“Powder processing and fluid processing simply belong together”
POWTECH 2023 is launching with a new tagline. Heike Slotta, Executive Director Exhibitions, explains why “Processing of Bulk Solids” on its own has not accurately reflected the focus of the trade fair for some time now. For most experts in process engineering, the integrated processing of powders, fluids and liquids is part of their day-to-day business. The new tagline deliberately focuses on project managers, production heads, and also process and product developers in the sectors that the visitors to POWTECH represent. All can benefit from the official expansion to the range of products and services.
Many visitors associate “Processing systems for powder and bulk solids” with the trade fair name POWTECH. The trade fair is now repositioning itself as the “International Processing Trade Fair for Powder, Bulk Solids, Fluids and Liquids”. Is POWTECH now dedicating itself to entirely new topics?
Slotta: Let me put it this way: We are taking the range of topics that POWTECH has been covering for a long time and working them into our communications. Dealing with liquids has complemented the POWTECH topics of powder and bulk solids processing for decades. Many of our exhibitors not only offer individual plant components but also entire solutions and plants. And these often include systems for transporting liquids or for mixing materials in various aggregate states. In this regard, POWTECH has never ruled out processes involving liquids.
For example, a supplier of nozzle and dosing systems provides the very components that can turn a container with an agitator into a coating system. Powder processing, bulk solid processing and fluid processing simply belong together. We are thus making it clear for visitors who have an interest in spray granulation, pulvo-drying or powder dispersion in liquid that they have come to the right place at POWTECH.
Which sectors benefit most from this repositioning?
Slotta: The sectors with the highest visitor numbers at POWTECH are the food and feed industry and the pharmaceutical/chemical industry. But of course, as a technology fair, POWTECH appeals to a large number of sectors. Experts from all kinds of industries would welcome a larger range of products and services for the combination of powder and liquid processing. The chemical industry, which includes dyes and detergents every bit as much as fertilizers or base chemicals such as sulphur, inherently brings together all possible process technologies. In the plastic manufacturing process, melting and granulation turn large solid components and additives into master batches. Slurries, which play a role in battery manufacture as well as in the production of oat drinks and chocolate spreads, for example, are created using a combination of process technologies for solids and fluids. And even in the building and non-metallic mineral sector, concrete is sometimes coloured using liquid dye.
But in my view, two sectors will benefit in particular: the cosmetic and the pharmaceutical industries. Make-up foundations and eyeshadow make use of a combination of liquid, paste and solid products. Formulas for medications also often contain raw materials in powder and liquid form. Thus, for example, the properties of many tablets are perfectly achieved only with a combination of spraying, mixing and drying during the film-coating stage.
Will POWTECH also deal with beverage technology in the future?
Slotta: Although the beverage sector is part of the food industry, it is not expressly at the heart of POWTECH’s agenda. But exhibitors at POWTECH can still apply their innovative solutions to respond to specific problems from beverage production. After all, bulk solids are often among the raw materials used in beverage production, and the end product is sometimes made available in powdered form. Think of soft drinks, juices or liquid foods. Flavouring agents, sweeteners, stabilizers and thickeners in powder form are used in their manufacture. And these mixtures are sometimes liquefied again at the end of the manufacturing process. Likewise, the growing market for cold, ready-to-drink coffees calls for a combination of fluid and powder processing. Innovative technology from POWTECH exhibitors can make the mixing of all kinds of powdered raw materials and liquids much more efficient. Not only beverage producers but also plant manufacturers in this sector can benefit from a visit to POWTECH.
To sum up, you could say that POWTECH is the technology trade fair for everyone involved in processing and analysing powders and solids in the product manufacturing process. Regardless of whether the raw materials or end products are in powdered, solid, paste or liquid form.