The 2022 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE), was held January 25-27, 2022 in Atlanta with more than 500,000 square feet of exhibit space and 1,140-plus exhibitors. Attendee numbers had not been released when this was written. Sponsored by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, American Feed Industry Association and the North American Meat Institute, IPPE is the world's largest annual poultry, meat and animal food industry event of its kind.
“In one word, our business has been strong,” said a 32-year exhibitor at IPPE, reflecting the sentiment expressed by many.
“We are pleased with the excitement displayed by this year’s attendees and exhibitors and their enthusiasm in reconnecting with their colleagues from around the world. The trade show floor and attendee and exhibitor numbers continue to complement IPPE’s unparalleled education sessions, invaluable networking opportunities and extensive exhibits highlighting the latest innovative technology, equipment and services for our industries,” remarked the three organizations.
The large trade show floor remains the central attraction. Numerous companies are showcasing their new products at IPPE, with all phases of the animal food, meat and poultry industries represented, from live production and processing to further processing and packaging.
Booth Visits: Wash-down Motors, Drives and Vacuum Egg Lift Systems
I visited the booth of Kuhl Corporation to examine their “SPEED VAC” Osuva Vacuum Egg Lift System. The product literature states, “one operator can handle 1,000 to 1,400 dozen eggs per hour depending on type and size of case used.” The OSUVA systems feature an overhead suspension system with different vacuum pump model and size options along with the necessary vacuum lift accessories to connect to up to four “head assemblies”. The head assembly is a lifter assembly with suction cups able to safely lift and transport up to 30 eggs. Three vacuum pump configurations, using the Thomas Piccolino model, are offered and are able to operate one to four “heads”, with multiple options including filters, pressure gauge, relief valve, tanks and tank drains.
A display of three different types of vacuum pumps used to power the Kuhl Vacuum Lift Systems used to safely and efficiently transport eggs. Hanging above the pumps are the egg lifter head assemblies.
At the WEG booth, I was shown the Hydroduty IP69K washdown application motor manufactured in the former Franklin Electric plant in Bluffton, Iowa. The EZ Connect system is unique and considered a top feature on the motor. It is suitable for 460 and 230 V operation and TEFC with a multi-mount terminal box. It is also TENV with the conduit box on “Opposite Drive End” allowing for cleaner installation.
Brandon Cook showing the WEG Hydroduty motor with EZ Connect technology.
At the ABB booth, Dave Felt was kind enough to review their EC-Titanium unit featuring an integrated motor and drive configuration. Manufactured in Fort Smith, Arkansas, there are two different configurations/models covering 30 hp and below applications. The efficiency rating is IE5.
The two ABB EC-Titanium units featuring an integrated motor and drive.
Booth Visits: Food Safety and Software for Safety Audits
The larger booths featuring all the food processing automation equipment were of course (who isn’t?) talking about their “IIoT” Industrial Internet of Things” solutions to increase productivity, reliability and efficiency. At one booth I asked them how they are monitoring quality with their IIoT solutions. One major OEM said that if a customer wants to add on “Quality Audits” to the solution, they were “bolting-on” a software solution from a firm called SafetyChain – so off I went to their booth.
I had a great visit at the SafetyChain booth speaking with and learning from poultry industry veteran Dustin Cheatham. By the way, do you know what a “broiler” is? I can rest easy now having learned to properly refer to that type of chicken. Anyways, Dustin explained that firms like Chick Filet are very demanding on their suppliers when it comes to Quality and Quality Audit Systems. I was personally pleased to hear this! He went on to say it’s not unusual for them to demand Safety Audit Reports, on a slew of quality metrics, once per week, per production line, per plant.
Referencing Tyson as a major client, Dustin showed me the SafetyChain Quality Management Software (QMS) and the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) package. The former focuses on program management for compliance with third-party certifications like ISO, GFSI, SQF, FSSC, BRC and HACCP. I thought an interesting comment he made was that in the poultry industry, SQF is used by more than half of the firms with BRC being the second-most used quality system used.
