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11/23/20 1:21 PM

After the Mask COVID-19 has changed the workplace—which means it will not be business as usual post-pandemic. You need a plan. PG 28

SPECIAL REPORT OEMs Coproduce COVID-19 Test Packaging Equipment Lines to Ramp Up Distribution PG 24

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TECHNOLOGY Collaborative Robots Expand in Scope PG 34

PACK EXPO CONNECTS Did You Miss PACK EXPO Connects? No Problem, We Have You Covered PG 40

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07 HOW TO BROADEN USE OF REMOTE ACCESS To fully capitalize on the potential benefits of remote access technology, CPGs need to start small and grow success. EMERGIN G LE A D E R S

08 PMMI’S EMERGING LEADERS ON THE RISE Meet the future leaders of the packaging and processing industries. IN D UST RY N E WS


The virtual world is creating new end user expectations around machine delivery and service. MA RKET IN G F O CU S


Here are four ways to ensure your lead nurturing efforts are successful.



Check out new announcements, opportunities, and updates from PMMI.







34 THE LATEST ON COLLABORATIVE ROBOTS As the development of collaborative robotic systems continues, the line between typical industrial robots and those deemed “cobots” continues to blur.

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43 COVID-19 AFTERMATH DEMANDS FOR OEMS CPGs lean on OEMs for help with equipment, training, and safety during the pandemic.


Here is how industry leaders are handling postpandemic planning and considerations OEMs should take as the new year approaches.


PMMI offers a solid summation of the current state of the industry.

Take a look at how 16 integrated lines were designed, built, and installed in 20 weeks.


If so, don’t worry. This recap will tell you everything you need to know about accessing PACK EXPO Connects on-demand.




Collaboration and confidentiality agreements will be the key to success in pioneering new MaaS business models. A PPLICAT ION BR I E F


See how OEMs are meeting CPG demands with innovative solutions. N EW PROD UCTS

68 INNOVATIONS FROM PACK EXPO CONNECTS See the latest in controls, components, and robotics.

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We Reduce Friction “ Seamlessly at every level, every turn…” On Your Machine Q Custom components Q Standard components Q Chain guides In Your Operation Q On time delivery Q Quality parts Q Technical expertise

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E D ITOR IA L Stephanie Neil Editor-in-Chief / 781 378 1652 Natalie Craig Managing Editor / 312 205 7917 Sean Riley Senior Director, Media and Industry Communications / 571 266 4419

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PU BL IS HING Jim Chrzan Publisher/VP Brand Development Ricky Angel Associate Publisher (Sales) / 630 805 3892 Kim Overstreet Senior Content Strategist, Alignment Sue DaMario Director of Marketing Amber Miller Senior Marketing Manager Janet Fabiano Financial Services Manager

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Lisa Hunt COO, Plexpack Greg Berguig VP, Sales and Marketing, PAC Machinery Jeff Bigger President-CEO, Massman Automation Designs Rick Fox III Director, Engineering Services, Fox IV Technology Stacy Johnson Director of Marketing & Strategic Planning, Dorner Brian Ormanic Lead Applications Engineer, ARPAC Martin Prakken CEO-Owner, BluePrint Automation Colin Warnes Director Sales Engineering & Project Management, ADCO Manufacturing Tom Ivy, President, F.R. Drake

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The Teachings of 2020 They say hindsight is 20/20. Well, for all of us who experienced 2020, there was nothing clear about this past year. There was a lot of adjusting—and readjusting—in life and in work. And that’s going to be the modus operandi going into 2021, as well. I think Laura Clairmont, PMMI’s director of human resources, who spoke with me for our cover story, sums it up well: “During the pandemic, the key words we are using are flexible and responsible.” Learn how new procedures companies put into place will impact future operations in our story on page 28. And, for another story that will knock your socks off, turn to page 24 where Keren Sookne, from our sister publication Healthcare Packaging, takes us on the journey of Thermo Fisher Scientific, which was asked by the U.S. government to deliver 10 million of its viral transport media tubes (used to store nasal swabs for viruses) per week. This was a drastic shift from the 50,000 per week they were

