One verbatim question on the survey asked respondents whether packaging machine builders lacked networking or systems integration expertise. Several respondents replied in the affirmative. Here are some direct quotes:
Equipment builders are still operating in the 1960s to 1970s environment and have done little to get into the 21st century.West Coast packaging engineer from a large tobacco company. Machinery manufacturers are slow in applying new technologies to their equipment.Packaging engineer for a medium-sized Southwestern food company. [We find] inconsistent data formats and protocols between different machinery manufacturers.Midwest packaging engineer for a large motorcycle manufacturer. Our packaging requirements are simple. However, we have experienced a lack of [vendor] knowledge in networking or systems updates even to bring our rudimentary requirements into todays world.Southeastern quality assurance manager for a medium-sized food company. Everyone offers it . . . dont know of many people who use it. There needs to be some significant payback for me to install my side of the network.West Coast manager for a medium-sized candy maker. Lack of high-quality training and support.Midwestern manufacturing engineer for a small manufacturer in the medical/pharmaceutical industry. No standardized systems [offered by machinery builders]. Production manager at a large Midwestern pharmaceutical company. [Machinery builders] dont use nationally recognized standards and are not willing to change for project/equipment we are interested in at the time. Maintenance manager at a large Midwestern household chemical products manufacturer. It has been my experience that [machinery builders] do lack networking skills and tend to shy away from this type of activity.Engineering manager at a large Midwestern meat packer. We have spent extensive time and money to work with vendors to make their systems compliant with our requirements.Northeastern production manager for a large medical/pharmaceutical products maker. There is no standardized interface protocol, so most machinery builders I am familiar with offer only what customer specifies and pays extra for.Midwestern production manager for a medium-sized household chemical products manufacturer.
There were a few positive comments that bear mentioning:
Its been mixed: Some builders are on top of networking, others are behind. Mid-Atlantic production manager for a large pharmaceutical company. Good so far.Manager at a small Canadian food company. Im satisfied with the development process.Packaging engineer at a medium-sized battery manufacturer.
Next month: Packaging suppliers share their perspective on their customers networking expectations.