Industry 4.0. The future of packaging

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Integrated machinery technology

Mass customization

“Mass Customization” is what experts call the consumers’ trend of personalizing their own products in a big scale production. This tendency requires a manufacturing technique that could combine flexibility and personalization with the low unit costs.

The development of information technology (IT) systems, filling and packaging machines are very flexible to handle today. Custom – made production and packaging of product can be done automatically without any special experience.

A few years ago, personalized products were a luxury that only could afford few people around the world. Consumers could not change the range of colors or the seat covers of the car they bought. Today, the automotive industry is giving the clients more options to personalize their car as they wish.

Personalized products have been commonplace for years now, like T-shirts or pens in corporate colors or bearing a company logo or consumers don’t get surprise when they can print their name into a soda´s can as it happened in the campaign likes “Share and coke”.

The idea of Industry 4.0 is to drive the fourth industrial revolution centered on the use of the Internet and digital technologies to connect customers and business partners to the production process to promote the customization of products and delivery of high-quality services.

Industry 4.0. What are we talking about?

Integrated machinery technology

Integrated machinery technology and digital information are playing an important role in modern factories. Production and packaging speeds are increasingly growing, and more companies exchange production relevant data at high speed. This development is referred to as “Industry 4.0.”.

The term “Industry 4.0” belongs to the fourth industrial revolution, a new stage of organization and control of the complete value chain along the complete product lifecycles. Those cycles go behind customers’ increasingly individual wishes (or customized products) at low costs. Industry 4.0 offers the tools at almost no extra cost.

The idea involves the implementation of smart machines in manufacturing settings (in the same sense as a smartphone that knows where you are and can communicate with your surroundings). Industry 4.0 relies on Ethernet, either cable or wireless, to connect different machines. In doing so, the concept create an environment in which machines can talk to one another in a standard language and influence on them for the benefit of the whole system.

Optima’s experience

optima

Last month, Optima, a company that produces filing and packaging machines, has presented a machine system at the Hannover Messe Trade Fair, called “LOT SIZE 1”. The new Optima Machine is a multi-carrier transport system, developed in cooperation with Festo and Siemens. The system presented could move forward automatically to the different processing stages such as filling, closing and labeling as required. Besides, operators could insert or remove different specifications into the system in a very easy way. This way the production line is easily adjusted to different formats of product according to special requirements.

On the Optima LOT SIZE 1, a perfume can be produced at the press of a button and the first client was Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, whom it was given a personalized perfume called “Angela’s Dream”. And also it’s very fast; the Optima’s machine could produce up to 1,800 individual folding cartons for perfumes per hour.

And Optima’s dream didn’t end there; the company is going to present the same machine at Hillary Clinton in EEUU. They have many reasons in doing that.

The machine has further functions for customized marketable products. The prototype has intelligent and technologic sensors that recognize the need for service or the product, basic service assignments and can purchase orders.