producing at the outset of the pandemic, and it required a highly coordinated effort with its OEMs. They delivered 16 new integrated lines within 20 weeks—a timeline that is typically expected for just one machine. Of course, to get through any crisis there needs to be strong leadership. For an example of how to lead through chaos, flip to page 51 for a Q&A with Jan Tharp, CEO of Bumble Bee Seafood. She’s not only led her company through COVID-19, but also a boatload of controversy she inherited from the previous leadership. It’s a fascinating story and a good reminder that it’s important to put people first. Perhaps, appreciating people—and working in new ways to figure out the extraordinary things we can accomplish together—are the most important lessons of 2020. Stephanie Neil is the Editor-in-Chief of OEM Magazine. She may be reached at or at in/stephaniesneil.



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Meet Future Generation of Leaders It’s no secret that the manufacturing industry— specifically, packaging and processing—have struggled when it comes to attracting, recruiting, and retaining a skilled workforce. And this obstacle is only becoming more challenging with time. According to Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, approximately 2.4 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled from now until 2028. But there is some good news. Millennials and Gen Xers from many different backgrounds and experiences are finding their way to the packaging and processing industries through their passion for sustainability and innovative technology. In their eyes, the possibility for innovation is endless in this space. And it’s certainly a push in the right direction. 2020 has presented us with many obstacles, which have helped propel new technologies and business models to the forefront.

During the pandemic, companies like Triangle Packaging Machinery Company, Cama North America, Felins, BellatRx Inc., Intralox, LLC, and more had emerging leaders who were ready to put all hands on deck to make sure their company continued to innovate while adapting to the changing landscape. In fact, they couldn’t have been more excited to adopt and learn about new technologies and opportunities. You’ll want to check out our extensive Q&A with PMMI’s Emerging Leaders On the Rise Award winners on page 8. Here, you’ll learn about the challenges these rising stars are looking forward to tackling in 2021 and how they see the industry moving forward. If you ask me, I’d say we are in excellent hands. The future is now. Natalie Craig is the Managing Editor of OEM Magazine. She may be reached at or at www.linkedin. com/nataliedcraig.

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How to Broaden Use of Remote Access If CPGs are ever going to capitalize fully on the potential benefits offered by remote access technology, they need to start small and grow success rather than looking to quickly implement an entire complex plan all at once. Pat Reynolds, Editor Emeritus, Packaging World


MMI conducted a focus group and survey on the trends and issues consumer packaged goods (CPGs) manufacturers face in adopting remote access within their operations. The focus group provided a forum for representatives from 68 CPG manufacturers, OEMs, system integrators, and contract packaging professionals. The report, Trends in Adoption of Remote Access: Moving Forward During COVID-19, captures participants’ perspectives on how to keep production lines running smoothly and increase uptime during a time when service technicians are unable to enter their plants. Overall, the report reveals how many CPGs, OEMs, and system integrators are responding to the “new normal” in manufacturing driven by demands in which chaos and order exist side-byside. The chart included here shows that among the findings from that PMMI Business Intelligence report, the biggest influencing factor for remote access adoption is the ability to prove out how the capability can benefit the organization. To that end, many participants cited the need to start small and build on success. It may also be helpful to implement a hybrid approach to remote access that involves maintaining a human factor onsite. And let’s not forget about the importance of obtaining C-Suite sponsorship from day one, not to mention winning corporate support. And one good way to win that support, the report points out, is to look initially at the first level of management and the change agents, and then build the decision around a strategic pillar to the corporate level. Other solutions touched on in the report include these: • CPG IT departments should be included at the beginning of projects to increase IT’s understanding of how remote access at the OT level works. • OEMs need to ensure better documentation of previous technical service so as to ensure continuity. • Currently, there is no commonality to identify what stage IT and OT are on in their journey toward remote access. CPGs and OEMs should work together to create a common stage definition usable by everyone.

