October 24, 2022
A new report from the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI) said labor shortages are driving consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to adopt automated solutions. The PMMI released its report, “The Future of Automation in Processing and Packaging and Processing) during the launch of its PACK EXPO show in Chicago.
The report said CPG companies are looking to enhance and optimize production, storage and distribution processes through solutions such as automated guided vehicles (AGVs), industrial robots, collaborative robots and mobile robots, supported through artificial intelligence and advanced vision tools.
E-commerce is fueling the automation trend, moving companies to a more responsive mode of distribution, such as direct-to-consumer, which disrupts traditionally highly manual warehousing formats – and in some cases, eliminating the need for warehousing. In addition, the report said supply chain problems are impacting the availability and cost of raw materials and parts for packaging machinery. More than 90% of CPGs in a survey said these problems are either extremely impactful or somewhat impactful, with 25% of those companies anticipating problems to persist for more than three years.
In a separate survey of PACK EXPO attendees, automation was at the top of mind for things they were planning to see at the show. “Once again, the potential for automation and robotics to reduce the reliance on personnel and accommodate lower skilled workers was cited, as was the possibility of reducing the amount of monotonous and less rewarding work that must be done manually,” the PMMI said.
To download an executive summary of the PMMI report, click here.
Photo courtesy of Columbia/Okura LLC.