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ProSweets Cologne 2020

New possibilities in coating and portioning and new applications of artificial intelligence in the sweets and snacks sections

The time has come again from 2 to 5 February 2020: The supplier trade fair of the sweets and snacks industry, ProSweets Cologne, will once again be opening its doors and in addition to diversified ingredients will be presenting the latest developments in the packing machines and materials alongside innovative production technologies. Numerous exhibitors will demonstrate how even complex production and packing processes can be optimised intelligently: For even more quality, efficiency and sustainability.

For example, among others the Italian exhibitor, IMA, will be presenting the IMA GIMA FTO513, a high-speed wrapping machine. The FTO513 is a high-speed wrapping machine for one or several products. In spite of its high processing speed, the FTO513, which can process up to 300 sheets a minute, offers a host of technically advanced solutions in order to guarantee a forgery-proof, high-quality appearance of the packing. These include an inline tear-off tape unit, a double roll holder and an automatic adhesive film device. The FTO513 Fin Seal is also available as a model with an airtight sealing option and is the ideal solution for moisture-sensitive products and for extending the total shelf life of the products.

Furthermore, IMA is presenting intelligent solutions for maximising the efficiency of film and sugar coating processes at ProSweets Cologne in the form of its flexible IMA active coating plants and coating machines. The construction of solid wall and perforated drums guarantees perfect mixing and gentle product handling.

IMA Gima and IMA Active are the reference brands for the planning and production of customer-specific processing and packing machines on the sweets market. In the packing section, IMA produces machines for the primary, secondary and final packing: Wrapping machines, horizontal and vertical case packing/filling machines, blister machines, flowpack packing machines, tray packing machines,  packing machines for counter or shelf displays or case packers and palletisers.

The sweet side of artificial intelligence
In the scope of its first deep-learning project, the exhibitor Bi-Ber implemented visual product testing for a manufacturer of fine chocolate and wafer products. During the final inspection it is checked that no foreign bodies are contained inside the products and that they correspond with the aesthetic standards. Hitherto a visual inspection was necessary to carry out this task, because the conventional rule-based, automatic image processing (machine vision) couldn't reliably distinguish between irregularly structured surfaces and normal variations. The automatic quality control that is based on artificial intelligence (AI) is now to increase the recognition reliability.

Bi-Ber implemented the CognexVisionProViDi software for the development of this system, which contains among others an efficient tool for segmentation and error recognition and which only needs a few images to train an artificial neural network. For instance, Bi-Ber only used 49 images of good products and 58 of reject products for the test run. After Bi-Ber had mastered this task, new shapes and products can be programmed in just four minutes. Bi-Ber has programmed the fully-integrated software and hardware system with sample shapes. In the six-month trial operation, new shapes are currently being added and matched. Bi-Ber will be presenting how the technology works exactly at this year's ProSweets Cologne.

Tailor-made solutions for the precise portioning and shaping of snacks, fine bakery products and sweets as well as for protein and fruit bars
The long-term ProSweets Cologne exhibitor, VEMAG Maschinenbau GmbH, will demonstrate solutions for the exact shaping and accurate portioning of fine doughs as well as for paste-like, pumpable masses. Diversity and individuality, paired with fast, often seasonal and trend-oriented product changes. Whether checkerboard cookies, marzipan hearts or date-based protein bars, healthy food, super-foods or vegan snacks: Reliable, automated and quickly convertible production lines are imperative success factors to deal with the continual changeovers of the demanding customer requirements, both for the trade and for the industry. At ProSweets Cologne among others the flexibly implementable Robot500 portioner with the cutting device ASV811, a filling machine of the HPE series with integrated MMP223 portioner and the multitray loader MTL280 will be presented for the inserting and depositing of items into packaging. The centrepiece of the VEMAG machines are the so-called flow curves, which transport doughs and masses in a particularly gentle manner without squeezing them following the double spindle principle.

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