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• Since it is usually the CPG engineering team that

needs to convince IT, OEMs should be ready to help in this area. To learn more about how to overcome remote access obstacles and uncover untapped opportunities, download the full “Trends in Adoption of Remote Access” report: Easily share this article with your peers:

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Meet PMMI’s Emerging Leaders on the Rise These rising stars share their perspective on the manufacturing industry and how they built a career in the packaging and processing space. Natalie Craig, Managing Editor


s a way to recognize young talent making their mark on the packaging and processing industries, PMMI set out to find 12 rising stars. OEM Magazine spoke with each On the Rise Award winner to learn about the challenges they have faced and overcome, as well as where they see the packaging and processing industries heading in the near future.

Mike Wolf Research and Development Manager, Triangle Packaging Machinery Company How did you make your way into the packaging industry? After studying mechanical engineering at MIT, I worked as an engineering consultant for the nuclear power industry

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for seven years. I moved to Chicago to be closer to family, and when I interviewed for a design engineer position at Triangle, I was immediately fascinated by the scope of mechanical and systems design challenges inherent to designing packaging machinery. The level of customization and development needed to keep up with consumer demands for new package styles brings a constant stream of new challenges, which are perfect for an engineer who likes variety in their work. As an emerging leader, what were some obstacles you faced in your career and how did you overcome them? Early on I had the technical skills but failed to appreciate the importance of communication and team building when trying to achieve something new. Triangle sent me to participate in PMMI’s Leadership Development Program. This was a huge help as it enabled me to focus on understanding how my team was affected by my leadership style. It also showed me the small changes I could make to inspire more independent contributions and how I could change my communication style to ensure all stakeholders have an opportunity to know where we are going and why. I’ve been surprised at times how efficiently things can get done when everyone on the team buys into the vision. Also, my favorite aspect was understanding how emotions affect our lives at work and the quality of our interactions. This is something that is easy for an engineer to dismiss, but once you focus on it, you can achieve a lot more. What are some industry trends you have been keeping your eye on? I think automatic changeover and PLC assisted setup technologies are very interesting. There are many ways to implement these features while understanding that customer interaction is key. I think only companies with designers who are close to the plant floor will be successful.

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Erica Laino

Global Graphic Design and Branding Specialist, Liquibox

What is the most fascinating part of your job? The most fascinating part about my role is that no one day is like another. Packaging is a highly evolving, everchanging, and busy sector of our economy. I work on many projects, initiatives, and goals throughout my day, week, and year. I also love the fact that we are an international company and are headquartered in Italy. This allows me to collaborate with very intelligent professionals from across the globe.

How did your journey into packaging start? I started my journey in the packaging industry as part of the central marketing team for the DS Smith Plastics Division, which has recently been acquired by Liquibox. As part of the team, I was tasked to support the graphic design needs of four global businesses, each offering distinct product lines. By having this opportunity to work with a wide range of products and business requirements, I gained a well-rounded view of the packaging industry in a very short time. This quickly allowed me to see that the opportunities within the packaging industry are endless. As I continue this journey with Liquibox, I am constantly finding new and creative ways to promote our products and our company.

As a rising star in your organization, what is next for you? My proven work ethic and quality of work have led me to join several internal global projects. The process of creating continued success for the future of our company and industry is a great passion of mine. My future objectives are to achieve another year of strong profits, create our ecosystem of new business, and build best-in-class distinction among our peers. I am looking forward to being a guest speaker at PMMI’s Marketing Insights Exchange, focusing on KPIs and ROIs for marketing and business development in the Spring of 2021. I have also joined the Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network and hope to become more active within PMMI. I aim to develop a higher leadership role within PMMI and Cama North America.


