Quarterly report – Data driven future for packaging machines

Data driven packaging machines

Speedpack IOT

September 2021

Our role in the future of packaging

My previous quarterly report focused on the dark factory. Under the heading “dark times ahead”, I sought to interpret this development based on our role as a manufacturer and supplier of packaging machines. The fact that packaging cannot be viewed as an isolated link in the chain – after all, in dark factories different machines communicate with each other – means we are slowly but surely moving towards becoming a supplier of packaging technology. This shift and our further integration into the customer chain is a development I very much welcome as CEO of Audion Packaging Machines. In this quarterly, I explain why.

In this article I will discuss the following developments:

A data-driven future for packaging machines

An increasing number of our packaging machines are now calibrated and validated and then installed (Installation Quality) and tested (Operational Quality) on site. This development is particularly noticeable in markets like medical and pharma. Many of the machines we calibrate, validate, deliver and test are equipped with data logging systems. These machines collect data on usage, seal quality and other essential parameters. This is an important step towards a world in which the packaging machine is able to operate as a standalone unit (IOT). Such independent operation offers the user numerous advantages, such as packaging any time, anywhere and improved quality and efficiency.

From product to service organisation

Audion Packaging Machines has been in business for almost 75 years. Traditionally you could define us as a constructor of packaging machines, but our role is changing more and more. My expectation is that in the future, for some of our clients and driven by technological progress (IOT) and the increased volume of data, we will increasingly develop into a service organisation. This means that in certain markets we will no longer be selling machines but rather seals or packaging. We will use the data generated to further optimise our customers’ business processes. This form of integration in the customer chain is highly desirable for certain market players, as it allows them to focus better on their core business.

Conclusion

I said I would explain why I welcome these developments. Let me first say that we are proud of the broad spectrum of customers we serve within our four strategic target markets (food, parts, e-commerce and medical/pharma). It is obvious that even within those target markets, these developments will be embraced and implemented more quickly by some customers than by others. But we are definitely noticing a change in practice. We are currently in discussions with customers in which our role is increasingly that of a packaging knowledge partner. This changing role, in which our knowledge is key, is one we are proud to embrace. The fact that we are being assigned this role is the result of years of hard work by our people, who have managed to achieve a position of ‘thought leadership’ in the world of packaging.

If you are interested in the possibilities available, I would be very pleased to talk to you.

Eugène Tangelder

vacuum packaging

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