The packaging industry is a healthy sector in the economy and is generally a key enabler of the responsiveness of brands to consumer preferences, needs, and demands. Despite various supply chain constraints, consumers want products and goods of the highest quality, hygiene, and accurate weight. Brand owners are reaching out for more automated and less time-consuming processes in filling and sealing, packaging and inspection, and other end-of-line functions as the entire supply chain embraces IoT4.
The packaging industry is technology-driven with significant responsibility and share in inculcating modern technologies within the eco-system or supply chain. To keep up with higher volumes and SKUs, the packaging industry is motivated to replace older conventional packaging lines with more versatile and agile equipment.
In addition to product preservation, hygiene, traceability, and safety, which are key objectives, the packing systems need to be flexible and scalable to keep up with market demands and keep costs under control. Adjacently, high-performance quick time to market, quality control, and sustainable manufacturing are the key drivers that assist in meeting today’s supply chain and consumer demands.
Vertical form, fill, and seal machines
In forming, filling, and sealing flexible material pouches, the packer also struggles with various issues such as spillage, speed control, and frequent breakdowns that later hinder efficient production. Vertical form, fill, and seal (VFFS) machines are used in almost every industry such as FMCG, food, chemicals, minerals, pet food, or agriculture for several good reasons. They are a fast yet economical solution conserving valuable plant floor space, easy to run and maintain with minimal maintenance.
Intelligent and flexible: ospVFFS
Machine builders (OEMs) are developing new machine designs to meet the changing trends with scalable automation features that can help to provide consumers with a greater variety of preferred packaged food items, for instance, at higher speeds than before. High-speed packaging is not only a necessity but also a trend in the industry as it tries to cope with the increasing operational costs and growing market demands. Advanced VFFS machines play an essential role in dealing with the requirement of producing a variety of pouches of various shapes and sizes at high speeds.
The key for building any future-ready VFFS machine is to enable adaptation to change requirements without the need for programming. Machine builders need to build a machine and provide it to their customers without investing time in software programming. An out-of-the-box solution drastically reduces their time-to-market. Machine builders are moving to a strategy of configuring more and programming less – to gain more market share.
To address these challenges faced by the packaging machine builders in the vertical filling segment, B&R Industrial Automation has launched an out-of-the-box automation solution called ospVFFS, which is scalable, configurable, and pre-engineered. It can be used for new as well as retrofitting machines with extensive possibilities and configurations.
The ospVFFS concept and inputs enable machine builders to configure a VFFS machine within 30 minutes with various options. This improves machine performance and also allows a shorter time-to-market. In addition, the configurable solution is Industry 4.0-ready with web-based diagnostics and secure IT connectivity built over OPC UA providing an edge to the automated packaging machines.