Amanda Nimry

Business Development Manager, Cama North America

How do you help your company innovate? One of my secrets to innovation—and ultimately, Cama North America’s success—is my focus on being on the pulse of industry knowledge and thoughtful discussions. I immerse myself in committee memberships and learning as much as possible about trends, forecasts, and industry news. Because of this strategy, I believe I provide a unique and fresh perspective on how to grow new business and create lasting brand awareness.

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What has working at Liquibox been like? My time with Liquibox has been both positive and educational. Since the acquisition, I have been able to expand my focus to support the business in other ways outside of marketing initiatives. This has given me a better understanding of how other parts of the business work and how we can collaborate to achieve a common goal. Having this perspective has helped me identify how I can evolve to better support the business both internally and externally. What advice would you pass along to other emerging leaders? The best advice I can give to other emerging leaders is to be open-minded to new ideas and concepts. It is less important to be right and more important to be willing to learn and adapt quickly. As I receive project requests, I take the time to research best practices to stay up to date on the latest advancements. In addition, I listen to the needs and ideas of those around me and do my best to incorporate or suggest better ways to get the same result.

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Amit Patel Product Marketing Manager, Food and Beverage, Emerson

Chris Anguil Banding Sales Manager, Pharmaceuticals, Felins What attracted you to the packaging space? I have always had a passion for sustainability and environmentally-friendly solutions. When I was introduced to Felins, I was impressed by their core values and their belief that every packaging decision should help, not hurt, our planet. I saw this role as an opportunity to help guide pharmaceutical and healthcare manufacturers to a more sustainable future, which is something I always wanted to be a part of. What is the most fascinating part of your job? As a banding sales manager, my role is to introduce the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries to packaging solutions that help them save time, money, and the health of our planet. In addition to finding new customers, I serve our current customers who have adopted our banding technology to ensure their packaging processes are successful and efficient. The most fascinating part of my job is being able to visit a variety of manufacturing plants and learning about their processes. Each new facility is like an episode of the TV show How It’s Made. It is truly amazing to get insight into how everyday products are manufactured from start to finish. Then to have an opportunity to help these manufacturers optimize their processes, solve a challenge, or fill a need is extremely rewarding.

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What are some industry trends you have been keeping your eye on? As many people know today, Industry 4.0 is here and we’re seeing it play out across many segments especially in the Food and Beverage sector where valuable impacts can be made across processing and packaging. Companies both small and large are investing ways to digitally transformation their processes. Working for an automation solutions company such as Emerson, it’s exciting to have a “front seat” watching how this trend is evolving and to help deliver valuable solutions. What have you learned about this industry since you joined, and what advice would you pass onto emerging leaders? The Food and Beverage industry is exciting because it’s always evolving and adapting to keep up with the latest consumer trends such as alternative plant-based foods, greater ingredient transparency, and sustainability. Also fascinating is how manufacturers are meeting those changes through technology innovations and embracing Industry 4.0—using data to make more informed decisions on production, sustainability, and traceability. Overall, It’s an exciting time for suppliers, manufacturers, and consumers. My biggest advice when coming into this industry is learn as much as you can and take on any opportunities that are given to you small or large; you never know what doors they can open. I was also fortunate enough to have colleagues and mentors such as Dana Greenly, an Emerson colleague and PMMI Board Member, who helped me network within the industry and introduced me to opportunities early on that I was able to learn from and still utilize in my work today.

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Cristina Astahov HR Generalist, BellatRx Inc. What has working at BellatRx been like? I work in a fast-paced environment. We handle multiple projects at the same time, which is why I need to be proactive and quick to adapt to different situations. I love the industry and working with so many talented people. One of my mandates is to retain talent, and since I am working directly with each employee, I have the possibility to learn about their tasks. I participate regularly in webinars that help to understand the industry, the market, and sales. What aspect of your job makes you excited to report to work every day? Working with people. Bringing the “human” into all of our decisions and analyzing how everyone can fully contribute to the company’s growth. I make sure that our supportive culture allows every employee to feel free to express their ideas. The feedback that employees give—including how to improve products, marketing, and efficiency—provides us invaluable insights into ways to innovate. As an HR specialist, what were some ways you had to adapt this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic? We had to rapidly adapt and put in place procedures to protect our employees. We created a COVID-19 committee that met every day to discuss the information available regarding the pandemic and how to act. I learned that we are stronger as a company than we originally thought. We were there to support our employees during these difficult times and kept a strong communication with them.

