advanced hmi

Packaging machinery automation and industry 4.0

Industries worldwide are looking at industry 4.0 as the future of automated, flexible and efficient manufacturing. The so-called fourth industrial revolution is a response to changing consumer behaviour, the rise of e-commerce and increasing global competition. Together, this creates a demand for more intelligent packaging solutions. The packaging industry aims to realise the benefits of industry 4.0 – while reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) and increasing overall equipment efficiency (OEE).

Production on demand

Industry 4.0 is actually an evolution in our ability to utilise the full potential of existing technology and this, in turn, will open up many new possibilities. These possibilities include packaging machinery enabling automated production on demand, higher flexibility solutions with seamless changeovers, and enhanced track and trace capabilities.

With integrated component and control platforms analysing and sharing data captured by smart sensors in machinery components, it is possible to connect packaging machines in line, from component to supplier and from consumer to production.

Digital twin

More detailed data collection takes equipment condition monitoring and packaging process control to the next level. Using all of this data, a virtual copy of the machines and the whole production line could be created. Such a digital twin would enable virtual testing of many different settings and parameters in augmented reality. This would help increase performance and reliability and enable manufacturers to get to know their new packaging machine before delivery.

Robotic technology

E-commerce warehouse distribution is one of the many sectors that would benefit from industry 4.0. We developed our robotic Cartoner 4.0 concept to enable efficient and cost-effective packaging on demand. Changeovers or adjustments are no longer needed. Using two collaborative FANUC robots, the current prototype can pack up to 20 cartons per minute. It can automatically handle a multitude of different products and cartons on demand.

Advanced HMI

To be fully prepared for industry 4.0 we fit all our packaging machinery with the same newly developed advanced human machine interface (HMI). It enables features such as condition monitoring, predictive maintenance, video instructions, remote troubleshooting and assistance. Exciting future developments will be added to this platform step by step, according to our customers’ needs.

Interested in finding out more? Read our more detailed strategic briefing on packaging automation and industry 4.0 or contact us for more information.

Posted by Simon Mason