The Intelligent Integration of Packaging Machines in Food Industry
At present, the deep integration of a new generation of Internet technology and the food industry is triggering far-reaching changes in the food industry. In the five years from 2012 to 2016, China’s economy entered a new normal, changing from “well-fed” to “well-fed”. Large food groups with annual sales of tens of billions of yuan continued to emerge, and the supporting food and packaging machinery developed from stand-alone operation to the whole-line production of the entire industrial chain; from single-person manual operation to robot cooking, food delivery, packaging, palletizing and other deep integration of the Internet and artificial intelligence.
Robots lead the upgrading of the food industry
In recent years, the emergence of different types of robotic equipment has affected all aspects of the food industry in terms of labor costs, resource investment, production capacity efficiency, and food safety, and has put a modern and intelligent label on the food industry. Such as food picking robots, food processing robots, food packaging robots, palletizing robots, cooking robots, etc., even complex Chinese food can be produced “unmanned”.
Intelligent cooking machines-There is a “future Supermarket” in Hangzhou West Lake Cultural Plaza, with self-service vegetable vending machines and 18 intelligent cooking machines, with 28 kinds of dishes to choose from. Customers can put the dishes into the cooking smart machine to complete the cooking just like buying drinks at the self-service shopping machine, and enjoy the delicious food on the spot. The supermarket has also introduced 16 unmanned cash register machines, so customers can complete the whole shopping process by themselves.
Automatic meal sales system-In July last year, an automatic meal sales system called “Fanmeimei” was launched at the Beijing International Trade Hotel. The first batch of smart vending machines unveiled at Beijing South Railway Station and office buildings use a three-stage cold chain distribution heating method. Consumers can either buy on-site or book meals through the APP in advance.
Unmanned restaurant-When cooking and cooking are replaced by robots, “unmanned restaurant” will naturally come. A factory in China specializing in the production of fast food and lunch boxes is on fire. 500 kilograms of rice, 250 kilograms of vegetables, meat and vegetables were packed into the production line, and they were all transformed into boxes of steaming fresh meals in less than an hour. Surprisingly, there was no one cooking, cooking, or loading dishes in the whole process, and there was no worker, chef, or waiter at the scene.
Unmanned factory-A few days ago, CCTV broadcast an “unmanned factory” for making dumplings, making noodles—making dumpling skins—putting dumpling stuffing—making dumplings—packing—packaging and forming a set of completely unmanned automatic production lines. From noodles, stuffing to kneading dumplings, it’s done in one go. Pneumatic grippers accurately code and place the formed dumplings neatly; after the automatic packaging is completed, the unqualified dumplings are removed by X-rays and metal detectors. In the unmanned packaging production line workshop of this factory, only two employees in the 500-square-meter workshop are conducting daily inspections.
3D printed food-the ingredients are prepared by programming, and the food is made with a single click. The 3D-printed chocolate, ice cream, jelly, pancake stand and other products have attracted the attention of many people. Through a 3D printer, soft liquid edible substances are squeezed out of the nozzle, and the ingredients are stacked layer by layer according to the instructions of the computer, and cute 3D printed foods are born one by one. In the view of many professionals, this kind of high-tech technology that is compatible with the concepts of nutrition and health may change people’s lives and aesthetic culture in the future.
A big step forward in the localization of food equipment
In the five years from 2012 to 2016, our country has realized the localization of food equipment and made great strides in improving it. Among them, a relatively complete product system has been formed in terms of common technologies and conventional equipment. The deep processing of agricultural products, the crushing, pressing, extraction, filtration and treatment of food raw materials and processes, liquid food filling, high-precision meat slaughtering and processing equipment, key technologies for clean production, various types of automatic high-speed packaging equipment, high-speed online food testing equipment, high-tech testing technology and equipment for food pollutants and packaging, food tracking and traceability technology and other key fields have rapidly shortened the gap, basically meeting the needs of domestic food industrial production, and some fields have reached the international advanced level. At the same time, a group of key backbone enterprises with strong R&D capabilities, a certain scale, and operating income exceeding 1 billion yuan have also emerged.
In 2012, the total industrial output value of China’s food and packaging machinery industry was 250 billion yuan; in 2013, the total industrial output value was 295 billion yuan; in 2014, the total industrial output value was 340 billion yuan; in 2015, the total industrial output value was 389.3 billion yuan.
