Automation Update - Issue 96

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VARIO-X is the decisive step towards the future! Agile manufacturing, sustainability or Industry 4.0 – thanks to 100 percent automation without control cabinets. Modular, flexible and future-proof, Vario-X brings your machines and systems into the future with decentralized installation technology. future. It‘s that simple.  SIMPLY DONE NOW!

Publication & Managing Director

Jodie Little 01843 580 460

Publication Assistant Taylor Owens 01843 267 690

Editorial Assistant Leigh Little 01843 448 443

Publishing House Jet Digital Media Ltd The Forge, Spratling Court Offices, Manston, Kent CT12 5AN
new products
services HIGH ACCURACY IS THE OPTION Pressure Ranges 0…0,3 to 0…1000 bar Accuracy ±0,05 %FS Total Error Band ±0,1 %FS @ -10…80 °C Interfaces RS485, 4…20 mA, 0…10 V Operational Temperature Range -40…120 °C Series 35X
Automation Update is an engaging, editorially led publication & directory giving the reader news and updates on
to our ever Progressing industry.

How can my business reduce its carbon emissions?

As businesses step up on meeting ESG targets and cutting carbon emissions, we’re seeing an increase in clients asking for help to meet their sustainability goals. When scrutinising the entire supply chain, many manufacturers are finding that changing the chemicals in their cleaning processes can significantly reduce carbon footprint.

Historically, cleaning solvents were notorious for having very high global warming potential (GWP) and had seriously detrimental effects on the atmosphere but the new generation of solvents have been developed specifically with the environment in mind, and are far less harmful than comparable solutions.

Fraser Technologies, who have been supplying precision cleaning solutions for over 50 years, are committed to minimising negative impact on the environment and ensuring we offer the most advanced and sustainable products on the market. One such product is Opteon™ SF80 from Chemours. SF80 has an ultralow GWP of less than 2.5 and is just as effective as competitor products that have a GWP of up to 11,000, so changing can have a huge impact on helping to lower carbon emissions, and it can improve the cleaning process and save money in the process.

One of our customers, a leading aerospace manufacturer, was looking for an alternative to the high-GWP solvent they were using. They switched to SF80, reducing their overall usage of solvent by 28%. This saved them around £30,000 per year, and dramatically reduced their carbon emissions. Previously, their GWP of their previous product was 990 – so the CO2 emissions being created were equivalent to driving around the world 143 times. After switching to SF80, the new emissions were around the same as driving from Edinburgh to Moscow.

To know more about whether your organisation can reduce the carbon impact of its cleaning process, please contact one of our team. We can look at your existing set up and suggest efficiencies, and if superior solvents can be used. It could be one of the easiest ways to help meet your company’s sustainability targets.

For more information click here

4 - Automation Update
UK eco AC LTD POWER ENCLOSED POWER SUPPLY DIN RAIL POWER SUPPLY OPEN FRAME POWER SUPPLY MEAN WELL POWER SUPPLIES Ecopac (UK) Power Ltd, Unit 4, Ridgeway, Crendon Industrial Area, Long Crendon, Bucks, HP18 9BF CALL OUR EXPERT TEAM TODAY! +44 (0) 1844 204420 Email us at

Innovation, insight and future inspiration

Celebrating the advancements in manufacturing & engineering excellence and innovation

There has never been a more important time for our sector to pull together and to work together, to create a shared agenda and Manufacturing and Engineering Week will do exactly that. I am delighted to be part of the Advisory Board and that MAKE UK are a partner of this groundbreaking event.”

Stephen Phipson CBE, Chief Executive, MAKE UK and M&E Advisory Council Chairman

Find out more at

7-8 June 2023 | NEC Birmingham
Register your interest here: register-interest

For more efficient cleaning and higher system availability

The new compact conductivity sensors LDL100 and LDL200 from ifm impress with their fast and precise media differentiation. This helps you to control CIP processes efficiently and to increase the availability of your system. The new LDLs are also simple to commission: They are ready for use out-of-the-box and transmit the conductivity and temperature of the medium via a single M12 connection - digitally and loss-free thanks to IO-Link. As there is no additional evaluation unit required, you also save system costs. So easy, so good. ifm – close to you!

