Izquierdo: Something that is still an issue, though, is the communication between machines and the challenge of making that happen with different brands, different suppliers or different generations of equipment.
At the operations level, communication is happening. However, communication from the plant to the enterprise level is still in the works and would benefit from standarization. It seems the technology is there. It’s just a matter of agreeing on the right protocols to do it. As a consequence of this ability to communicate, we are now inundated with data.
We are storing tons of data that nobody uses, but we still need to keep it. The challenge is how to turn all that data into actual information.
Rodgers: With serialization, the granularity of the data that you’re collecting and having to keep is so tiny—it’s down to the individual pack. The value of any individual piece of information is miniscule. It only has value when we look at a massive quantity and start picking up patterns or looking for information from a mass of data.
The value of any individual piece of information is miniscule. It only has
value when we look at a massive quantity and start picking up patterns...
— Dirk Rodgers, principal, Dirk Rodgers Consulting
John Nobers: The cloud’s capability to expand data capture and retention is tremendous. You have ample space to retain and maintain that data. And it’s not so much regulatory agencies but it’s consumers who have access to that data. They can see instantaneously how, what, when and where their package is from Amazon, for example. Consumers are so much more educated and have so much more access.
That goes two ways, though. The more educated someone is, the more on your toes you have to be.
The second part is, how much more can you engage them? When we can digitally connect with a consumer, we can look at that consumer’s buying behavior.
Jorge, you mentioned automation and the ability to share that information and make an easier translation. Machines don’t need to worry about languages. Technically, when you put a digital code on something, it doesn’t care about whether it’s French or German or Russian or English. It knows what that code is and it interacts seamlessly across the globe. It’s great because you can do things you have never done before—make things safer, make demand processes better, make consumers more educated, make supply chains more efficient.
Machines don’t need to worry about languages. Technically, when you put
a digital code on something, it doesn’t care about whether it’s French or German
or Russian or English. It knows what that code is and it interacts seamlessly across the globe.
— John Nobers, Videojet’s director, Systems Solution Group
People talk about technology and its negative impact. It interrupts our lives but also creates a world of opportunities for technologists, communicators and software people around the world. It connects people beyond a language or a region.
Regarding modeling and what you can do now with simulations and virtual design, it used to be a slow, painstaking process—now you can collapse that. Partnering within a supply chain and having good communication structures have allowed these things to happen quickly.
Biondich: Here’s another area…We have all seen the commercialization of customized and personalized packaging—we are still in the infancy of that. It’s going to move in directions that we are not really sure where it is going yet.
We are going to see more speed-to-market because of digital printing. You can turn things around right away and get them out to consumers. Up until now, it’s been difficult to do that as it’s been very expensive. One of the keys here is about creating consumer experiences. Brands have a lot more power now through digital than they’ve ever had before.
There are some negatives, though. Some technologies are still fairly expensive so they haven’t reached a growth level where the prices are coming down yet. And some of the speeds are still slow, which impacts cost.
I think there will be a lot more progress in these areas. With 3D printing, for example, you can turn designs out so much faster than you could before.
The other thing I thought of when Jorge was talking... CLICK "NEXT"