FoodPro 2008 reassured me that innovation in the manufacturing sector is still breathing in Australia. The trade show was held in parallel with the 41st AIFST Convention in the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre and more than 280 companies exhibited their forefront technologies.
I was there on Monday 21st at lunch time and the traffic of people walking through the exhibits was fairly ligth. However, 3 years ago Foodpro attracted 8,500 people and the expectation this year was to break that record. The exhibition seemed to be well attended by manufacturers of food machinery and equipment. There were also food manufacturers, process and control automation providers and scientific equipment.
I was particularly interested in 3 products, I will talk about the first one below and I will discuss the other 2 in future postings:
Product 1: The Igloo insulated freezer doors from Envico. This patented design offers a high speed (1.3 m/s) opening. The door is designed for freezers operating at â€“18 oC to â€“25 oC, with an average U value of 1.54 W/m2 C (or K value of 0.65 m2 C/W). Although the insulation efficiency of solid sandwich panel doors is about 3.5 times better than the Igloo doors, these doors are slower to open and close. Normal strip curtains and non-insulated roller doors do not offer any real thermal protection (they only act as physical barriers to avoid leakage of cold air). Therefore, the Igloo doors do offer an alternative that combines both thermal protection and speed of operation. The design also avoids the tear and wear of the curtain blade.
Mark Brunton, the managing director of Envico, gave me a detailed explanation and a demonstration of the operation of the Igloo doors. My opinion is that this type of doors would be suited for chillers too. They seem easy to maintain and I think that these doors would be well suited for busy cold stores (e.g. foodservice and many pharmaceutical cold stores with high product rotation).
Next week: VIAScan system for measurement of meat quality and yield.