Discover the new easy way to control CIP processes. / uk / uk Go ifmonline Go ifmonline years WARRANTY on ifm products

Snap-on’s Level 5™ asset management system is network ready

As engineering managers come under pressure to meet demanding schedules, often with fewer skilled hands and tighter budgets, the benefits of professional tool storage and management become stronger than ever.

Snap-on Industrial’s Level 5™ automated total asset management system brings order to any workplace, enabling engineers and technicians to know exactly where to find every tool they need, when they need it, saving time and easing stress.

How useful would it be if all valuable tools could be tracked from one central point? Snap-on’s Level 5™ system makes that

possible. It provides complete reports on everything managers or supervisors need to keep an eye on.

And then there’s FOD. The threat of foreign object damage is a real and present danger in many engineering workplaces. Using Snap-on Level 5™ minimises the risk of human error, as automated tool control constantly tracks every tool and detects which tools have been removed or returned, ensuring greater protection against FOD.

Engineered to track individual tools by user, without bar codes, scanners, RFID tags or other add-ons, the system works at the speed its users demand. Other systems require additional steps to scan or log activity. The Snap-on system does this automatically so users save time and don’t have to depend on other steps to ensure accurate results.

Snap-on’s Level 5™ ATC boxes are network ready, using either Ethernet or wireless connection. That enables users to review activity at all Level 5 boxes in their location from one central computer, avoiding the time consuming need to inspect each box.

Major benefits of the system include:

• No individual tool scanning required;

• No RFID tags to install or replace;

• No limitations on tool size: from ¼” screwdriver bit upwards;

• Intuitive interface, with an easy to use touchscreen

• Audible voice announcement of tool removal and replacement

• Automatic locking for maximum security

• Errors announced and displayed to indicate incorrect tool position or advise when a drawer is not closed.

Says Richard Packham, Director UK & Europe for Snap-on Industrial: “Snap-on’s automated system takes asset management to an entirely new level. The ability to monitor several boxes from one central computer offers a huge advantage to engineering managers.”

For technical details visit: call (01536) 413904 or e-mail:

8 - Automation Update
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Vapour degreasing cycle using hermetically sealed equipment

ProSolv®5408e is a high-performance solvent cleaner used for sustainable and future proof vapour degreasing.  Soft on the environment and safe for users, it offers improved cleaning at lower costs. Low boiling point, economical with energy with low solvent losses and faster production.

Innovation driven by legislation

Vapour degreasing, with or with-out ultrasonics, is the oldest, simplest and most effective solvent degreasing and metal cleaning process used today. It has, until recently, been subject to little change since it was first invented in the early part of the last century. In the UK, Europe, United States and other advanced industrialized economies increasingly stringent legislation to control emissions of VOCs, Solvents with a high Global Warming Potential (GWP), or a high Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP), and those compounds associated with human health concerns has led to Envirotech Europe manufacturing new formulations for precision cleaning solvents with low or near zero potential.

Halogenated hydrocarbons are the solvents of choice for vapour degreasing and cleaning. The process is essentially simple. A tank with a sump to contain the solvent, heaters at the base and condensation coils around the top section to control the height of the vapour is all that is needed. When heated in the sump halogenated solvents produce, in most cases, a saturated vapour between 3 and 4 times heavier than air at a temperature greater than the ambient temperature of the parts to be cleaned.

This allows the solvent vapour to condense on the surface of the parts. The condensate dissolves the contaminants such as oil, greases, flux, and soils returning the used solvent into the sump of the machine for recycling into vapour which continuously condenses onto the parts until they have achieved vapour temperature when, with no further condensation, the process is complete. Parts removed from the cleaning machines are very clean, warm and dry.

The most common halogenated solvents, in use for commercial purposes, are non-flammable so present no risk in this process. Perchloroethylene, used mainly for dry cleaning, methylene chloride previously used widely in paint strippers, 1,1,1- trichloroethane and trichloroethylene used for vapour degreasing were the original materials used based on chlorine chemistry. However continuing concern about the environmental impact and danger to operators by exposure to chlorine-based solvents, especially trichloroethylene, has led to a continuing search for safer alternatives, such as ProSolv®5408e, a trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene based solvent mixture that is non-flammable.

usage, low footprint on the factory floor, safety for the operator, and high production rates with low solvent usage or environmental impact.

