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Automation Trends in the Packaging Industry

3 Mins read

Packaging, like many other businesses End of line packaging automation, is always changing to meet consumer demands. Regulation, labor shortages, and the digital revolution all have an impact on how things done.

End of line packaging automation
End of line packaging automation

To manage huge volumes of data processing End of line packaging automation, forward-thinking businesses are increasingly depending on technology such as human-robot collaboration and artificial intelligence. Malte Schlüter, Global Significant Account Director Food & Beverage/Consumer Packaged Goods (F&B/CPG) at Mitsubishi Electric, discusses four key factors affecting and shaping the packaging business today and in the future.

Robots that collaborate

Automated high-speed processes in mass manufacturing encounter challenges such as diversification, customization, and lower batch sizes. A contract packer (copacker) is typically allocated technical processing jobs on restricted quantities of commodities and premium packaging, necessitating the deployment of costly human resources by the customer. As a result, traditional industrial robots are more likely to be use as a backup.

Direct human-to-robot engagement via collaborative robots (cobots), according to Schlüter, is an obvious trend. Cobots equipped with vision systems may relieve workers of tedious, exhausting, and physically demanding tasks such as precisely inserting parts or transporting heavy objects. As a result, they can improve the efficiency and quality of human labour.

Because cobots are design to work alongside humans, they must adhere to the ISO TS15066 safety standard.

According to Malte Schlüter

Another advantage of cobots is that they require less control and programming, which can done by trained personnel at the end user company. In the future, this eliminates the need for external system integrators or programmers. They can also be use quickly and easily in a variety of End of line packaging automation applications. A virtual classroom is include in the Mitsubishi Electric prototype for “teaching” cobots. Methods for calibrating and parameterizing robot arms span from manual manipulation to visual programming and user interfaces on tablets or mobile devices.

Robots that do not have any safeguards

Alternatives to fences, barriers, cages, and cells are in high demand for industrial robots since they are inexpensive and simple to install. Last but not least, these safety procedures consume valuable industrial space, raise cleaning costs in sanitary areas, and impede worker collaboration. Extensive emergency pauses and restarts are also required.

Optical safety precautions, on the other hand, can be use. Laser scanners are being utilised more and more to monitor designated zones around robots. As soon as they enter their outside zone, they slow down. The robot comes to a halt when it comes into physical touch with a person.

Rather than using light barriers and laser scanners to secure an area, an increasing number of businesses are turning to camera systems to monitor entire rooms. AI-powered vision systems in the future will be able to recognise when and where people are approaching the robot’s workspace and modify the robot’s speed accordingly. People will be able to travel freely and safely near robots in the not-too-distant future. Mitsubishi Electric is already actively developing market-ready practical solutions with its partners.

Artificial Intelligence

Its ability to efficiently respond to unplanned and unprogrammed conditions. A robot may be confront with products that are out of the ordinary in terms of orientation, geometry, or packing. Without artificial intelligence, the robot would be unable to detect and respond to product deviations. Robots equipped with artificial intelligence and optical systems can now detect and correct these deviations. Mitsubishi Electric’s new MELFA FR robot series now includes AI capabilities, which may increase yield in areas such as food and life sciences.

Intelligent robots use artificial intelligence to detect product faults and replace them with ideal products throughout the packing process. Robots that can be move by hand or in driverless cars can utilise artificial intelligence to recognise their new location and alter their process sequence.

Investigation of Data

Through digitalization and production data analysis, data mining is necessary to increase OEE (overall equipment effectiveness). First, there is a recipe and production data that is only for internal use. Developers can also save and retrieve the status and operating profile of devices such as servo drives and robot components. This data comprises the condition of wear parts as well as the presence of pollutants.

The database data is then used to create predictive maintenance solutions. Which might considerably reduce future maintenance expenditures. Mitsubishi Electric is actively developing MELIPC. A novel edge computing technology that is expect to be commercialize within the next year. Technology will aid the organization in improving its processes. It tries to maximize the value of industrial data. By employing modern analytic techniques.

Client information and traceability are critical types of process data Zebra partner in Pakistan. Particularly in the food business. You can check cold chain compliance with a QR code. While also providing origin information to food packaging.

“Robots will never completely replace manual labour in packaging,” Malte Schlüter contends. The new ‘colleagues’ will make duties more pleasant and efficient. As a result, this is no longer a pipe fantasy of the future. Because the essential technology is already available and affordable.

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