentralised synchronous servo drives have an advantage over asynchronous motors here. Weight also plays a role, as the lighter a servo motor is, the less drive power it requires – such savings certainly add up in high-performance packaging machines with 50+ servo axes. Parallel to this, more and more components like compressed-air valves are being directly built into the machines instead of into the control cabinet. Less wiring, shorter tubes and a lower risk of leakage are the result of this decentralisation strategy by of the plant builders.



Big Data against energy waste



In addition to efficient electric motors and pumps as well as energy recovery methods, the food production industry is focusing more and more on the demand-controlled use of energy. Digitalisation enables the identification of additional saving potential. In future, Big Data and self-learning algorithms will provide a comprehensive depiction of all energy flows in the company through to the heating, climate and ventilation systems. Under consideration of predicted data for the production, building usage and weather, overall energy consumption is simulated, whereby the pre-set goals are cost reduction and CO2 savings. Such a system doesn't react to the actual state, but instead proactively controls the energy processes according to calculated predictions of the electricity, heat and cooling requirements. 




Forming the basis for such a networked energy management 4.0 are intelligent and robust sensors that collect data, generate information, and communicate this in real-time. They record the energy consumption and the basic electrical values, while mobile apps make it possible to evaluate the energy data in a location-independent manner. Intelligent sensors record the heat, electricity or compressed air consumption through to the level of the individual machines and evaluate these in clearly-arranged management surfaces. This structured collection of data from different sources allows the direct calculation and comparison of key performance indicators – for both overall systems and for individual consumers – and the depiction of the data can be adapted to the user's needs. In this way, the machine operator can keep an eye on the current system status, whilst the interest of the plant manager lies more on the energy consumption and production statistics. 




Sector coupling as a new scenario



Big Data technologies also play a key role in the success of the energy turnaround beyond corporate level. At the Institute for New Energy Systems of the Ingolstadt Technical University, in the scope of the project entitled ‘BlueMilk’, Prof. Dr. Ing. Uwe Holzhammer is focused on identifying ways for companies to actively shape the energy turnaround. “The aim must be to cover the residual electricity demand with renewable energy using wind power and photovoltaic systems,” he confirmed. Together with partners from the dairy industry, Holzhammer and his team are investigating where fossil-fuelled heat in dairies can be replaced through sector coupling and the implementation of renewable energy, and where there is potential for increasing energy efficiency within the production. 




At the same time, the scientists are striving to find ways that enable the flexible sourcing and/or provision of energy. One sector coupling approach that ‘BlueMilk’ is looking into is the intelligent cogeneration of power and heat using cogeneration units. “Organising the supply into the general supply system depending on the price of electricity, opens up new possibilities to dairies, not only for generating revenue, but also to sink CO2 emissions,” explained Volker Selleneit, a research assistant within the team.



Experts to explore energy turnaround at Anuga FoodTec



Whilst the solutions of exhibitors presented at Anuga FoodTec in Cologne in April can answer the questions of visitors in all exhibition segments, across the course of the trade fair’s event and congress programme experts will also explores the technologies, measures and ideas the food industry can implement to address the myriad challenges presented by the energy turnaround, thus helping them to achieve the desired resource savings.



Within the scope of the event ‘Approaches for climate neutrality in the food industry’, the BE (Federation of German Food and Drink Industries) will bring experts from various sections together, who will demonstrate strategies and ways for the agriculture and food industry.


Meanwhile, organiser IVLV (the Industry Association for Food Technology and Packaging e.V., Freising, Germany) will host a talk entitled ‘Food production in the intelligent factory’, and organiser: DLG (the German Agricultural Society) will explore the technological innovations that are transforming the sustainable production of dairy products.




For further information on Anuga FoodTec, including list of exhibitors, and the event and congress programme, visit: www.anugafoodtec.com

Latest issue – Vol 3/22
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