With the new generation of sealed cleaning machines the future of vapour degreasing as the process of choice is assured.


Please visit our website for information about other uses and applications for ProSolv®5408e

For more advice, please telephone us on +44 (0) 20 8281 6370 or use our website contact form

All products are supplied and supported by EnviroTech Europe Ltd. Manufactured in the United Kingdom and available on short delivery times through our dedicated team of distributors worldwide.

Video animation of Solvac hermetically sealed equipment by kind permission of CC Hydrosonics Ltd.

ProSolv®5408e 23kg can.

The ProSolv®5408e vapour degreasing process gives the highest levels of economical cleaning with minimum energy

Supplied and supported by

10 - Automation Update
Register for free using code - 6507 14 - 16 March 2023 Rotterdam Ahoy
tank storage.
The future of


C.K Tools, the trusted choice for trade professionals, has launched a brand-new Wide Field Head Light (T9630) to ensure greater visibility and safety when accessing wires or cables in dark and confined spaces.

The COB LED head light comes with an RRP of £39.00 and four modes of operation – spotlight, wide field, full beam, and dipped beam –providing the versatility needed to suit all manner of environments electricians find themselves in.

More importantly, the head light performs at a high CRI (Colour Rendering Index) rating of 80, which when optimised with a combination of 400 lumens of brightness (equivalent to a 40w LED bulb) and 5,700 kelvins of colour temperature (similar to natural light) means it can more closely project the true colour of the object it is shining on –critical when working with coloured electrical wires in dark spaces.

For extra portability, the head light is charged via USB, with six hours of runtime, three hours of charge

time, and a charging indicator. To withstand the variety of environments and spaces it will be used in, the head light also comes with an IK-07 impact rating and IP54 ingress protection from limited dust and water spray, for extra durability.

Paul Pugh, Head of Marketing at C.K Tools, said: “Accessing wires in dark and confined spaces is a necessity for every electrical engineer, and it becomes that little bit harder in the winter months when brighter, natural light is less abundant.

“What many don’t consider is that the source of light is just as important as the tools being used on the wires – if not more so; it can make the difference in cutting or connecting the right wires. This is where electrical engineers should be looking beyond just practical elements, such as the portability and price, and placing more important on the CRI and Kelvin capabilities of their light choices.”

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Linear Motors for the Food and Pharmaceutical Industry

Linear motors are ideal for fast and accurate motion in a machine.

Linmot, the leading manufacturer of cylindrical linear motors, has made them even more suitable for demanding food and pharmaceutical applications. For these environments, any mechanism needs to have a high protection class and be easy to clean and require little maintenance.

The motors have been developed to be fully sealed and are made in High grade Stainless Steel. The cylindrical design allows the motor to be completely smooth and does not require seals. There are no food or particle traps and they can be fully washed down.

This is a big advantage over screw, belt actuators or pneumatic cylinders.

The motors are available in Linear modules with protection class IP64S and stainless steel linear modules with protection class IP69 consisting of a linear guide and an integrated LinMot linear motor.

Motor series in stainless steel (EN 1.4404/ AISI 316L) for wash down applications. The motors are characterised by their hygienic design and the high motor protection class IP69 according to DIN EN 60529. Perfectly suited for «inplace» cleaning processes like CIP and SIP.

Food processing with LinMot

LinMot linear motors have been used in the food industry for years. They score here with industry ­ specific advan­

tages, such as simple integration, flexible programmability, dynamics and hygienic design. The motors can be connected to common control platforms in synchronous operation or simple point­to­point motion. The advantages of servo technology enable the gentle and dynamic processing of food. With the help of stored motion profiles, frequent product changes can be achieved simply by pressing a button. LinMot linear motors are available in stainless steel with a high protection class, meaning they can be cleaned under high pressure and with caustic cleaning solutions.

Filling in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Users wishing to combine the advantages of dosing based on flow measurement with those of piston dosing in a rotary filling machine now have clean design LinMot motor options. Using LinMot stainless steel motors, the stroke movement of the filling needles can be mechanically decoupled from the movement of the carousel. Even highly dynamic needle raising applications are possible.

Unlike mechanical lifting curves, electrical direct drives do not exert any destructive forces on the bearing shafts.

