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Food safety: the importance of hygienic design

“When it comes to food safety, nothing is as underestimated as hygienic design,” says Hein Timmermann, President of the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG). Reason enough for Impulse – the ifm magazine to take a closer look at this topic. Experts from ifm, EHEDG and TetraPak discuss the requirements for hygienic automation technology, the challenges involved and the importance of digitalisation for food safety as a whole. This episode also shows which aspects ifm takes into account when designing hygienic automation technology – for the benefit of food safety and plant operators.

Topics of this edition

  • Overview: How modern automation and digitalisation contribute to reliable food processes. (0:00 – 4:40)
  • Insight: What does hygienic design mean? Answers from the product designer’s perspective. (4:41 – 11:23)
  • Application: How intelligent temperature sensors contribute to quality and reliability in dairy processes. (11:24 – 14:34)
  • Expert talk: How advanced is automation technology in terms of food safety? What opportunities does the future hold? And why does food contamination still occur despite progress and expertise? (14:35 – 36:16)



Johan van Niekerk leads the charge in spearheading global business development initiatives within the food and agriculture sector, dedicated to crafting tailored solutions that cater to the unique needs of our customers and partners worldwide.

His unwavering commitment lies in harnessing the power of technology and pioneering innovative automated systems to drive enhanced efficiency and effectiveness within the food industry. Through these efforts, he envisions bolstering the industry’s prosperity and contributing to our world’s sustainable growth. The ifm food team lives by the slogan: “Wherever you go, whatever you taste... ifm - close to you!”

Martin Schmidt, certified Usability Engineer, is an expert in user-centred design. In his role as Senior Industrial Designer & Usability Engineer at ifm, he focuses on the usability and design of process sensors, RFID and industrial camera systems. He also conducts international user research, brings his perspective to the creation of product strategies and puts his heart and soul into the development of a uniform design DNA at ifm. Martin Schmidt is an honorary member of the executive committee of the professional association “Verband Deutscher Industrie Designer – VDID e.V.”

Hein Timmermann has been the President of EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group) since December 2022. As a food technologist, he brings a wealth of experience gained from working internationally across various industries. His specialities include engineering, sales management, business development, and technical management, with an expert focus on dairy products, processed food technology, automated cleaning systems, and CIP techniques.

Dücane Koru has a key role within Tetra Pak as a Commercial and Technical Product Manager for Instruments & Sensors / OEM components. He coordinates all instruments and sensors which are necessary to build the market leading machines from Tetra Pak. The F&B industry has always been a topic in his professional career in different positions.

Impulse - the ifm show for you

Experience automation in an unprecedented form. The ifm show Impulse highlights the most important trends and topics in automation. We talk about industry-specific challenges and present answers – from innovative products to holistic solutions. While also showing a series of successful automation examples from the real world, we let both our experts and our customers have their say in equal measure. Information meets inspiration - welcome to Impulse!