The future of smart sensors in packaging
The range of currently available smart sensors can be used to improve virtually all aspects of packaging machine operation. Networking these smart sensors to control and monitoring systems through either digital data links or hardwiring creates an industrial IoT at the plant level. This transforms small data from sensors into big data used to improve not only individual machine performance, but entire packaging line operation while creating transparency throughout the entire machine.
As technology progresses, more and more sensors will be equipped with digital communications technology. These sensors will also become more powerful and intelligent, allowing them to gather and process even more data, and to communicate this information to not only the control system, but also to other platforms.
These platforms can range from manufacturing enterprise software (MES) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, to hand-held devices like smartphones and tablets.
Sending data to higher level platforms allows for sophisticated data analysis, revealing opportunities for performance enhancements not easily detected by manual observation. Communicating information to handheld devices lets employees monitor and manage packaging machines and lines from anywhere, greatly improving response times and efficiency.