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Automation Update - 15

Turning Heads in a Rotating Industry

Industrial photographer, Adrian Waine, is no stranger to the pages of Manufacturing Update. His imagery ranks amongst the best we feature. In this article we get a new perspective on what it takes to create stunning images in challenging environments – Mel Meader, Chief Operating Officer, of Carter Manufacturing, explains in this interview with editor Taylor Owens how Adrian provides the creative spark for their pictures.

Is the photographer’s knowledge of your industry important?

“Carter Manufacturing is a global supplier of precision bearings and tooling to aerospace, medical, nuclear and defence. We require exceptional images to support our business and make it stand out across all the markets in which we are active. Having used various photographers in the past, we have a good idea of what we need in a photographer to achieve our desired images. Experience in all the sectors in which we are involved is not realistic but having knowledge of some plus the ability to adapt those to others is the

What references do you seek before hiring a photographer?

“We discovered Adrian Waine through his images being credited in an associates website. For us, the work speaks for itself and having found these images we started to dig a little deeper. Once satisfied with the imagery, we set about talking with Adrian informally to get a feel for him and how he approaches each commission. His wider industry expertise and experience quickly shone through and gave us the confidence we were seeking.”

Does the photographer’s equipment or lack of it have any consequences?

“The right equipment is necessary, especially lighting. We strive to create original images to capture the imagination of our target audience. Ambient light alone is very limiting in this respect. With the equipment must come knowledge in how to use it for maximum creative effect. We discuss a shot list in advance which defines who needs to obtain what. Adrian supplies all photography and lighting equipment required to capture a shot. He also brings a time-served assistant with him and suggests must-haves in terms of relevant props. This makes the photography process much easier on the day as everything is to hand when needed.”

When the photographs are completed do you feel that the investment in time and money are worthy of the results?

“Without a doubt. We have had several uses from the imagery and expect more. They are being used in our website and have been used in exhibition stands, within our social media and marketing campaigns. The key to getting the most out of the time hinges on the advance preparation. The magical creative flair, if you like, is left to Adrian.”

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Is organising a photographic shoot in a working factory disruptive?

“I know it sounds repetitive, but again preparation is key when commissioning a professional photographer like Adrian. Disruption is often minimal when you append time building a shot list, prop portfolio and select the people involved in advance. Adrian adapts where he can and will always adjust or generate an additional shot outside of the plan if he can and so maximise the useable shots taken on the day.”

Modern cameras and high-end phone cameras, pack a lot of punch these days, are you not tempted to try taking your own pictures?

“You cannot capture the images of this quality using a phone or personal camera. Attention to detail comes from experience and Adrian’s speaks for itself. Lighting, camera angles and feel cannot be re-created without using a time served photographer. Owning an oil painting set doesn’t make you an artist! Working at the forefront of emerging technologies you need to create the right feel when drawing in customers. Adrian achieves this well and we believe that it is well received by our customers, ‘a homemade shot’ will not do.”

Is building a long-term relationship with a photography important?

We began working with Adrian in 2020, and have already completed three shoots with him, with more in the pipeline. Adrian seems to keep well on top of trends. We see our future relationship with Adrian being a constant to keep our imagery fresh, current and eye-catching in an ever changing world.

Does photography help the business attract new talent?

Carter Manufacturing is a pioneering company and to inspire and attract a new generation of engineers to propel our industry forward we need to show

our workplaces for the centres of technological excellence that they are. Adrian’s images come together to tell that story. Mel Meader, Chief Operating Officer, Carter Manufacturing Limited +44 1865 821 720 Mob 07859 879040 Photography : Adrian Waine Tel 0151 356 3855 Adrian was formerly staff photographer with Saudi ARAMCO and was regularly commissioned within the oil processing facilities of Saudi Arabia. Automation Update - 17

Is the packaging industry really embracing the potential of Industry 4.0?

The fourth industrial revolution, or industry 4.0 or 4IR as it’s become known, proposes rapid acceleration of business through technology interconnectivity and next generation automation. Human intervention will be minimised – the future is digital.

Digitising every step of a business process enables companies to reimagine how their products and services are designed and engineered, sourced and supplied, manufactured and serviced (if required) once shipped. But are we really thinking that far ahead in the packaging and label industry?