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Cody Leedham Engineering Manager, Change Parts, Inc. What has your time at Change Parts, Inc. been like? I started out as a design engineer when I first got here. Six months later, the engineering manager took a different role within the company and the position opened up. I offered to help fill in while they searched for a replacement and after about two years in the interim position, I became the official engineering manager. I just celebrated five years at the company in October. Since I have been here, I have been able to expand my knowledge on the design side of the job while getting to travel all over the country conducting measurements and meeting customers. I have also been able to gain an amazing amount of experience on the management side of the job. How do you ensure that your company is always innovating? Over the past year and a half, I have helped my company implement a new project tracking system that has helped us immensely. We have implemented this new software company-wide and we use it for tracking all of our projects, vendors, and quotes. It allows our sales team and people in the field to stay in constant contact and communication. What is the most fascinating part of your job? For me, the part of the job that keeps me going is never knowing what is next. I enjoy each day spent helping the engineering team problem-solve and work through different roadblocks. It is always enjoyable when a customer comes to us looking for a solution to something they are struggling with and we help them make that need a reality.

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Vannesa Palomo Project Engineer, Sales Engineer for Latin America and Sales force CRM Lead, Zalkin How did you find your way into packaging? I guess you could say I am a child of the packaging world. My family has a packaging company within the paper/ package industry, so I have been around this industry from a young age. At first, I grew up thinking I would take over the family business one day. However, I slowly started to see that there were other facets of the industry and different kinds of packaging career paths I could pursue. When I found Zalkin, I was leaving another industry and looking for the right fit. What do you love about your job the most? Each project is completely different, and I thrive on that. Each project or customer gives me insight on how the packaging world is changing, what the trends are, and what is important to the consumers. This continues to push me to be better. Every completed project is a lesson learned. I am always thinking about what could’ve been designed differently, handled better, or what worked and how can we make improvements. Since the industry had to rapidly adapt to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, what are some ways you or your company have had to pivot, and what did you learn from this experience? We have had to give that human touch and customer service excellence in a virtual space. Many meetings and factory acceptance tests have had to shift from inperson events to being handled solely via email, phone calls, and video. I learned that communication with all parties involved has never been more important and that honesty with your customer and team members is imperative. It’s critical to speak up when an idea is not clear, to walk through the concept a few times to ensure understanding, to show drawings, and to be honest when timelines or our resources are spread thin in this everchanging  landscape.

We see the future of our planet engineered without bias. At Emerson, we are committed to challenging and strengthening our diverse and brilliant engineers to help them push beyond what’s possible. Congratulations to Amit Patel for receiving the PMMI Emerging Leaders on the Rise Award.

The Emerson logo is a trademark and a service mark of Emerson Electric Co. © 2020 Emerson Electric Co.

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Yvette Goitia Proposals and Project Manager, Intralox, LLC In your role at Intralox, how do you propel innovation? In my role, I get to work with customers to help them develop and execute an optimized line for their specific needs. Intralox has a history of developing innovative, patented solutions specifically designed for the beverage and brewery industry, among other industries. What is ultimately fascinating is that our technology and solutions are quite simplistic, yet they can be used to solve very complex conveying requirements. Within my own project management team, I have an active role in identifying issues that our team faces, and then helping to execute multiple initiatives to solve these issues and promote continuous improvement. By working closely with customers, I can gauge what works well and what does not work well when it comes to project execution. I can push innovation by consistently challenging Intralox and the teams I work with to strive for operational excellence. How has the packaging industry surprised you? It is interesting to see the continually changing demands in regard to primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging types. The packaging industry is constantly faced with the concept of how to accommodate and convey new pack designs due to evolving trends. With a current demand for more eco-friendly packaging, we are all being pushed to think outside of the box in order to achieve our normal line conveyance goals all while making a substantially positive environmental impact. How does your company support you as an emerging leader? Regarding how Intralox supports me as an emerging leader, I couldn’t ask for more. Intralox is a company that values their employees and strives to ensure we are in roles that promote our highest skills and best work. Nominating me is a testament that they care and take pride in their employees. Even more, Intralox supports young professionals by being a corporate sponsor of the Young Leadership Council in New Orleans, which is the oldest young professionals’ organization in the country.

