The production of consumer goods never ceases, and there is always a need to package product in diverse types of containers. Increasing urbanization, technical developments, emerging economies, burgeoning healthcare and disposable income are fueling the consumption of a broad range of products, driving the growth of the global packaging industry. This, in turn, has catapulted the blow-molded container segment into a vibrant marketspace.
The biocompatibility, transparency, versatility and cost-effectiveness of plastic materials has greatly contributed to the popularity for blow-molded plastic, making it the preferred material for packaging and personal care products. However, buyers of blow-molded containers are demanding more variation and customization from suppliers, causing many manufacturers to consider automation implementation to provide the flexibility and speed that enables them to deliver timely and profitably.
The performance of a production line is critical to corporate success, and effectively integrating the use of robotic solutions can help suppliers achieve game-changing results. But, tailoring an automation system to suit precise manufacturing needs can be overwhelming, leaving company leaders confused on how to harvest the answers to the following questions:
- Why should our company automate?
- Where should our company implement automation?
- What type of automation is necessary for a successful solution?
- How does our company specify the right equipment?
- How will our company be successful in the future through expansion needs?
The blow-molded container segment is a “different animal,” and the industry nuances that are presented can be difficult for manufacturers to navigate. From surge capacity to varying pack patterns and bottle chemistry to conveyor systems, there are a lot of facets to consider. This is why I collaborated with Yaskawa Motoman’s Sr. General Manager, Dean Elkins, to share real-world approaches to adding flexibility and improving throughput to blow-molded bottle and container handling lines during BottleCast, Yaskawa Motoman’s first-ever podcast about blow-molded container handling.
As the global packaging industry continues to experience growing customer demand for high customization, suppliers will face unique challenges and intense pressure. Seeking answers to key questions and harvesting the information discovered can be beneficial, helping manufacturers gain quick wins that will future-proof their efforts.
Mark Feie is a Associate Chief Application Engineer at Yaskawa America, Inc. - Motoman Robotics Division.