I asked Dustin, who is a specialist in the poultry and protein market, if compressed air, pneumatic conveying blower air, vacuum or cooling water quality is ever integrated into the quality reporting systems he’s worked on and he said “no”. He said he was familiar with these on-site utilities and that it would be simple to add some folders to their QMS software to monitor quality metrics for these plant utilities.
Dustin Cheatham at the SafetyChain booth.
Vacuum, Cooling, Compressed Air: Quality is the Responsibility of the Plant
The OSSID booth was quite large and I zeroed in on their E40 REEPACK Line featuring a built-in chiller, a built-in vacuum pump and compressed air powered vacuum venturis for the suction cups. Service technicians at the booth told me the closed-circuit chiller provides cooling water at room temperature for the seal bars and reduces water use for clients. The rotary vane vacuum pump powers the vacuum seal and wrap process and the compressed air was “prepared” by an inlet filter and pressure regulator.
I asked the OSSID technicians if the machine had a compressed air quality specification and they said they tell clients the units require “clean, dry compressed air” and that compliance is the responsibility of the plants where they place their machines. I want to note that as far as I could tell, compressed air did not enter into direct contact with food in this OSSID machine.
It makes sense that compressed air quality should be the responsibility of the plant, since the plant owns and operates the system. Yet, if a machine is designed to package food, and compressed air enters into direct or indirect contact with food, shouldn’t it have an alarm function (like a compressed air dew point monitor) to ensure no moisture (water or oil) is entering into contact with the food? This train of thought made me think of that old article I wrote titled, “Oil in the Wurst.” I wonder if anybody remembers that story?
The OSSID E40 REEPACK Line featuring a built-in chiller, vacuum pump and compressed air powered vacuum venturis for the suction cups.
The Cryovac booth had vacuum pumps on prominent display with both a Busch R5 RA 0840Plus and an Atlas Copco GHS 900 VSD+. The firm is placing a major emphasis on IIoTT solutions and monitoring of all key performance indicators.
The Cryovac booth had vacuum pumps on prominent display with both a Busch R5 RA 0840Plus and an Atlas Copco GHS 900 VSD+.
Schmalz is making real inroads with ergonomic handling systems. Focusing on worker safety and health, these systems move goods weighing up to 660 lbs (300 kg) quickly and safely. Using a vacuum tube lifter, workers can move cardboard boxes, bags, barrels, wooden boards, packaging and a variety of other applications. The team explained they have moved towards on-board vacuum pumps to power the tube lifter or suction cups – and have moved almost entirely away from compressed air powered vacuum venture systems.
The team at Schmalz next to an ergonomic handling system.
The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is a collaboration of three shows - International Feed Expo, International Meat Expo and the International Poultry Expo - representing the entire chain of protein production and processing. The event is sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY).
Founded in 1909, the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), based in Arlington, VA, is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to representing the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the U.S. animal food industry and its suppliers. The organization’s membership is comprised of more than 650 domestic and international companies that represent the total feed industry—manufacturers of commercial and integrated feed and pet food, ingredient suppliers, pharmaceutical companies, industry support and equipment manufacturers. AFIA’s members manufacture more than 75% of the feed and 70% of the non-whole grain ingredients used in the country. AFIA is also recognized as the leader on international industry developments and holds membership in the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF).
The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) is the leading voice for the meat and poultry industry. Formed from the 2015 merger of the American Meat Institute (AMI) and North American Meat Association (NAMA), the Institute has a rich, century-long history and provides essential member services including legislative, regulatory, scientific, international and public affairs representation. NAMI’s mission is to shape a public policy environment in which the meat and poultry industry can produce wholesome products safely, efficiently and profitably. Together, the Institute’s members produce the vast majority of U.S. beef, pork, lamb and poultry and the equipment, ingredients and services needed for the highest quality products.
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY) is the All Feather Association progressively serving its poultry and egg members through research, education, communications and technical services. Founded in 1947, USPOULTRY is based in Tucker, Georgia.
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