The Rockwell Automation Fair is only a month away and will feature the winner of the Best Future Machine Award. The latter—a competition held by Rockwell this past May—was created to recognize and reward innovation in the packaging industry. The competition was separated into five categories: ease of use, modular machines, smart machines, sustainability, and traceability and product safety. The winners were chosen by a judging panel comprised of representatives from Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, Kimberly Clark, Nestlé, and the European trade associations UCIMA and GEPPIA.
Overall and Ease of Use: IF318 from Cama Group
The overall winner was the Italian company Cama Group. Known globally for its innovative packaging system technology, Cama offers robotic and packaging machines that can be used in several industries, including food and beverage. They cover the whole primary and secondary packaging process from line entrance to the end-of-the-line operations prior to palletizing. The new IF318 robotics monoblock loading unit is what won Cama the winning prize. It incorporates cabinet-free technology, modern ergonomics for human operations, and user-friendliness, and leverages the iTrak intelligent track system from Rockwell Automation. The IF318 uses Cama’s new pitch-less platform for robotic forming, loading, and closing of cartons. The IF318 also has a digital-twin model for users to predict maintenance operations, along with performance goals.
Besides winning the overall competition, Cama also came in first for the ease of use category. Below are the winners for the other categories:
Modular Machines: CareSelect Infeed System from Gebo Cermex
The CareSelect Infeed System from Gebo Cermex is a modular product handling system where movers are only in contact with the bottle for 0.3 sec. The CareSelect can handle up to 400 products per minute, depending on product size, shape, and weight. It surpasses traditional endless screw collation systems. To eliminate contact between products, the flow is managed to avoid accumulation at the infeed and friction time between the bottle and the system.
Smart Machines: GCap6 from Goglio
The GCap6 from Goglio is a filling machine for aluminum capsules. The filling machine consists of several modules, including a loading system for stacked capsules, a double Auger filling system, a check weigher, a tamping and cleanup device, a cut and seal group for the top lid, a camera for optical control, and a pick-and-place device at the exit. The machine features remote access capabilities and runs the Connected Enterprise technology system from Rockwell.
Sustainability: CartonPack from CMC Machinery
The CartonPack box-on-demand solution from CMC Machinery produces optimum box sizes with minimal packaging waste. It processes multi-item orders of varying size and shapes, providing saving costs. The core of the machine is CMC’s Vary Tote, which features two inner adjustable guides that compact the picked items into the smallest volume possible and dimensions based on product orders. The process also uses a 3D scanner to read the dimensions of orders as they are packed to select the necessary corrugated packaging cardboard. This places items in the exact pre-formed box necessary to ship.
Traceability and Product Safety: FM 200 from SN Maschinenbau
The FM 200 pouch packaging machine from SN Maschinenbau has advanced communication capabilities, designed for Internet of Things (IoT) or Industry 4.0 systems. It offers data capture and product traceability.