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12 Super Solutions for Packaging Automation in a Pandemic Year

Photo credit: phonlamaiphoto – Robot-superhero-AdobeStock_394303084-ftd.jpeg
Robots, coronavirus shifts, capex activity, and more kept packaging lines humming throughout 2020.

If designers are the fuel for packaging innovation, packaging production engineers are the engines that make it run — and as efficiently as possible. This may have been an atypical year in a lot of ways, but the country and the world absolutely counted on manufacturing to produce, package, and move essential goods.

Packaging Digest added its support, in the form of compelling content designed to share tips and encourage invention. Here are the top 12 articles about packaging machinery and automation you found most useful in 2020, based on website metrics:


Photo credit: Lucky_Dragon_USA – stock.adobe.comStopwatch-Lucky_Dragon_USA-AdobeStock_26023176-featured.jpeg

12. The Case of the Missing Moments

How can two extra seconds make a difference on a packaging line? Do the math. You might be able to produce another million packages per year.



11. Cobots vs. COVID-19 — Designed and Deployed a Solution in 2 Weeks

Many essential businesses needed to ramp up production quickly while keeping workers safe.


Photo supplied by Euclid Medical ProductsEuclid-pharmacist-with-Axial-machine-featured.jpg

Eric Schoffner, owner and manager of iCareRX Pharmacies, uses the Axial machine from Euclid Medical Products to pack pouches of pills for his customers.

10. 4 Benefits of Packaging Automation for Pharmacies Amid COVID-19

Automated packaging machines that produce unit-dose or multi-dose pharmaceutical packs enable touch-free service, social distancing capabilities, efficiency, and improved patient adherence — key advantages, especially during a pandemic.


Photo supplied by RexrothRexroth-Factory-of-the-Future-featured.jpg

Rexroth's Factory of the Future vision includes a suite of smart, connected products that give insight into a packaging line's productivity.

9. Will You Soon Download Packaging Machine Controls from the Internet?

Rexroth’s new ctrlX automation platform leans into the Internet of Things age with software-smart controls and potential future “app store” offerings.


Photo credit: Dmitry –

8. How Packaging Operations Can Use 6s in This Time of COVID-19

Essential packaging plants need to keep in running. But how can you ensure employee safety in this time of COVID-19? An organizational system like “5S” is more important than ever. Implementing 5S can help prevent transmission of the disease between workers. In some instances, it might prevent transmission to a customer via contaminated product.


Photo supplied by Pack Expo ConnectsZacros-PEC2020-ftd.jpg

Check out the new products in flexible packaging that you can see at the 2020 Pack Expo Connects event.

7. Flexible Packaging Innovations Involve Materials and Machines

The latest flexible packaging materials and machines were showcased during Pack Expo Connects 2020.


Photo clip from Soft Robotics videoRobotic-video-Soft-Robotics-Sealed-Air-featured.jpg

6. Safe, No-Contact Robot Easily Handles Order Fulfillment

More end users are exploring and setting up automated direct-to-consumer ecommerce operations.


Photo supplied by WLSWLS-VR-72-Close-up-featured.jpg

This continuous-motion VR-72 labeler is named for its 72 Vertical Rollers, which help ensure precise label application.

5. New Labeler Anticipates Mega-Production of COVID-19 Vaccine

Once vaccines for the COVID-19 virus are approved, the race to market will be hectic. Pharmaceutical companies need to prepare in advance for the upcoming automation requirements of manufacturing and packaging.


Photo supplied by FrainFrain-plant-featured.jpg

Frain’s manufacturing floor hosts 9,000 machines under two million square feet, including new and used processing and packaging equipment.

4. Equipment Rentals are Red Hot — Here’s Why

Packaging equipment business expert reveals why rentals have steadily risen against a backdrop of new product launch pressures and COVID-19.


Photo supplied by Pearson Packaging SystemsMaaS-Pearson-featured-web.jpg

Pearson Packaging Systems sells automated case erectors, sealers, cartoners, and robotic palletizers. This photo, like MaaS, shows that the focus is on outcome, not just the asset.

3. Tell your CFO: Packaging Machinery-as-a-Service Beats the Capex Budget Blues

With Machinery-as-a-Service (MaaS), suppliers and brand owners share a financial stake in uptime and profits. It also makes packaging automation immediately scalable for fast-moving consumer goods and healthcare products.


Photo credit: Kadmy – adobe.stock.comPharma Packaging Line AdobeStock_94397352-featured.jpeg

2. Shopping for Packaging Machinery Soars

As the reshoring trend continues — and even accelerates due to COVID-19 supply chain challenges — product manufacturers actively seek packaging machinery solutions. INFOGRAPHIC.


SazeracSazerac Bottle Cork Xray Combo

Sazerac's offline system provides unprecedented QA inspection capability.

1. Spirits Leader Sazerac Revolutionizes Packaging Inspection

The Sazerac Company’s CT scanning inspection that assesses glass bottles and other packaging components in minutes versus weeks is available to other companies.

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Multigenerational Workforce

In today’s workplace, five generations are actively employed. In this free ebook, learn how to leverage the strengths of each generation in your packaging department.