Interpack is the leading international trade fair for packaging technology and machinery and is held every 3 years at the Düsseldorf exhibition center. It represents the complete value chain. In 2017, approximately 2,900 exhibitors were joined by more than 170,000 visitors from May 4 to 10.
In 2017, we had the opportunity to present our then still very young idea of a self-learning assistance system at the trade fair stand of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). In this context, we were also financially supported by the VDMA with the creation of a video about our vision. Since we did not want to shoot an animated film, but a real film, the search for a suitable location for the shoot was our biggest challenge. The video shoot on disruptions in the production process was of course not possible in real production processes. This is where our long-standing partner GEA Food Solutions GmbH came to our rescue. In the GEA technical center in Kempten, employees and test products were made available to us for a whole day in order to shoot our film. The result can be admired here.
In a butcher’s store, there are repeated production disruptions in the packaging of salami slices as a result of leaking packaging. The cause of the disturbances can only be found by experienced operators. The assistance system registers and stores this valuable experience knowledge. Since the assistance system learns to recognize conditions and malfunctions, it can proactively present the digitized knowledge to less experienced employees in the event of a similar malfunction in this or other plants.
We had an exceptionally exciting trade show and many interesting conversations. While the majority of our visitors dismissed our idea as a “nice, but completely unrealistic gimmick from research”, other conversations have developed into long-term, trusting partnerships.
At Interpack 2020 (May 7-13, 2020), we will once again be allowed to exhibit at the VDMA booth together with the Fraunhofer IVV Dresden. We are very much looking forward to being able to show in the same place that a prototype, a company and an extraordinary team have emerged from the “unrealistic gimmick” within 3 years.