At present, China’s macroeconomics has entered a new normal, and the development of various industries has gradually changed from high-speed to medium- and high-speed, from large-scale and speed-based extensive growth to quality-efficiency intensive growth, from element investment-driven to innovation-driven, the food industry and the food technology and equipment industry that provides support must face the transformation and upgrading of the industry and structural adjustment.
The trend of mergers and acquisitions in the industry is obvious
Looking at various fields of food equipment, the profit margins of industries in the fields of liquid food packaging, dairy product processing, livestock and poultry product processing, alcohol and condiment brewing are relatively high compared to other industries. Therefore, extraterritorial capital is rushing to enter the field of food equipment, which is manifested in the industry’s large—scale equity financing, listing financing, and mergers and acquisitions and integration in related industrial chains. The capital market’s attention to this field has continued to increase, and its performance in the first half of 2014-2016 was particularly outstanding.
Starting from the listing of Dayilong, more than 20 food equipment companies such as Xinmeixing, Pulisheng, Weihai Yuanhang, Hangzhou Zhongya, Hangzhou Yongchuang, Shandong Dingtaisheng, Hunan Boya Intelligent, etc. have successively landed on the GEM and the New Third Board. Large-scale capital market intervention has provided a lot of financial support to the industry, which has greatly helped enterprises to innovate products, adjust their industrial structure, and highlight their competitive advantages; further expanded production capacity and scale, and increased investment in basic facilities of enterprises; a number of iconic products that meet the development needs of the food industry and have made technological breakthroughs have been put on the market one after another; the enterprise development model has been further optimized and the innovation ability has continued to improve, and at the same time it has played a strong catalytic role in accelerating the mergers and acquisitions and integration of the food equipment industry.
Breakthroughs in key technologies and equipment
In the past five years, it has been the historical period with the largest investment in the field of food technology and equipment in China, the broadest range of professional technology and research fields, the highest degree of technology integration and industrialization, the largest number of standard and patent achievements, the fastest transformation of scientific research achievements, the most obvious technology-driven and demonstration effects, and the greatest economic and social benefits. A number of key technical and equipment problems have been overcome successively, and fruitful results have been achieved in the development of technologies and key equipment in key fields such as grain and oil, fruits and vegetables, livestock and poultry products, aquatic product processing, and liquid food packaging, and the ability of independent innovation has been greatly enhanced.
A number of core technologies and advanced equipment with independent intellectual property rights have been developed in various fields of food equipment, and many complete lines and stand-alone technical equipment with high levels of intelligence, automation and greening have been launched. Major breakthroughs have been made in the research of key technologies such as non-thermal processing of food, biodegradable food packaging materials, online safety testing and quality control, food safety traceability covering the entire industry chain, remote control and diagnosis based on Internet of Things technology, such as including 6,000 bottles/hour 5L large-capacity blowing, filling and spinning all-in-one machine; 36,000 bottles/hour PET bottled vegetable protein beverage aseptic filling production line; 72,000 cans/hour high-speed pure draft beer can production line; 15,000 bottles/hour PET milk aseptic cold filling combination machine and 18,000 bottles/hour Hourly PET bottle fermented milk ultra-clean filling combination machine; intelligent storage system; liquid food robot automated packaging production line; Xiaoqujiu robot automatic identification and retort system; intelligent liquor brewing system; condiment grain solid intelligent fermentation unit and its complete equipment key technology; potato whole flour production key technology; fully automatic continuous intelligent sterilization kettle; 220 kg/hour intelligent semi-dry noodle production line; 12,000/hour broiler automatic slaughter and processing production line and a number of key technologies and equipment.
Build and improve the integrated innovation system of industry, university and research
In the past five years, with the policy support of relevant national ministries and commissions, China’s food equipment industry has basically formed a technological innovation model that relies on the (national) strategic alliance for technological innovation in the food equipment industry, with large and medium-sized backbone enterprises as the main body, scientific research units and institutions of higher learning as the support, and a combination of industry, university and research. A group of food equipment enterprises with strong scientific and technological innovation capabilities have been supported in various subdivided fields. In the process of technological innovation, industry-university-research cooperation has continued to develop in depth, the level of cooperation has been continuously improved, the cooperation model has been continuously innovated, the talent team has been continuously strengthened, and the overall quality has generally improved. The number of universities carrying out food equipment-related teaching and scientific research has increased, and a number of national and provincial R&D centers and demonstration bases have been established. It has played an important role in optimizing scientific and technological resources and improving innovation efficiency. It has broken through a number of key technologies and major product technologies common to the industry, and solved some of the technical bottlenecks that affect the development of the industry.
