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Packaging Automation Desk

March 14, 2015 | By Pat Reynolds
The sleek, hygienic design of the RoboLoader includes a delta-styled robot from Codian Robotic's powered by a B&R control system
This robotic case packer’s sleek, hygienic design appeals to producers of packaged salads. But it’s the controls package that brings the most tangible benefits.

The machine designers at Pro Pack Systems, a manufacturer of end-of-line packaging machines, had packaged salad producers squarely in mind when they introduced a machine recently called the RoboLoader. Flexible, intuitive and competitively priced, it’s also very robust and is constructed from corrosion and stain-resistant powder-coated or electropolished stainless steel. That makes it highly suitable for a washdown environment, which is so important to packaged salad producers in need of designs that facilitate sanitation routines.

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August 01, 2014 | By Pat Reynolds
Robomotion is interested in 3D printing end effector tooling.
Label printing, 3D printing and cabinet free packaging machines are among the trends in packaging machinery automation that blogger and contributing editor Keith Campbell described discovered at the interpack 2014 show in Dusseldorf, Germany, this fall.

In the last edition of his blog, Packaging World Blogger and Contributing Editor Keith Campbell described new developments that he found at interpack 2014. Here are three more.

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July 31, 2014 | By Pat Reynolds
Panel discussion at the HSBC Made For Trade tour
Advanced manufacturing, design innovation, and manufacturing workforce development training were all part of the "Made for Trade" discussion on how to revitalize manufacturing in Chicago. The tour will also be making stops in Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

Described as a national conversation with leaders in business, government, industry, and academia about the role of global trade in today’s economy, the Made For Trade tour hit Chicago’s Trump Tower on July 31. HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, is sponsoring the Made For Trade tour, which is also making stops in Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

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June 30, 2014 | By Pat Reynolds
A special component of The Automation Conference 2014, produced for the third time by Summit Media Group in May, was a “Demystifying PackML” workshop held one day ahead of the conference

The workshop, which was produced in cooperation with the Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC), drew attendees from consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies and packaging machinery original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

PackML, which stands for Packaging Machine Language, defines a common approach for automated machines designed to encourage a common “look and feel” across a plant floor and enable innovation. PackML was adopted as part of the ISA-88 industry standard in August 2008.

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FILED IN:Packaging
April 03, 2014 | By Pat Reynolds
A range of shelf-stable, microwavable, ready meals for babies and toddlers showed promise a few years ago. But packaging operations had to be optimized to make it viable.

In the small German village of Werk Weiding about an hour’s drive from Munich is a perfect example of just what automation and machine vision inspection technology permit a food manufacturer to do.

The food manufacturer in this case is Nestlé, the world’s largest. The product is NaturNes®, a line of shelf stable meals for children. Now on store shelves for about two years, NaturNes represents a relaunch of sorts. A nearly identical product was produced in a plant in France from 1998 to 2009. But it was withdrawn until Nestlé’s packaging engineers came up with a way to better automate the way it was packaged.

What it came down to is building a better mousetrap. And boy did they.

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