The future of packaging through digital transformation, robotics, artificial intelligence and the IoT

Submitted by Serena Rebollo… on 09 July 2021

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  • Packaging Cluster and the Digital Cluster of Catalonia proposed different digital solutions for the development of disruptive innovation driving projects, on June 30
  • Among the conclusions of the debate, conclusions were drawn such as the need to adapt equipment to new technologies and processes, which have come to stay

During the technology week that featured in the Mobile World Congress (June 28 - July 1), an intercluster meeting was organized between the Packaging Cluster and the Clúster Digital de Catalunya to virtually discuss the future of packaging through transformation digital, robotics, artificial intelligence and the IoT.

The open information that was shared on June 30 allowed and will allow the achievement of applicable solutions in the scenario of the fourth industrial revolution, the generation of collaborations between transversal sectors, such as digital and packaging, as well as possible applicable actions in the aid and financing programs that were presented.

Mireia Andreu, Innovation Manager of the Packaging Cluster, began the meeting with a clear proposal on the table such as the creation of an Industry 4.0 working group that solves the current challenges of the packaging sector through the interaction between key players of innovation, in annual meetings that motivate synergies, bringing together the interests of all the members of the group and keeping them informed of all the news that may affect and benefit them.

Mireia Andreu also explained the line of aid from the Ministerio de Industria, Comercio y Turismo to Agrupaciones Empresariales Innovadoras, to promote initiatives aligned with the national strategy of Connected Industry 4.0.

Next, Joaquín Carretero, Director of Strategy in Industry 4.0 at Nunsys, reviewed the IoT technologies applicable to different types of packaging: ACTIVE (that which interacts with the environment and content), EXPANDED (that which adds additional information with barcodes or QR), INTELLIGENT (as it connects to the internet to provide traceability or security data).

According to Joaquín Carretero, Industry 4.0 allows data to be transferred to production processes for intelligent manufacturing, automating all decision-making management and loyalty to our target audience.

From Plain ConceptsPedro Sánchez, Business Developer and Sales Manager, introduced 3 of the legs that they consider to be key in today's market: BIG DATA, artificial intelligence and mixed reality. These three levers are an asset for the company and its contribution of value, since they are the way to predict responses, reduce errors and improve business competitiveness.

For her part, Berta Carulla, Operations & Customer Success Manager at 3D Click, presented the first Packaging Marketplace, The Pack Finder, a virtual platform that responds to a demand from the sector such as the need to have a space where brands can find your ideal packaging, customize it in 3D and contact packaging suppliers. In case of not finding the solution that was sought, the challenge can be proposed to the community to find that packaging that responds to specific qualities.

The Pack Finder is, in turn, the perfect tool to test brand new launches before launching them on the market, so that the response of the ecosystem is tested. In the fall of 2021, The Pack Finder will be launched exclusively, with all the data and aggregated companies ready to transform the packaging industry.

To finish, Andreu Araque, CEO and co-founder of Hedyla, concluded the session with an approach to the user experience, and the advantages of applied technology. Therefore, a good process of analyzing the data and the business logic of your client, a solid integration of this new type of software solutions in logistics processes and adequate training for the team, allows us to achieve improvements at many points in the chain and a significant optimization of resources.

Among the current challenges, the following stand out: 1) the greater demand and level of service demanded by the user, 2) real-time information, 3) digital transformation and logistics 4.0, 4) green logistics and sustainability.

Among the conclusions, the importance of practical innovation applied to development stands out, with a proactive attitude on the part of companies in the transition to a digital model and the financing opportunities that they generate at national and European level, new opportunities for the packaging sector .

Do you have any new solution that can add value to companies and entities in the sector?

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