Due to the strong support of the state, a relatively perfect innovative scientific research system, and continuous investment in scientific research, the product structure of food equipment enterprises has developed in the direction of diversification, high-quality, and functionalization. The proportion of high-tech and high-value-added products has steadily increased, and a complete industrial chain of echelon-type products has been established. The overall performance of the products has gradually improved. Some equipment products have filled the gaps in many domestic fields and shortened the gap between China’s food equipment technology and the international advanced level. The technical level of high-end key equipment and complete sets of equipment is close to the international advanced level, and the performance of some products has reached or exceeded the foreign advanced level. Some products have replaced imports and opened up the international market; Key complete sets of equipment have been realized From long-term dependence on imports to the basic realization of autonomy and complete export, the mid-range products have been basically localized, and the technical level and reliability of the whole machine have increased year by year; low-end products are gradually being transformed or eliminated in structural adjustment due to the defects of low technical configuration, high failure rate and high energy consumption.
The food equipment industry has made rapid overall progress in the field of liquid food with a high degree of automation and informationization, and dairy products have developed rapidly in terms of aseptic filling and packaging materials; some fields of beer and beverage equipment have already achieved international competitiveness; liquor equipment has been serialized and industrialized from scratch, and packaging equipment has been serialized and industrialized, and pre-liquor brewing has achieved intelligent line breakthroughs in some fields; wine equipment has been localized in the later packaging links, but there is still a certain gap in the front crushing, pressing, filtering, processing, etc. ; Soy sauce, vinegar, rice wine and other grain brewing has developed rapidly in recent years, and with the increasing standardization and systematization of traditional technology research, brewing Equipment has begun to appear intelligent; alcohol equipment has begun to take on international competitive strength.
Livestock and poultry meat processing machinery has shown an explosive growth trend in recent years. With the continuous theoretical research of traditional meat processing technology in our country by various scientific research institutes, a large number of automated equipment has appeared in various process stages such as slaughter, segmentation, baking, kneading, crushing, extrusion, smoking, and conditioning.
In terms of pasta and baking equipment, various simple manual-operated machinery in the past are increasingly being replaced by automated and even intelligent production lines such as fully automatic noodles, buns, dumplings, and pastries in the central kitchen.
In terms of canned food equipment, our country’s two-piece cans and three-piece cans have been matured and applied. What needs to be improved is the automatic filling machinery suitable for various meat, fruits and vegetables and other contents, as well as the corresponding complete process processing supporting equipment.
The field of fruit and vegetable processing has developed rapidly in recent years, and a relatively complete industrial equipment system has been established in the pretreatment fields of crushing, extraction, powder blowing, cutting, vegetable cleaning, drying, concentration, dehydration, etc.
In terms of sugar-making equipment, it has begun to take on international competitive strength, and it needs to be improved in terms of energy consumption and emissions.
The strategy of equipment companies going global is beginning to bear fruit
After more than 20 years of development, some of our country’s food equipment products have become internationally competitive, and the strategy of going global has begun to bear fruit. Customs statistics show that in 2015, China’s total import and export of food and packaging machinery was US77.285 billion, of which the total import and export of food machinery was US22.925 billion and the total import and export of packaging machinery was US44.361 billion. In 2015, our country’s food and packaging machinery imports and exports achieved a trade surplus for the first time, and the surplus reached a peak of US6609 million in the past 10 years, reflecting that our country’s food equipment has a certain international competitiveness and is in a favorable position in the international market. At various food exhibitions such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Harbin, Zhengzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Nanning, etc., foreign equipment buyers such as Southeast Asia, India, and Russia are seen from time to time. Our equipment is cost-effective and is their first choice for investment and factory establishment. At the same time, advanced enterprises such as beer and beverage equipment in our country have gone abroad to participate in exhibitions and promote them abroad.