Canadian Manufacturing

Cibus Tec in Parma, Italy; the technological hub for food and beverage

Monica Ferguson   

Manufacturing Sustainability Technology / IIoT Food & Beverage Heavy Machinery Cibus Tec conference halls food and beverage machines Parma italy


Industry themes, start-ups, demonstrative units, and virtual reality.

Cibus Tec, the trade fair event by Koeln Parma Exhibitions, opened its doors in Parma, Italy, from October 24 – 27. The trade fair event dedicated to technologies for the food and beverage sector, welcomed 40,000 visitors from Italy and 120 additional countries.

This year hosted 1,200 exhibitors (30 per cent coming from abroad) while 10,000 meetings were scheduled.

The 2023 edition of Cibus Tec was opened by Franco Mosconi, president of Fiere Parma.

“Fiere di Parma is a special place, in which the authentic beauties of this country are periodically on display: art, antiques, tourism, good food. With Cibus Tec, however, it takes the visitor inside an ideal factory of the future in which one can experience first-hand all the processes – of very high technical depth – that bring the foods and drinks we consume daily to our tables,” says Mosconi. “All this gives enormous prominence to the foodtech supply chains and manufacturing excellence of our territory and of Italy as a whole, attracting highly qualified exhibitors and visitors from all over the world, certain of finding here in one place, the best and most advanced solutions, technologies and innovations for the food industry.”

Photo: Cibus Tec.

The inauguration ceremony was an opportunity to present data from the first Cibus Tec machinery observatory for food & beverage, which aims to measure and monitor the size, performance, markets and competitiveness of the supply chain on international scale.

The meeting was concluded by Emanuele Di Faustino, head of industry, retail and services at Nomisma, who oversaw project.

“Despite the uncertain international macro-economic and geopolitical scenario, the opportunities for a further expansion of Italian exports of food and beverage technologies and machinery in the coming years are plausible. The market of greatest interest for Italian companies is certainly the United States, the main world importer (7 billion euros in 2022) and the first destination for Made in Italy exports (1.2 billion euros), a record destined to remain so in the future, thanks to an expanding food industry and significant growth rates in the demand for Italian machinery. Precisely in light of this strategic nature, the USA was the first market to be studied in depth within the newly created Machinery Observatory for Food & Beverage by Nomisma for Cibus Tec,” he said.

Many companies who operate in Canada were exhibitors at the show, including: bioMerieux, Honeywell, Kronen GMBH and Provisur Technologies, to name a few.

The Italian company, Bardiani Valves, opened a Canadian distribution office in Toronto in 2014. At the Bardiani booth,Food in Canada had a chance to speak with Andrea Genitrini, General Manager at Bardiani about the show and Italian/Canadian ties.

“At this edition of the trade show we decided to invite our biggest Canadian partners to our Parma facility. We try to open up in the same way they opened to us when we first came to Canada. We hope to share Italy with them like a local.”

Bardiani hosted an evening of education and networking on October 24 at their Parma plant. There were presentations on their machinery and equipment, with the team available to explain the features and advantages of new technologies.

Various events took place during the week, one of the conferences scheduled was organized by the Order of Food Technologists from Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, and Umbria.

“The Impact of Circular Economy on Food Safety” roundtable discussion provided insights into the importance of food safety in companies adopting sustainable practices such as reducing their carbon footprint, fighting food waste, food redistribution, and waste management. The seminar concluded a three-day event hosted by the Order, in collaboration with Cibus Tec, which focused on current regulations and innovations in food, from functional foods to cultured meat, from insect-based products to plant-based products, and clean-label offerings.

In celebration of the 120th anniversary of the International Milk Federation and the Italian Committee, a discussion took place aimed at giving voice to the dairy industry. The goal was to share business experiences and strategic directions to collectively tackle upcoming challenges.

Photo: Cibus Tec.

Walking through the conference halls, machines were spotted in action; moving in rapid speed, zipping vacuum sealed cheese and other products down converter belts with precision.

In Hall 2, three automated production lines were showcased. One was dedicated to a traditional Italian bakery product, ‘pinsa,’ which has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years. The processes of mixing, forming, and packaging the finished product were designed to optimise production, minimise waste, and ensure precise weight accuracy.

A second line replicated the processes of portioning and packaging hard and semi-hard cheeses. The initial step was cutting, a process that could be conducted with different diameters and heights, resulting in products with fixed geometry or calibrated weight. The portioned cheese was transported to a quality control system that employed 2D and 3D analysis to examine the product both dimensionally and cosmetically. Safety at work was also considered in this line, with specific stainless steel protections safeguarding tasks performed by human operators.

The third line replicated the packaging of ‘Doypack’ bags, applied to candies (though the process is versatile). An aspirator transported the sweets to a 10-head weigher, which could adjust the product dosage as needed for packaging. The packaging machine featured both a bag loader with servo-assisted pick and place and a system for discarding unopened or improperly positioned packages. The line integrated an electronic gas mixer in direct communication with the machine, minimising consumption. At this stage, packages passed through an in-line sealing integrity control system, ensuring food safety and product quality.

Photo: Cibus Tec.

In Hall 4, at the Cibus Tec Digital Factory, visitors entered the world of Industry 5.0, where digital technologies such as the industrial internet of things, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence optimised production efficiency, streamlined maintenance and training operations, made production more sustainable, and enabled new post-sales business models for machine manufacturers.

Mechanics for the F&B industry is an area of focus in Italian manufacturing; with over 2,100 active companies and 61,000 employees, the sector generated a turnover of 15.7 billion euros in 2022. Compared to 2019, turnover grew by 7.6 per cent, while the workforce recorded an increase of 11.7 per cent.

This industry also represents one of the Made in Italy sectors most suited to international markets, with exports of eight billion euros in 2022 (24.2 per cent compared to 2012). In the first six months of 2023, compared to the same period of 2022, the export trend is growing (+16.4 per cent), and at the end of 2023, it is estimated to close with a value of approximately 8.8 billion (+10 per cent compared to 2022).

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