PROCESS EXPO 2019 Opens Its Doors Today

Process Expo

New technologies and integrated solutions are among the key pillars of this year’s PROCESS EXPO trade show. More details about the event are provided for Frozen Food Europe by David Seckman, president and CEO of the FPSA, just as the fair is set to start today in Chicago.

by Alexandra Arici & Dan Orehov

Why should industry players consider attending the PROCESS Expo event this year?

Produced by the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA), PROCESS EXPO is the nation’s largest trade show dedicated to bringing the latest technology and integrated solutions to all segments of the food and beverage processing and packaging industry. Processors gain a competitive advantage and increase their profits with the innovative technology on the show floor, where food processing and packaging experts demonstrate their machines and products. Both veterans and those new to food and beverage processing and packaging get training on food safety, trends, leadership, and more. We are expecting approximately 15,000 participants this year, a 10% increase from the 2017 event.

What are some of the novelties of this edition?

There will be five live production lines that will be taking place at this year’s PROCESS EXPO.  Demonstrations will run three times daily from October 8–10 and one additional demonstration has been added to the Day 4 schedule on October 11 due to the overwhelming popularity of this show floor activity. The five production lines include a Frozen Pizza Line which moves from the creation of the crust through the depositing of sauces and toppings and the packaging of the finished product.  The Sliced Pepperoni Line will begin with raw meat that is processed in a vacuum filler before being transferred to a smokehouse truck. From there the sticks of pepperoni will be sliced and loaded for packaging in shingle style packs commonly seen in the supermarket.

Please provide some details about the Educational Program that will be available during the trade show.

Food Safety, IIOT, and technological innovations take center stage in the PROCESS EXPO University educational program. This technical program has been designed to address critical areas such as:

  • Key Automation Technologies
  • Turning Data into Information
  • Creating the Secure Digital Factory
  • Sustainability Topics in Processing and/or Packaging
  • Alternative Forms of Production
  • Innovative Technologies Coming to Manufacturing Facilities
  • Labor Saving Improvements in Food Processing
  • Balancing Capital Investment with Sustainability Goals
  • Energy Savings in Food Production and Packaging.

In addition, PROCESS EXPO, is partnering with the Food Safety Summit, the largest conference & expo on food safety in North America to offer a food safety track of educational. Sessions will focus on

  • What Food Processors Need to Know to Protect Their Brand
  • How Food Processors Should Be Working with their Local Food and Drug Officials
  • Food Safety Transportation Act and the Impact for Food Processors
  • Microbial Intervention in Food Processing
  • Food Safety Tips for Produce Processors
  • Food Fraud and Intentional Adulteration.

Does this edition have a particular focus, and if so, why did you choose it?

The 2019 PROCESS EXPO will truly offer something for everyone.  The Butcher’s Guild will be bringing members of Team USA, who will be participating in the 2020 World Butchers Challenge, to do butchering demonstrations on the Show floor.  FPSA’s Women’s Alliance Network will be announcing the winners of the Red Circle Honors program which recognizes women and companies that have had a positive impact on women’s careers and gender balance in the food and beverage industry. Their Women’s Alliance Breakfast is held on October 10 featuring keynote speaker Suzanne Strassburger of Strassburger Steaks.

There are dozens of show features planned, including an Augmented Reality (AR) Showcase which will provide attendees with innovative new ways to experience processing and packaging equipment with augmented reality holograms and training demonstrations. The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) will bring the top three winners in the undergraduate, masters, and PhD categories of the RMC student ePoster Competition to present their work. And FPSA is once again working in conjunction with the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) to run The 2019 DEFEAT HUNGER(sm) campaign, with all proceeds and donations received to help fight hunger in the greater Chicago area.

What are some of the recent trends in processing equipment that will be represented at this year’s edition?

With the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis across many states in the U.S., processors are finding the need to update and buy quality equipment to help meet demand and maintain compliance. At PROCESS EXPO, food and beverage processing suppliers will have access to several education sessions offering insights from cannabis experts discussing food safety, government regulations, sustainability, and cost savings that can be implemented for immediate returns.

Over 500 leading companies will offer the latest equipment for food and beverage processing and packaging during this fall’s PROCESS EXPO, and 17 have been chosen as finalists to present their technology in the Innovations Showcase and Awards Program, giving attendees the opportunity to see cutting-edge solutions.

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