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Packaging Automation Forum a 'resounding success'

The Packaging Automation Forum, produced by Packaging World and Automation World magazines, was everything we hoped it would be when we began planning it last October.

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In the weeks and months to come, we’ll carry much of the Forum’s content in the pages of Packaging World as well as in our various electronic and/or digital publications.

One thing I found intriguing about the Forum as it unfolded is the way the speakers returned again and again to a common theme centered around one thing: optimized line performance and the vertical integration needed to achieve it.

I was astonished to learn from Aubrey Hawkins that Eli Lilly and Co. could generate annual savings of $3.5 million through the use of pre-validated reusable software modules in the processing side of its business. “Modularize and re-use,” was Hawkin’s mantra, as he urged packaging machinery builders and the technology providers they rely on to bring the same kind of reusable modularity to the packaging side of manufacturing. He also asked the packaging machinery builders of the world to settle on reliable standards. Huge savings, he pointed out, can be had if standard event tags can be implemented for widespread use in packaging equipment, because then vertical integration from shop floor to top floor will be possible.

P&G’s Dave Chappell, chairman of the Make2Pack initiative, was on the same page in his presentation. Create internal libraries of automation modules so that manufacturing can become a strategic asset with the agility and flexibility to support modern business needs, Chappell told the audience.

And then there was Joe Wagner of Hershey describing how, by opening specifications to include multiple global control suppliers, Hershey in the last two or three years has been able to reduce project cycles from nine to four months, eliminate control-related issues on projects that have been completed, reduce equipment costs and lead times, and obtain equipment guarantees in line with corporate strategies.

Stay tuned to Packaging World for more on the remarkable content that made the Packaging Automation Forum such a resounding success.

Packaging Automation Forum 2006Packaging World's Packaging Automation Forum 2006 - See the entire photo gallery.

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