But for a few exceptions, the answer has to be no. Being honest with ourselves, automation has always been the driving force of the industry – volume and speed often being the name of the game driving competitiveness. However, this has been about individual machines or process capabilities, not the joined up, hyper-connected, data-driven world that Industry 4.0 proposes.

There is no doubt that printing, converting and packing machines are getting faster, more consistent, versatile and user friendly – indeed printing or packing at a touch of a button is nearly a reality. However, the connected workflow across machines, business functions and to the external world, across customers and suppliers, is still left wanting. And yet, the industry is crying out for design and production agility to meet today’s brand and retailer needs.

With today’s ageing packaging industry workforce, the IT literate, skilled leadership required to deliver the programme can often be missing too, and the resulting culture change needed to embrace new technology and new working patterns can be daunting. The industry already has skilled labour shortages – adding new IT requirements to the mix can feel like a step too far in what is already a challenging market environment.

Instead of worrying about what we have to lose, we must focus on what we can gain in a more streamlined, efficient and satisfying work environment.

The reality is that the packaging industry is ready for change. Whether it's economic and global supply challenges, the ageing workforce, inability to attract young talent or a general recognition that ‘the times are a’changing’, the scene is set for digital disruption. What we need now are some brave leaders with a clear understanding of what can be achieved and how, and Industry 4.0 can quickly become a reality delivering the competitiveness, resilience, and versatility that today’s industry so badly needs.

Leaders from across the cutting edge of packaging will gather together on February 15 & 16 at Birmingham NEC to discuss this new frontier for the industry at Packaging Innovations & Empack, Featuring Contract Pack & Fulfilment. Attendee tickets are available to book now, for free, at

This is an abridged article that can be read in full here.

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Could automation be the answer to the Great Resignation?

Regardless of location, if you are a manager in manufacturing, you will have seen the increasingly staggering data about the so-called Great Resignation, a phenomenon where employees voluntarily decide to quit their jobs. Neil Ballinger, head of EMEA at global supplier of quality automation components EU Automation, explores how automation can help manufacturing businesses cope as staff retention rates fall.

The Great Resignation, a term coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor at Texas A&M University, is a growing economic trend in which employees have been voluntarily resigning from their jobs en masse since early 2021. Wage stagnation in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, job dissatisfaction and safety concerns due to COVID-19 are all contributing factors as to why staff resignation levels are persistently on the rise across the globe. So, what does this mean for the manufacturing industry?

According to the Harvard Business Review, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are now self-evaluating, significantly reconsidering their career paths and prospects. Humans are creatures of habit, but the pandemic has caused a shift in both perspective and work-life balance for manufacturing staff.

In Germany, the main factor triggering this shift in the workforce was inflation. Price hikes across food and energy products meant that in 2021, Germany saw inflation rates of 4.1 per cent in September 2021 — the highest in nearly 30 years, causing employees to seek higher-paid jobs with benefits such as working from home.

What’s more, in manufacturing there are few options for remote work compared to other sectors. The Washington Post reports that manufacturing workers fear a new COVID-19 outbreak feel that their safety is not sufficiently protected. Other reasons for why staff retention has plummeted are the stagnation in pay rates, especially in manufacturing that involves ‘nondurable goods’, and harsh working conditions.

Leveraging automation

Job functions within the manufacturing industry often involve constant repetitive actions that might be monotonous and even lead to strain injuries. Leveraging automation systems across production lines to automate repetitive actions will reduce the chance of human error and increase levels of accuracy, but also allow employees to move into more fulfilling job roles, increasing job satisfaction. This might reduce the levels of staff resignation and increase productivity.

Pick and place robots are just one example of how manufacturers can leverage automation for increased efficiency. Using

advanced vision systems, these robots can identify, pick up and move objects from one place to another and can be configured with a myriad of end-of-arm tools, thus making the robot useful for an array of tasks. Automating repetitive processes such as this can help increase levels of production, allowing workers to focus on more complex and rewarding work.

Automating the quality assurance function of the manufacturing process can also assist managers with harnessing automation effectively. The process of quality assurance can become a tedious task for workers over time and inspectors can make mistakes due to the complex nature of the item they are inspecting, whose quality is best assessed by an automated solution. Replacing manual inspection with an autonomous machine vision solution will lead to higher inspection accuracy, while workers can be moved to tasks that require reasoning and decision-making. Navigating the automation industry and sourcing new parts for these manufacturing functions can be a costly process but sourcing your parts from a supplier of reconditioned and obsolete parts could be the solution.

