Go with the Flow: New Trends in Flow Wrapping

By Harpak-ULMA
Posted In : Flowwrapping, packaging automation, sanitation, Manufacturing, cobots, Technology, Industry 4.0

Flow wrapping is a versatile packaging technique that is used for types of products. The technique is favored by production managers for its ease of use, its capacity for high volume with minimal waste, and its cost effectiveness.

The flow wrapping process wraps a product in a clear or printed Polyolefin, Polypropylene or laminate film, forming a 3-sided seal package to produce a light and flexible package. Staying current on new trends in flow wrapping may help you increase packaging process efficiency with implementation of new technologies and techniques.

At the heart of innovation is the desire to gain a competitive edge. Factors such as managing labor, maintenance costs, and expanding training offerings remain a focus of CPG manufacturers. However, technology innovations are at the forefront of change in flow wrapping and packaging. Industry innovators, both packaging machine manufacturers and companies who package their products, are looking to improve flexibility and increase the intelligent quotient of the packaging process through automaton and use of augmented reality.

Here are some trends to note:

Next Generation Flow Wrappers

  • Easier and more efficient to operate
  • More flexibility
  • Better design for sanitation and maintenance
  • Expanded range of seal capabilities for biodegradable and recyclable films

Industry 4.0

  • A term used for digital transformation.
  • Employees prefer human-machine interfaces that are similar to a smartphone usage and design.
  • Augmented reality and virtual reality can be used for training and other services such as maintenance operations and improving the OEM-service business model.
  • Cobots, or collaborative robots are being used to supplement labor and increase efficiencies on the production line.
  • Smart connected machines can self-diagnose issues like quality and identify maintenance needs.

Future Advancements

  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence operate with the internet of things.
  • Self-service including machines that contact vendors for parts, service or materials without human intervention.
  • The creation of a vast pool of data that will help measure key variables. These measurements could make predictable packaging analytics a reality.

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