Drones and the Packaging Industry

PACK EXPO 2017 in Las Vegas will feature an interactive display to depict the use of drones for automated package delivery.

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Proving that PACK EXPO Las Vegas (Las Vegas Convention Center, Sept. 25–27) remains in step with, or even ahead of the latest innovations in packaging, automated packaging distribution will take to the air at the "PACK EXPO Drone Demo - Packaging for the Last Mile" interactive display.

Show producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, will collaborate with electric truck and drone maker Workhorse, whose clients include UPS, to bring the simulation to life.

The announcement comes on the heels of Amazon's published—and now patented—vision for drone centers shaped like giant beehives in the middle of major U.S. cities.

"When it comes to automated packaging delivery, whether it be a drone or driverless vehicles, many in the packaging industry, as well as consumers, are not exactly sure what this technology looks like or how it will apply to their everyday operations," says Jim Pittas, COO of PMMI. "Our interactive display offers a real visualization of the final process that brings the package the last mile to a consumer's home."

Mock housing will populate the virtual landscape of the 15,000 sq ft exhibit in the North Hall, complete with mailboxes and doorsteps to accept delivered packages. Workhorse delivery drones will take off from the top of a stationary Workhorse electric van and make deliveries to the mock houses. To complete the simulation, monitors outside of the drone area will broadcast the information available from the delivery van via the Metron application. The screens will also offer the drone perspective via live video from a camera mounted on the drones.

Scheduled for hourly demonstrations, the entirely unmanned delivery systems and electric-powered trucks will bring to life a system of automated package distribution and depict how the system is faster and more efficient than traditional delivery methods.

PACK EXPO Drone Demo - Packaging for the Last Mile checks many of the fundamental sustainability, efficiency and product safety issues more than 30,000 projected attendees will find among the 2,000-plus exhibiting companies at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and the co-located Healthcare Packaging EXPO.

In addition to the technology on display on the show floor, PACK EXPO Las Vegas will offer a host of educational and networking opportunities, as well as industry-specific events.

Registration, which includes access to both PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO, is $30 until Sept. 1, where after the price increases to $100. For more information and to register online, visit www.packexpolasvegas.com.

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