Crucially, manufacturers should not hesitate to deploy new automated solutions for fear that breakages will lead to increase maintenance costs and more downtime. Liaising with a supplier such as EU Automation will allow managers to access parts easily and affordably, so that repairs can be made quickly and stress-free. While the Great Resignation movement continues, the manufacturing industry should accelerate the adoption of new technology to optimise productivity while moving their current employees into more rewarding, fulfilling jobs. Managers must see that automation is not just another expense but an asset to be valued.

20 - Automation Update
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Secure plug-in connections for modular battery storage

The use of connectors also speeds up the construction of energy storage modules, which have huge benefits for many companies, including the ability to maintain an uninterruptible power supply and savings on energy costs by using delayed load usage.

As demand continues to increase, providers of storage systems need to connect a number of cells. The Han S® is specially designed to meet this need, providing simple, fast and safe connections and supporting the assembly of battery storage modules in large quantities.

The sustainable use of renewable energies such as wind or solar power can only be achieved through energy storage modules, as these enable time-delayed, needs-based use of the collected energy. The new Han® S connector range from HARTING now makes it easier to connect large arrays of battery storage modules.

With the Han S® series, HARTING offers secure connection technology for modular battery storage systems. The compact and flexible housings accommodate contacts for currents up to 200 A and 1500 V and bulkhead housings can be flexibly rotated through 360 degrees. HARTING have also coloured the positive terminals red and the negative terminals black, which prevents incorrect mating.

The Han S® offers users plug-in connections for storage modules while providing maximum safety, since the design meets all technical requirements and is based on the latest standard UL 4128 for stationary energy storage systems. The entire range meets the highest standardisation level required by the international market.

These properties are also beneficial for service and maintenance. If a cell in an energy storage module shows a drop in performance, the respective management system can be used to switch it off and have it replaced. To do so, the Han S® interfaces of the adjacent modules are simply turned to the locked state to make room for the switch-out. This procedure can be done without interrupting the energy storage functions of the neighbouring modules.

Han S® is the first high-current battery connector that meets the relevant UL and railway standards for stationary energy storage systems. Among others, it fulfils the requirements of UL 4128 for connectors in electrochemical battery system applications, UL 1973 for batteries in stationary applications, for emergency power supply for vehicles and in light rail application and UL 9540 for energy storage systems and accessories. Han S® is also shock and vibration proof according to the relevant railway standards.

To learn more, please visit: connector-battery-storage

The HARTING standard helps us to ensure that the connection from our product to downstream products is always compatible.
Han® S - Secure plug-in connections for modular battery storage ■ Error-free connections through an effective mechanical coding system ■ Safe installations assured by visual locking control and finger protected contacts ■ High flexibility over different mounting possibilities with 360° positioning for cable entry and contact terminations ■ Complies with all relevant UL energy storage standards (UL1973, UL9540, UL4128) One Range. No Limits:

Worldwide Fruit Automate Quality at Scale with AI

OAL is proud to announce its latest project with Worldwide Fruit to stop packaging errors with artificial intelligence and automation. Worldwide Fruit has scaled and improved its quality control processes, resulting in happier customers and reduced operational risk. Automation has helped find and prevent “hard-to-spot errors” whilst reducing the time it takes to complete quality control checks. They have also removed substantial paperwork from the business helping meet and surpass sustainability goals.

Previously manual human checks of product labels, date code and country of origin were undertaken, but these methods are susceptible to human error, especially in a high-complexity business like Worldwide Fruit. Their complex operations handle thousands of different product, grower, and packaging combinations. For one category like apples, there are many varieties of apples from different countries with different packaging and promotion requirements from each retailer.

For a production run, Worldwide Fruit must ensure the right product (apple), is in the right packaging with the right date code and country of origin. Any mistake in the process could result in a product recall and a fine from retailers. To address these challenges Worldwide Fruit turned to automation.

After a review of suppliers, Worldwide Fruit chose to work with OAL because of recommendations and previous experience implementing the OAL system. Furthermore, they wanted to work with a business that could integrate with their existing ERP system, which OAL could demonstrate.

