Interpack 2017

Mettler-Toledo gets more connected to Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things

Mettler-Toledo works across the whole F&B industry. Picture: Mettler-Toledo.

Developments surrounding Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) have started to facilitate a major paradigm shift in various manufacturing industries, according to Mettler-Toledo.

The company is showcasing four operational lines at Interpack in Dusseldorf, Germany, this week (May 4-10) relating to general food, dry food, wet food and pharmaceuticals. Highlights including new innovations in metal detection, checkweighing, vision inspection and inspection management software.

Industry 4.0 jigsaw puzzle

Neil Giles, marketing communications manager, Mettler-Toledo Product Inspection Division, said product inspection is only one piece of the Industry 4.0 jigsaw puzzle but the company wants to help manufacturers with a smooth integration.

Across the range of product inspection equipment, from metal detection and x-ray technologies to checkweighers and vision systems, Mettler-Toledo is constantly working with its customers to offer more and more advanced functionality,” he said.

A good example of connectivity between systems can be found in both checkweighers and x-ray machines. Both can be connected to filling systems to monitor over- and under-fills. This ‘Feedback Control’ function means customers can remain compliant in terms of weights and measures legislation and prevents costly product giveaway.”

Other highlights at the show include improved data management software, ProdX 2.0, to connect product inspection equipment across the entire production line into a single network.

An Emulation feature based on VNC technology, to remotely access and control multiple metal detectors via networked mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other production line equipment and a Profile Advantage Pipeline system to tackle the issue of bubbles and product voids to virtually eliminate false rejects in pipeline applications.    

Tradeshows are the perfect environment in which to gauge the current trends and challenges in the sectors a company serves,” said Giles.

Packaging innovations

Advances in technology will also be of interest, of course, as well as keeping abreast of the latest packaging innovations.

There are a large number of standards and regulations to monitor in the food sector - those under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) umbrella for instance.

These include FSSC 22000, SQF, IFS and BRC. More recently introduced legislation in the form of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is also high on the agenda for manufacturers. Of course, the frameworks to support compliance with the standards and law are also important.

The familiar HACCP approach and the newer HARPC, featured as a part of the FSMA, are major talking points.

Finally, the need for hygienically designed processing and packaging equipment across all segments continues to be essential in maintaining sanitation standards in production areas, without risking potential downtime. Inspection solutions designed with hygienic principles in mind, which encompass high ingress protection standards such as IP69, are a key requirement for many industries.”

The Product Inspection Division of Mettler Toledo incorporates the Safeline Metal Detection and X-ray Inspection, Garvens and Hi-Speed Checkweighing and the CI Vision and PCE Track & Trace brands.

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