Another gangbuster year for packaging machinery productivity
2005 was a year of notable firsts for people responsible for reducing the cost and improving the productivity of packaging machinery:
• The first software library to replace ‘black box’ robot controllers as reported by ARC Advisory Group
• interpack saw the introduction of a whole new generation of robotic secondary packaging machinery
• Likewise at drinktec a new generation of rotary servo capping and labeling machines changed the competitive landscape
• ELAU’s first time presenting to the assembled leadership of the Packaging Machine Manufacturers Institute on the topic of advances in automation technology trends
• Packaging Automation the first digital magazine dedicated to well packaging automation. View archived issues at www.elau.com/packagingautomation
2005 was also a year of profound change in the way that packagers specify automation as well with international standards increasingly replacing costly internal standards. International standards assure a level of commonality that packagers need to keep their Total Cost of Ownership low while stimulating the healthy competition that internal standards stifle.
This lets packaging machine users give OEMs the freedom to optimize their designs by taking advantage of the most advanced control technologies available.
2006 promises more innovation amounting to no less than a generational change in the way that machines are designed:
• Modular design will hit full stride with widespread integration of robotics into equipment modules to increase flexibility and reconfigurability -- especially in primary and secondary packaging applications
• Software modularity will gain momentum in North America as packagers become familiar with more packaging machines properly implementing standardized programming languages
• What ELAU terms the Virtually Zero Cabinet initiative™ -- VZCi for short – will shrink the size and cost of electrical cabinets and wiring by distributing servo drive electronics out to the motors
• The “rotary revolution” will spread throughout the liquid and beverage bottling industries as all the world’s major players in rotary machines have discovered the award-winning PacDrive™ SCL-055 integral servo motor/drive technology
• ISA-88 Part 5 will go into SP88 committee review bringing multi-vendor line and vertical integration a step closer to an international standard – helping fulfill the promise of packaging automation as a means of fulfilling chain management strategy
Check this weekly column to learn what’s new in packaging automation around the world. To view past Supplier News articles type elau into the packworld.com search box. You’ll view over 100 archived news stories about packaging automation.