Robots, easy-clean machine designs and self-contained automation devices were on packaging engineers wish lists this year—as evidenced by their interest in news about packaging equipment delivering production benefits, thanks to these features.
Based on page views, here are the top three packaging-machinery-related articles we posted over the last year, starting from the third article and moving up to No.1:
OnRobot's Gecko Gripper.
After visiting exhibitors at WestPack 2019 and its co-located sister show Automation Technology Expo (ATX) West, we noticed this trio of trends changing the design and performance of your packaging lines:
1. Self-contained devices are easy to install and use, like these three we saw at the show:
• The Bosch Rexroth XDK sensor—called the Swiss Army Knife of sensors—is eight sensors in one box.
• OnRobot’s VG10 vacuum gripper has a built-in pump so there are no hoses to work around.
• The concept of decentralized “power” extends to full packaging machines, too. For example, PDC Intl. is developing a steam tunnel for full-body shrink sleeve labels that has integrated boilers.
2. Cobot peripherals lead the way. One example is OnRobot’s Gecko Gripper (see photo above), which uses pressure and motion (adhesion by force) to pick up packages—without an air system.
3. Artificial intelligence (A-I) excels as an engineering aid…or does it?
In his presentation “The Power of Perseverance,” rocket scientist and inventive engineer Lonnie Johnson, CEO of Johnson Battery Technologies, hailed artificial intelligence for its myriad benefits. But when questioned about his own work preferences, he admitted that he doesn’t want to use AI because that would take all the fun out of solving an engineering problem. Do you agree?
NEXT: 8 impressive developments in packaging automation