By Steve Mulder, packaging segment lead, Rockwell Automation
Packaging OEMs can be quick to adopt the latest smart machine technology to meet the needs of their customers. But the rush to implement technology as an overarching solution isn’t the answer.
Smart machines are not a one-size-fits-all solution that provide the same value to every user. End users have specific business challenges that require tailored solutions.
To fully understand a customer’s unique needs and propose the most cost-effective and efficient fix, OEMs must look at the broader picture and ask, what is the root of my customer’s problem?
Start with a conversation.
Simple is Better
I recently spoke with a specialized inspection OEM in the beverage industry that solved a long-standing issue by implementing a few simple sensors instead of a large-scale solution. This was possible because the OEM looked beyond their machine and its traditional scope.
After filling and capping, an inspection machine checks for fill level and proper cap placement. If there is any issue, the faulty bottle is kicked off the line. Employees on-site could detect an increase in the number of rejected bottles but were unable to identify which fill station or turret was causing the anomalies.
After a discussion with its customer, the OEM’s personnel realized that by adding sensors into the upstream equipment, their machine can leverage the inspection data already available to provide actionable intelligence to the on-site employees for addressing issues outside of the specific equipment they supplied.