Every three years FoodTech Qld sets up in Brisbane to showcase the latest equipment, products and services in the food and beverage manufacturing sector. This year more than 130 exhibitors were there, with a series of seminars covering the future of food, the importance of digitalisation, waste and sustainability. Kim Berry was there.
For general manager Alister Joyce, the biggest change the team at food processing and packaging specialist Highgate has seen in the last five years is the embrace of technology.
“Before that there was a lot of reticence and the mentality of ‘we’ve been doing it this way for years and it works, why would we spend money to change’? But now, people are seeing the outlay brings massive improvements in productivity and that the machinery can pay for itself in a matter of years,” Joyce says.
Highgate’s stand featured its wrapping prowess and an intimidating knife-sharpening behemoth.
“Robots can do a lot.” This was managing director Mark Emmett providing possibly the most succinct summation of robotics. “They are quicker and more flexible than other automation, they can be programmed for multiple tasks and new products coming onto the market all the time,” he says.
Primary and secondary packaging, palletising, warehouse and distribution, Emmett says innovation and change are constants that have to be embraced.