How to build more saleable machinery

A January 10 visit to Westpack, sponsored by Canon Communications, included a stop at the booth of Omron, a provider of manufacturing automation and control solutions. In a conversation about packaging machinery OEMs and the machine characteristics that add value in today’s manufacturing environment, the Omron brain trust offered these suggestions:

* Keep track-and-trace requirements in mind as new lines of machinery are developed. Packaged goods manufacturers of all stripes will be seeking track-and -trace solutions for some time to come.

* Allow for expandability. A firmly fixed design may not be enough. What if a machine vision system needs to be added subsequent to installation? What if wireless connectivity becomes a requirement? Has the machinery builder allocated space for such additions?

* Think beyond the FRS (Functional Requirement Spec). Ask machinery buyers how they see their process changing in the future. Design machines that can accommodate those changes.

* Try to take the long view. It should lead to greater penetration of a manufacturer’s operations, which means more sales.

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