Manufacturers looking to improve production line efficiency are turning to automation and robotics to increase safety and flexibility throughout the supply chain. According to the Trends in Robotics 2014 study from PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, 72 percent of manufacturers are using robotics in the supply chain. As they implement these technologies, manufacturers increase efficiency while protecting the integrity of their brands and enhancing consumer safety.

Today’s manufacturers must be equipped to quickly respond to customers’ needs. Diversifying demands for different flavors, healthy ingredients and a range of pack styles are driving a movement to smaller batch production. As a result, manufacturers are seeking solutions that provide flexibility and faster changeover to keep operations efficient and profitable. Robots have extremely fast and accurate product handling abilities. End-of-arm tooling (EOAT) in robotics enables the identification of products by color, size and shape. Moreover, transporting items from one place to another is a fast and simple process with the use of robotics. Additionally, automation allows manufacturers to utilize their employees’ skills for less repetitive jobs and other high-value tasks.

Food safety is another critical consideration for food manufacturers. As a result, manufacturers must invest in solutions that reduce the risk of contamination and defects to prevent costly recalls. Automated solutions reduce the need for human contact (a significant source of contamination) with the product throughout the manufacturing process, enabling manufacturers to achieve higher standards of safety and hygiene. Moreover, automated solutions offer greater consistency and precision than their human counterparts can achieve, which can help in enhancing product quality.

To provide manufacturers with the tools and insights to upgrade automation on  production lines, PACK EXPO International 2014 will serve as North America’s comprehensive resource for processing and packaging technologies.

For insights on trends and developments in automation, manufacturers can get up to speed on the latest technology through interactive kiosks and presentations on hot topics at the Center for Trends & Technology (CTT).

To register for PACK EXPO International 2014, co-located with Pharma EXPO, visit