Over the weekend interpack hit its stride, with crowds continuing to flood into Messe Düsseldorf.
Occurring every three years, interpack tends to serve as a snapshot, a gauge of how the industry has moved forward. In 2017 the most striking shift is undoubtedly the huge advances made in taking smart production from concept to reality. From Rockwell Automation's Best Future Machine awards to the special exhibition hosted by VDMA, there are hundreds of examples of Industry 4.0 applications that are delivering transformative improvements right now, even while much of the talk is about where we will be in 2020.
Bosch Packaging Technology gave practical demonstrations of how Industry 4.0 solutions can help achieve higher process safety and product quality in industries such as pharma and food. Detailed information about each machine, line or process status is provided by the Bosch's Condition Monitoring platform, which records data in real-time, enabling maintenance staff to react before cost-intensive process deviations or downtime occur. An example shown at interpack was the monitoring of filters, which ensure the consistent sterility of production processes. Special sensors within the machine control the sterilisation status of these filters. In case predefined parameters are infringed, operators receive a notification. This enables them to initiate maintenance activities quickly, and to prevent product loss due to non-sterile processes.