Due to the positive response and over-subscription of virtual meetings, Bühler kept the Bühler Virtual World open until the end of May. Over the three days from May 12 to 15, more than 12,000 people from 132 countries visited the digital platform, around 500 private meetings are ongoing. “We are amazed by this level of engagement and positive feedback,” says Germar Wacker, CEO of Bühler’s Consumer Foods business.
Under the motto "Creating food sensations," Bühler launched a completely virtual trade show for the first time in May. Bühler invited customers and visitors to its publicly accessible live program featuring well-known keynote speakers from the food and technology industries. The Bühler Virtual World featured a 3D booth, digital showrooms, and expert presentations.
In just six weeks, Bühler transformed its physical interpack program into a fully digital experience, which was planned to be open until May 15. The positive feedback from customers and the market has prompted Bühler to extend the digital show. Due to the positive response and over-subscription of virtual meetings, Bühler kept the Virtual World open until the end of May. “This is one of the key benefits of being digital. We are always available, continuously addressing customer needs,” says Germar Wacker, CEO of Bühler’s Consumer Foods business.
The Bühler Virtual World, a unique platform consisting of a fully interactive visitor experience, with solution spaces, virtual meeting rooms and a live program with a wealth of insightful material and know-how sharing to address the following key topics:
• Resilience in the current environment, e.g. by digital customer services to maximize utilization of the existing asset base;
• Bouncing back by the ability to quickly commercialize consumer and market trends by highly flexible, integrated solutions and equipment;
• Sustainability and how to turn the many challenges into good business.
The content from the live program, held on May 12-13, is fully available on the platform, with speeches of Judson Althoff, Executive Vice President (EVP) at Microsoft, Henning Hartnacke, President Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME) at Givaudan, and Paul Beck, Head of Production and Logistics at Maestrani, to name a few. Bühler experts explain how to increase capacity, yield, reduce plant downtime, energy and waste consumption through intelligence services. They introduce fantastic food creations from Bühler's global application centers and new solutions, for example ChocoX, that will unlock the innovation capability of the industry. “This is a unique platform that combines inspiring knowledge on new products, Bühler’s leading processes and solutions, market trends and business disruption,” says CTO Ian Roberts.
THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE VIRTUAL WORLD
As a solution provider, Bühler has grouped the
innovations of its Virtual World into four key topics:
• How to capitalize on market trends with high flexibility, fast changeovers, and integrated solutions.
• How to reach the highest efficiency with best Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).
• How to manufacture products reliably with documented food safety.
• How to improve sustainability with reduced consumption of energy, water, and waste.
ChocoX: Highly flexible, modular solution for moulding
Following a “plug-and-produce” concept, the new moulding line, ChocoX (pronounced “Choco Cross”) marks a breakthrough in the industry with its consistently modular approach. ChocoX can be installed on site within a week, reducing implementation time by 80%. ChocoX slashes the time for a line expansion by half, compared to previous solutions. Its modular structure allows for great flexibility. Modules can be changed or cleaned in as little as 30 minutes and rearranging the process chain only takes between 30 to 120 minutes.
Customer services at the click of a button
The myBühler portal offers customers 24/7 access to all the information relevant to their technologies and equipment. myBühler streamlines the purchasing process with pricing and material information and online ordering. Customers operating former Haas solutions will soon be able to connect to myBühler as well. It is far more than a standard customer portal. It is the starting point and the one-stop-shop for all digital solutions, including product information, eMaintenance, e-Training, and eService such as Bühler’s Remote Guidance. Smart glasses enable Bühler’s specialists to instruct professionals at customer sites remotely. And Bühler guarantees first-level-support within two hours.
Saving energy, water, and waste
Bühler is presenting a wide range of innovative product formulations, from chocolate mass to enrobed baked products, from moulded products to wafers and biscuits. All of them were displayed with experts explaining their sustainability and production benefits. Bühler’s aim is to reduce energy use, water consumption, and waste in customers’ value chains by 50% by 2025.
Among the sustainable solutions that presented during the virtual fair is the Franz Haas MTA. It can produce eatable and biodegradable packaging made from wafers and helps lower the use of single-use plastic. An estimated 20 billion disposable coffee cups are used and thrown out every single year. And, the SWAKT-Eco wafer-baking oven reduces emissions by 90%. It also uses 30% less energy.
Food safe designs incorporate new concepts and latest technology such as laser cleaning for SWAKT-Eco or the new batch roaster Solano that combines three process steps in one solution: pasteurizing, roasting, and drying. Bühler guarantees a bacterial reduction of at least 99.999% with the Solano.
Heralding a new era with the Bühler Virtual World
Equally innovative as the new solutions and services is the way Bühler showcased them and communicate with its customers and partners during the Bühler Virtual World. The virtual trade fair combined a live event program, a virtual solution space, and video conferencing features. “Today, with greater urgency than ever, the world is relying on food industries to run like clockwork,” says Stefan Scheiber, CEO of Bühler Group. “It has to ensure solid production chains and reliable output. The industry also needs to adapt and learn how to innovate together as partners, even when it is physically impossible.” Bühler developed the Virtual World to deal with these challenges in a collaborative manner and bring important industry stakeholders together. “We want to show our customers that they can rely on us even in times of crisis, be it for new product developments, for servicing their solutions, or when digitalizing their plants for the new normal we are now learning to live in,” says Scheiber.