Process and packaging solutions on display

06 September 2022

Control Engineering Europe reports on some of the highlights of the forthcoming PPMA Total show, which is taking place from 27-29 September at the NEC in Birmingham, in the UK.

The PPMA Total Show 2022 returns in full force this year – at the NEC, Birmingham, UK from 27-29th September. The event will play host to a wide variety of innovative product launches, technology advances and live demonstrations of the latest smart manufacturing solutions of process, packaging. Machinery, robotics and industrial vision. 
Now in its 34th year, and incorporating three major exhibition brands, including Pakex and Interphex, PPMA Total Show 2022 will deliver a mix of best-in-class machinery, ancillary products and live equipment demonstrations catering for a wide range of sectors including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, household products and toiletries, building supplies, pet care, FMCG and contract packing.  

This year the event will see over 350 stands representing 2,000 brands, with exhibitors ranging from multi-national corporations to specialist niche companies – what they all have in common is a genuine interest in making a positive difference to the businesses of visitors to the show. 

“I can say with confidence and experience that PPMA Total’s success over the years lies in the fact that the show’s agenda is always a true reflection of the direction of the industry with the needs and the requirements of visitors at its heart,” said Richard Little, PPMA show director.  “There is always something to discover throughout the aisles – be that new processing equipment, a small niche product or a whole integrated production solution that can increase production efficiencies, deliver cost savings or simply enhance operations for visitor’s businesses.”

Visitors will also benefit from the networking opportunities and the potential to developing future business partnerships, with the event giving access to industry experts who are willing to share their insights, expertise and knowledge.  “Where else can you access such a wealth of free consultancy whilst being surrounded by the largest gathering of live technology demonstrations and new product launches – there really is no substitute for face-to-face conversation and getting real ‘hands-on’ experience with the latest equipment,”  continued Little.

“While innovation will remain a key theme throughout the show, machinery, equipment and services that offer real production efficiencies, labour and cost savings as well as helping to deliver on sustainability commitments will be a high priority for visitors at solutions to help them through the increasingly demanding economic challenges.”  

Industrial safety engineering specialist Euchner will be launching two new products – the Industry 4.0 Ready CTS safety switch and CKS2 coded key system. In addition, it will showcase its range of guard locking products available for common fieldbus connections.
The all-new, one-fits-all CTS is Euchner’s first FlexFunction device which expands its product range by sitting between the all-round CTP and specialist CTM safety switch solutions, combining the best of both worlds in a single switch while offering maximum flexibility. A key innovation of the compact CTS – which is IO-Link compatible and Industry 4.0 ready – is the w FlexFunction feature that, by using the transponder-coded actuator to determine the switch’s function, allows a single device to perform a wide variety of functions that would otherwise require several switch variants. Its compact dimensions, high locking force of 3,900N and suitability to mount in three orientations ensures the CTS is suitable for use across numerous safety engineering applications.
Combined with highly-coded, transponder-based keys, the CKS2 forms a safe system that meets the high safety requirements required for machine and installation lockout and starting. Various safety engineering tasks are possible with this key system. Additionally, combining it with Euchner’s IO-Link Gateways expands its applications and enables comprehensive diagnostic and communication functions.  Further, the CKS2 can be integrated as a module within Euchner’s Multifunction Gate Box MGB2, expanding the functionality of the simple door interlocking solution to a small control terminal with access control.

AI deployment 
A single demonstration line running on the Omron stand will reveal how a dynamic manufacturing operation – in this case filling – can see dramatic efficiency and uptime improvements from the deployment of AI in at least two areas: intelligent machine control; and fault detection and remediation. 

Many operations gather large amounts of often unusable data, which is stored in the cloud at plant level, and requires subsequent analysis before it can be acted upon. The first of Omron’s two areas of digital intelligence is focused at machine-level, through its Sysmac controller with edge-based AI. With filling handled by an i4 SCARA robot, the small bottling line will demonstrate how this technology can deliver real-time trend analysis and alerts on the fly. 

This live data-at-the-edge, combined with the controller’s adaptive intelligence, allows the system to flag up any anomalies. Depending on operational priorities, these could relate – for example - to fill level, visual defects or mechanical properties such as machine torque. Any deviation outside a defined window can be preset to trigger a visual alert, alarm or even – in the case of safety-critical variables – line shutdown.

Omron will also be demonstrating its Advanced Services offering based on the use of augmented reality (AR). Using AR glasses, in-house engineers can work with a remote expert to correct any machine malfunction they cannot diagnose or remedy themselves. The bottling line demo on the stand will also give visitors the chance to see Omron’s Advanced Services in action. 

Valve control
The Festo stand will focus on applications for the process and packaging sector, including process valve controls, servo-controlled flow wrapping and a new solution for controlling web tension with dancing rollers – an OEM balancer is being introduced to simplify integration of the counter-balance controls needed within mechanical structures. 
Energy costs are a massive issue for all manufacturers today and Festo will show some examples of how to monitor and control compressed air usage to reduce energy consumption.  Recent examples have shown air consumption can be reduced by over 40% using the VTEM motion terminal.  Here the guess work and variability of applications can be eliminated and only the air required to make the cylinder movement within the given time and with the current load, is expended.
Also on show will be the new Festo LX online learning platform which offers users access to a library of training resources. This subscription-based tool is said to provide the perfect hybrid blend of online and hands-on upskilling. Festo Didactic is actively engaged in helping customers take their employees through the journey of embracing Lean methodologies, streamlining and stabilising their processes before they uplift them to the next level of digitalisation technology.

Making connections
HARTING will be showing its Han F+B connector series which is Ecolab approved and resistant to the aggressive cleaning agents used in the food and splash zones. The polypropylene housings conform to FDA 21 and all hoods, housings and seals are IP69K rated, so the connections are fully resistant to water cleaning jets.

As well as hygiene, HARTING has also considered the impact of machine downtimes, designing in features which keep production line disruption to a minimum. Also on show will be the Han F+B Hybrid data, signal, and power integrated cable assemblies, which are available in customised lengths. These are supplied pre-assembled and fully tested.

For non-food zones such as control cabinets and packaging areas, we offer a wide range of connectivity solutions including modular systems and time-saving innovations such as rear mounting.

PPMA Total Show 2022 is free to attend.  Go to to secure your free visitor pass.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page