First there was wired, then Ethernet, and now wireless, the theme of editor Pat Reynolds’ Nov. issue column, Wireless on the way? November 5th, 2008 that connects wireless technology with packaging machinery.
This technology was in evidence in the booth of Arpac in the South Hall of McCormick Place. It’s part of Arpac’s RAMP—Remote Asset Management Program for Smart Machines, according to Greg Levy, the company’s director of marketing, who says it’s akin to a cell phone onboard the machine. It’s provided “free” on the company’s BPTS 5000 combo tray packer and overwrapper (as shown in picture above), Levy points out. The technology is also available as a retrofit on most of the company’s packaging machinery already in use.
It has all the benefits of Ethernet connectivity—email alerts, remote troubleshooting and access, notifications of key machine states, etc.—along with the benefits of going wireless. The RAMP interface also replaces more sensitive hardware with durable flash memory for robustness in production operations, according to Levy.
It was developed in a partnership with Rockwell Automation.
In the coming months, look for wireless connectivity in a packaging machine near you.