As automation technologies progress, there are more opportunities for machinery to respond directly to input from human operators. This is why a good human-machine interface (HMI) is extremely important.
In a market where customer demands are ever-changing and growing in complexity, the ability to handle shorter production runs with greater packaging variation is essential for manufacturers wanting to maintain profitability.
When any element on a production line fails, the entire production line probably goes down, at considerable loss of time and profit. The first thought of the maintenance engineer is, “How soon can I get it back up?” The pain begins when the line goes down and ends when the line recovers full production.
Packaging is a constantly shifting environment. However, unlike the rest of production, packaging processes have been slow to uptake new technologies. Thankfully, with the rise of developments in technology, like sensors, human-machine interfaces and motion control, flexibility of the packaging line is better than ever.
Trends are funny. Some trends seem to quickly grab the attention of the public, only to fizzle out after the launch of the next trend. In retail, this is most notable with the latest kids’ toy — as soon as the holidays have passed so has the hype.
If you are regular reader of this column, you are likely aware of the competitive advantages provided by PackML in August’s “Get Ready for IIoT: 5 Reasons to Implement PackML Now.” Your company may even be planning to implement PackML. So where do you start?
Small changes can create significant cost savings in packaging, so it’s no wonder the industrial internet of things (IIoT) is a trend that continues to grow within the broader digital transformation efforts.
In the world of packaging, data is the key to increasing efficiency and cutting expenses to create the most profitable product. Reacting quickly to machine shutdowns, supply chain issues and safety events gets our plants back to what they are supposed to be doing: making the product.
OMAC’s initiative to improve HMI usability and reduce operator training is moving to the next phase. As part of its efforts to develop a PackML HMI Implementation Guide, OMAC conducted a usability survey during PACK EXPO International last October. The evaluation challenged participants to complete a series of tasks on three different HMI designs.
Due to ongoing advances in HMI technology in terms of hardware and software, the range of options keeps growing — creating new solutions for specific machines or lines that will support safer, more modular designs and intuitive operation.
The January 2020 Packaging Strategies offers a culmination of tips and best practices in “Best Practices for Packaging Line Optimization,” and the 2020 Packaging Design Forecast, along with articles on fiber laser marking, HMIs with a more human touch, rigid plastic sustainability and more!