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Christopher Staruch Production Manager, Batching Systems, Inc. What are some industry trends you have been keeping your eye on? One thing that I have noticed being requested and provided to our customers more often is remote diagnostics. We have been providing that service for several years, but it has been significantly increasing the last year or so. It provides a mutual benefit for both the customer and OEM. Customers can reduce down time because a technician can identify potential component failure or make program changes remotely. The pressure on our service technicians to travel between locations at a minute’s notice is reduced. What does your day-to-day look like? My daily activities vary regularly because the business is growing so quickly there is always something that is being developed, upgraded, or updated. I would say that the majority of my time is spent working with engineering and assembly to complete the building, programming, and documentation of various automated counting, weighing, bagging, and conveying machines. Some of the time spent on a machine we want to build includes; pulling the components we stock in house for the job, creating a shortage list for the custom parts that need fabrication, scheduling with our purchasing department when we will need these parts based on the project timeline, scheduling assembly and programming time with the shop, and following up with our different departments. This can be a handful if we have 10 or 15 machine orders at one time. Fortunately for me, I enjoy what we do here and it’s exciting when a project comes together where everything works even better than what was expected. How do you help your company innovate? Basically, with a lot of product testing and collaboration with our engineering and service departments. I have a lot of respect for our service technicians. They have seen a lot of different machines and applications in the field. I’m always surprised with how they take that learned knowledge and apply it to difficult to handle products. I can then use that knowledge and apply it to new and current machinery, continually making the equipment better and more user- friendly.

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Katie Exum Product Success Manager, Specright What are some aspects of the industry you are excited about? Sustainability in packaging and manufacturing is something that I have long been passionate about. There are so many aspects to how a product is made, and consequently, so many opportunities for improvements. Witnessing the transformation of products in the CPG industry has been exciting, and I am looking forward to seeing continuous improvements from the entire packaging industry. Working at Specright has provided me with a data-centered view on sustainability. Our point of view: you won’t be able to meet your sustainability goals if you don’t know where you stand now. Data is so important when it comes to understanding where you are and where you’ve been. How have you had to adapt at Specright? Starting at Specright was a big shift in itself. As a previous packaging engineer, moving into project management at a Software as a Service (SaaS) company came with a big learning curve. I was quickly working directly with customers to bring their companies onto the Specright platform, which required learning the intricacies of the way those individual companies operated, as well as how best to utilize Specright to make their workflows more intuitive and jobs easier. I became interested in focusing on making our product more out-of-the-box friendly for new customers, which included working with the onboarding team to define areas of innovation and refining those ideas with the product and engineering teams. To focus on that full time, my manager worked with me to create a new role; the product success manager. Now, I am able to work on new features, product user guides and help materials, continuous improvement efforts, and general strategy. While most of my time is now devoted to the Specright core product, I do still get to flex my packaging muscles through Specright’s work with ISTA on PackSight. We’ve partnered together to create a cloud-based packaging testing platform that takes time and complexity out of creating a test plan, and automatically generates test reports when testing is complete. Learning new skills and aspects of a company has always kept me engaged and excited in my day-to-day. I am privileged to be in a role that allows me to dig into so many things and where I am encouraged to always be learning and doing more.

