The Latest Preparations for Powtech Run at Full Blast
Individualization of Products
With a view to the future, digitalization and other concepts, that run under the roof of Industry 4.0 applications, will reach even further. Marijke Vreugdenhil, Marketing Manager at Dutch KSE Process Technology, describes the demands that plant operators currently place on process control systems: “The biggest challenge is the ever-increasing flexibility that plants, and therefore also the control systems, are expected to offer. It’s a consequence of increasing product individualisation.”
So, for example, farmers demand their own specially formulated feed mixes, and feed producers respond by flexibly changing their recipes. “On this basis we can assume that every farm animal will soon have its own specially formulated food, a phenomenon we can already see in the pet food industry. Another hot topic, of course, will be the need for absolute traceability — i.e. tracking and tracing — in future, from seed through to the final meat product.”
Containment Not Only in the Pharma Sector
There are also new regulatory requirements. Thus, the topic of Reach is slightly out of focus. With regard to Reach, several companies must change in thinking and convert their previous open processes in closed procedures. This must not always be a disadvantage, but also offers new chances for the process design. However, several modifications are necessary, when examining today’s conventional multistage procedures for processing solids: Materials must be filled from big-bags, crushed and blended with additives. This mixture or the intermediate product must then be filled in other containers, before reaching the next process step or even the end customer.
To transform this open handling process in a closed process, concepts exist, which also have the cost factor in view. In this case, it helps to seek contact with the apparatus engineers. In addition, such aspects as batch integrity and prevention of product spreading as well as various hygienic requirements must also be taken into consideration, which for a long time no longer only concern the pharmaceutical applications.
Focus: Explosion Protection
Above all, there are the requirements for explosion and fire prevention. Even if the broom is always used as the simplest means for the prevention of dust explosions (a clean production is in fact the main prerequisite for safe operation), advanced explosion protection measures are a must at many systems of the Powtech exhibitors. Since close contact with specialists is indispensable in this area, a visit to Nuremberg is thus worth twice as much.