Industry 4.0 Changing the Dynamics of the Packaging Industry

Industry 4.0 Changing the Dynamics of the Packaging Industry

Manufacturing Technology Insights | Friday, December 17, 2021

Packaging lines that can handle rapid product changes, customizations, and small batch quantities are becoming increasingly important for confectionery manufacturers. Packaging lines can benefit from Industry 4.0 technologies to increase efficiency and flexibility.

Fremont, CA: The speed of change in the worldwide confectionery and bakery sectors is quickening, from seasonal chocolate delicacies and personalized cakes to fortified candies and useful snack bars. While this is excellent news for consumers, the packaging sector is currently confronted with several hurdles in meeting the need for faster, more flexible, and greener production. While Industry 4.0 isn't a new concept, technologies like robotics and data analysis are gaining traction among confectionery and bakery producers as a way to boost adaptability, ensure efficiency, and satisfy ever-changing market and customer needs now and in the future.

Using data analysis to its full potential

The fact is that the revolutionary technologies required to achieve great results are already in place, but the food industry has yet to fully embrace Industry 4.0's potential. The promise of digitalization becomes clearer and more engaging if a factory invests in early equipment with data analysis and remote monitoring while working with a provider that can instantly demonstrate where productivity benefits can be made. The ability to digitally map and analyze the entire packaging process in real time allows information to be accessed remotely from any place and fast action to be taken.

Automation in packaging

Confectionery and bakery product manufacturers are under a lot of pressure to keep their packaging operations flexible and agile. Smaller batch runs have replaced mass production, all of which must be accomplished without increasing unit prices. As a result, automation throughout the entire production/packaging value chain has become the only financially viable solution to these variation-driven issues.

System optimization

New technology clearly has the potential to optimize and streamline confectionery operations in both primary and secondary packaging applications, as automated activities at any stage of the process assure a high level of efficiency and hygiene. Confectionery manufacturers can limit the number of touches with surfaces and eliminate human operator intervention by using easy-to-clean equipment and robotic solutions, promoting food and consumer safety. Robotic technology, in addition to improving hygienic standards, also meets the industry's requirement for greater flexibility, as it can be utilized for a wide range of products and jobs, such as processing random product streams. Robots are able to deal with rapid product changes and can handle a variety of products due to their speed and agility.

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