The fifth edition of Gulfood Manufacturing, the Middle East’s largest food and beverage processing forum which runs at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) this November, promises to be the Gulfood spin-off’s most well-rounded and forward-looking exhibition and conference to date, offering a 360-degree solutions platform for a regional industry buoyed by strong consumer demand in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
While retaining its long-standing reputation as the principal place to conduct multimillion-dollar business transactions with exhibitors from 60 countries showcasing the latest industry development tools, Gulfood Manufacturing 2018, which runs from November 6-8, boasts a range of features that put it firmly in the realm of future forecasting, trend tracking and sector education.
Four key features – a ‘Big Buyers’ programme, where up to 2,000 buyers are hosted; innovation demos, which will provide deep insights into artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and robotics; Gulfood Manufacturing Industry Excellence Awards, designed to inspire and reward process innovations, and a probing FoodTech Summit – have been integrated to strengthen the event’s position as the vanguard of F&B transformation.
“The breadth of food production technology is so wide that the industry requires a multi-offering platform showcasing advanced manufacturing,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events, DWTC. “Suppliers from around the world have their eyes fixed on the Middle East, where cross-sector demand continues to climb. Regional producers are now scaling up and utilising higher grade technology to meet Industry 4.0 demands. The Gulfood Manufacturing 2018 programme has adopted a multi-audience approach that speaks to both producers and suppliers.”
The Gulfood Manufacturing conference series, under its new identity “FoodTech Summit”, will set the agenda for the industry’s vision, with deep insights into the future – near and far. Sessions will focus on the ‘Factory of the Future’ and a look at how Industry 4.0 – or the fourth Industrial Revolution – is redefining the F&B manufacturing and processing industry. The talks will pose challenging compelling questions and suggest steps to keep the regional industry relevant in the digital era.
On the show floor, visitors will find an exhibition that continues to outperform expectations. By homing in on individual areas of relevance, Gulfood Manufacturing now hosts five dedicated sectors – Ingredients, Processing, Packaging, Automation & Controls, and Supply Chain Solutions – to improve the experience for both buyer and seller, so both can make better use of visit times.
Together the five sectors will span 80,000 square meters of space across 16 halls and showcase solutions from more than 1,600 local, regional and international industry service providers from 60 countries, as well as tens of thousands of visitors.
Real International Reach
Such is the show’s expanding international reputation that one of the global food manufacturing industry’s biggest players, Ishida of Japan – a world leader in helping manufacturers reduce costs, increase efficiencies and maximise profits through its state-of-the-art weighing, packing and inspection solutions – has dubbed the event “by far the best food manufacturing and packaging show in the Middle East”.
Having participated at Gulfood Manufacturing since its inception in 2014, Ishida returns in 2018 with a futuristic product portfolio including X-ray inspection systems and its Sentinel line monitoring software that allows manufacturers to optimise productions lines remotely and prevent faults from occurring. The firm plans to use the wide-reaching appeal of Gulfood Manufacturing to target conversions in Turkey, Egypt, the wider African continent, India, Pakistan and Central Europe.
“We are seeing a rise in regional demand for convenience and ready-to-eat foods. For manufacturers to remain competitive and maximise the opportunities offered by this growth, it is important to automate processes to reduce costs, minimise product waste and increase packing speeds and overall line efficiencies,” explained Torsten Giese, Marketing Manager – PR & Exhibitions, Ishida Europe.
“Data is going to play a starring role in the future of food production. The entire production process will be mapped digitally and analysed in real time while big data and machine learning enables processes to be continually optimised, quality standards to be raised and heightened predictive maintenance for all connected equipment to avoid any loss of output or unscheduled downtime, which can have negative consequences for a food production business.”
“Any manufacturer wanting to stay competitive should be working to build up a smart factory and making use of big data solutions. Ishida specialises in this area and our stand at Gulfood Manufacturing will feature the latest developments in how we help our customers with their food packing automation,” added Giese.
The Innovation demos will be an early alert system for the industry’s future with participants taking in examples of robots working among humans at production lines, and high-speed machines with capacity to churn out bags at 200 units per minute. Participants will include some of the 2,000 pre-qualified, C-Level management attendees from across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia being hosted through the show’s expansive ‘Big Buyer’ programme, which feeds investment appetites.
The Gulfood Manufacturing Industry Excellence Awards will recognise and reward best practices and innovation within the food manufacturing industry value chain. The awards will be judged by an international panel of experts representing food processing and packaging industries, graphics experts, equipment suppliers, academia, trade press, governmental, environmental and trade organisations.