The priority was implementing an “online” label and verification system across its packaging lines to accelerate its digital transformation. Online meaning, every product is verified as opposed to “offline” where a sample is verified.

Fran McNally, Quality Manager at Worldwide Fruit described the project: “The team at OAL are easy to work with, working together we have implemented a robust automated label and date code verification system. By introducing cutting edge artificial intelligence technology we’ve futureproofed our packaging

lines, enabling further automation. Crucially we’ve been able to customise the system to meet our unique requirements. The 247 support is quick, friendly, and efficient!”

The OAL solution has a number of elements to automate the process. A digital master product database was created containing all critical SKU information. OAL Line Terminals were installed on every line for operators to start and finish jobs and conduct quality checks related to the job. This includes online cameras to scan and verify packaging to ensure the right packaging is applied to the product. Each online printer was connected to the OAL system. The OAL system controls the printer and tells it the date code to print based on the date code rules in the master product database. The offline print room printers were also under the control of the OAL system to ensure offline printed labels were also correct.

Finally, the site chose to add an extra layer of assurance with APRIL Eye date code verification. APRIL Eye gives the OAL system the functionality to read back and verify printed date codes in an image. This ensures the right date code is applied, it’s legible and in the right location.

At Worldwide Fruit, as part of start-up, interval and end-of-run checks the operator takes a picture of a finished pack with the OAL line terminal hand scanner. The system checks it’s correct and legible against the current job.

Finally, every check, scan and data point is recorded providing a complete digital audit trail to ensure BRC and retailer code of practice compliance.

Automation Update - 25

Live shows are back and better than ever with more excitement set for 2023

Following a packed 2022, with events like Packaging Innovations and The Print Show leading the reunion as the first UK meeting points for the global print and packaging sector, it’s fair to say the industry is realising how vital live events are. No home office could ever truly replace the bustle of a meeting on a packed show floor, surrounded by cutting-edge technology and industry leaders with the crackle of creativity in the air.

At a time when the print sector is continually innovating to play its part in improving sustainability, the return of live shows – an environment that lends itself to breaking down barriers and improving collaboration – is particularly welcome. After several years of focusing on steadying supply chains, the print industry can now focus on using innovations to find efficiencies and add value to its products.

After several years of presenting through webcams, exhibitors are once again able to show their A-game live on the event floor. This is more useful for both exhibitors and attendees, who are able to thumb through reading materials, explore the tactile feel of samples, and compare colour cards live and in person.

Bringing in this packed calendar is February’s Packaging Innovations & Empack, Featuring Contract Pack & Fulfilment show. Held 15 & 16 February at the Birmingham

NEC, the triple-tier event covers every aspect of the packaging journey and includes a dedicated Label & Print Zone – one of four zones on the show floor.

The event is set to attract over 6,000 attendees from some of the world’s most prominent brands, where they forge new relationships or rekindle old ones by collaborating with one of the over 300 exhibitors at the NEC. As the show has returned to its traditional February dates, it once again acts as first-quarter inspiration for the print sector – and the wider packaging industry - on a scale that simply isn’t possible in an online event.

If 2022 is any indication, live events like Packaging Innovations are set to generate increased enthusiasm from attendees and exhibitors going forward. 2023’s bumper line up shows that show organisers are more than rising to the occasion.

Packaging Innovations & Empack, Featuring Contract Pack & Fulfilment is an early statement of intent that lays down a marker for the rest of 2023 to follow. Live shows aren’t just back, they’re bigger and better than ever!

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26 - Automation Update
With several years of enforced online events behind us, the packaging industry’s live show calendar finally returned this year – and is in better shape than ever.
15 & 16 February 2023 | NEC Birmingham Register to attend 1002 +44 (0)20 3196 4354 Register toDAY Discover the future of your brand’s packaging and production journey 15 & 16 February 2023 | NEC Birmingham Register to attend using code 1002 +44 (0)20 3196 4354 Register toDAY Co-located with Discover the future of your brand’s packaging and production journey 15 & 16 February 2023 | NEC Birmingham Register to attend using code 1002 +44 (0)20 3196 4354 Register toDAY Co-located with Discover the future of your brand’s packaging and production journey
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