Dreamstime and courtesy Pack Expo
Trade show floor with Pack Expo logo

Pack Expo Product Debuts Highlight Open Systems

Oct. 26, 2022
From operations to maintenance, companies look to turn automation into actionable data.

The debut of end-to-end automation solutions, an analytics package for clean-in-place operations, and an AI-powered quality and maintenance platform are among the innovations on display at Pack Expo 2022 in Chicago.

The 2022 event features a chance to showcase some automation and digital solutions with applications beyond the packaged goods industry. Among this year’s interesting product presentations at Pack Expo:

Bosch Rexroth crtlX Platform an Open System

At Pack Expo, Bosch Rexroth presented the ctrlX AUTOMATION platform, which is a mix of hardware and software solutions built on an open architecture platform. The goal, company officials said in a press release, is to offer a comprehensive approach to plant floor operations without having to replace existing hardware and software.

“The level of automation is advancing in all industries. Increasing digitalization requires new solutions that enable networking with other systems and offer openness in all necessary directions,” said Steffen Winkler, vice president, Sales, Business Unit Automation & Electrification Solutions at Bosch Rexroth. “Our customers require individual solutions that are appropriately interlinked, rather than stand-alone products. Isolated solutions typically operate within their own boundaries and cannot interact with related or other systems.”

“The openness of the platform and the ecosystem around ctrlX AUTOMATION also allows for the integration of third-party solutions,” Bosch Rexroth officials said in the press release. “Customers can use apps from Bosch Rexroth as well as apps from third-party providers and apps they have created themselves with ctrlX World. This automation platform is also open for the co-creation of solutions and hardware from partners, creating solutions for specific industry requirements.”

Open Architecture For Packaging Systems

Another company looking at a comprehensive solution is Coesia, a global packaged goods company that featured their automation for the production line,  from raw materials to packaging to distribution.

“Our customers are adapting to meet the demands of transformative consumer trends like sustainability, SKU proliferation, and e-commerce, while dealing with significant, long-term labor challenges,” says Alessandro Parimbelli, CEO, Coesia. “Engineering and adapting new technology into our portfolio of equipment and service offerings is addressing the need for manufacturers to have dynamic, flexible and highly efficient solutions that are more intuitive to operate.”

Emerson Focuses on Clean-in-Place Solutions

Estimating that food and beverage plants spend 30% of utility resources on clean-in-place operations Emerson presented its CIP Utilities & Automated Reporting Analytics package during Pack Expo.

The software is designed to adapt manual and semi-automated data and generate automated reports. “Equipped with the right data and analytics, plant managers, operators and maintenance personnel can view the information on a dashboard and share the insights with sustainability officers and other stakeholders to optimize their CIP cycles,” Emerson officials said in a press release.

Festo Using AI to Mange Quality, Energy

The rise in artificial intelligence has been a topic of much discussion within manufacturing, and at Pack Expo, Festo is showing how AI can be used to identify data anomalies.

The Festo Automation Experience (AX) is designed to focus on quality, maintenance and energy management systems. The system “maps data to learn a component, machine, product, or energy system’s healthy state,” Festo officials said in a press release.

Festo officials estimated that the AX system can lower waste by more than 50% and product rejection costs by more than 45%. Machine availability can improve by more than 25%. Unplanned downtime can fall by more than 20%.

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