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Erik Grinnell Vice President of Automation, Quest Industrial How does your company support you as an emerging leader? My time at Quest and ProMach have been great. I started off as a programming and service technician, then became a service manager, and I also worked in R&D. I have been vice president of automation for more than two years. I have been extremely fortunate to travel and gain insight about the businesses and industries that we service. Quest has done an awesome job supporting me by always pushing my limits and creating an environment that does not stifle innovation. Over the years we have had some crazy ideas, yet if we think an idea or concept will be a solution for an industry or customer, we will do whatever it takes to make that a reality. What advice do you have for other emerging leaders about getting involved? Learn as much about the entire process as possible, not just the result. If you embrace the process, it is much easier to develop solutions and understand the pros and cons of automation. How do you keep innovation at the forefront of your company? I run all R&D and commercialization efforts, using the team to help create new ideas and then making them come to fruition. Learning as much as I can about customers and the industry really helps the innovation process, because we can find opportunities that the customer didn’t know they had but will help them succeed. Easily share this article with your peers:

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The Long-Term Effects of Remote Access The virtual world is creating new end-user expectations around how machines are delivered and serviced, requiring OEMs and technology suppliers to partner in new ways. Stephanie Neil, Editor-in-Chief


rom the way manufacturers work to who they hire, the need for remote access due to the pandemic has altered more than just how information is gathered. To that end, moving forward manufacturers will put more emphasis on partnerships with machine builders and technology suppliers as a new set of issues arise that relate to the added automation now in place. That was one message that came out of Rockwell Automation’s Automation Fair At Home—the company’s virtual version of its annual event featuring technical discussions, interactive labs, and segment-specific forums for automotive, chemical, food and beverage, life sciences, oil and gas, and more. One track focused on OEMs, and one session titled “Ready or Not, the Remote OEM Future is Here,” took a closer look at how COVID-19 has been a catalyst for industry change across the board. Specifically, manufacturers have been forced into “digital acceleration,” which has required OEMs to pivot and adapt to new ways of selling, designing, commissioning, and servicing equipment. The panel discussion featured speakers from Cama North America, a one-stop source for integrated robotic,

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cartoning, case packing, and sleeving machines; SaniMatic Inc., a maker of sanitary process cleaning systems for the food and beverage and pharma industries; and Hirata Corp., an OEM and system integrator in the automotive, semiconductor, and home appliance sectors. And, while all three agree that customer needs are the same today as they were before the pandemic, the digital transformation has been fast-tracked because problems can’t be solved by putting more people on the job. Now, there’s more automation involved to solve a problem—which causes its own set of problems. “If you have automation, how do you use it, how do you maintain it, and how will the OEM provide access,” asked Bryan Downer, Sani-Matic’s vice president of sales and marketing. “Everything is changing drastically, and a lot of people are just trying to figure out how to do this.” Similarly, machine builders are using new augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) tools that require a new skillset. That means OEMs might need to hire people with expertise in these areas, but more likely it will require training. “This is where [partners] like Rockwell can provide that leadership,” Downer said. “If they can provide a

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platform and template for a centralized way of interaction for all of the different tools and software, I think that would be an opportunity for us as move into the future.” Interestingly, the barriers to adoption that were prevalent in the past—namely cybersecurity concerns—have faded away under the current circumstances. “The initial

barriers are starting to be perceived as gone, and now we can start moving forward in full force,” said Billy Goodman, managing director at Cama USA. “The pandemic has pushed us forward light-years in a very short amount of time.” It has also introduced new obstacles to overcome. “The playing field has change,” Goodman said, referring to servicing equipment. “It used to be we’d get someone out there in 24 hours, now there’s an immediate expectation of the OEM who has had to step up to ensure customers are running efficiently during the pandemic. Those expectations will carry over after the pandemic, which puts greater stress on us.” Yet, that stress also gets OEMs thinking outside of the box to deliver new kinds of products and services. Downer said that the Sani-Matic recently mapped out the customer journey to identify different touchpoints and how it impacts virtual engagement through the machine’s lifecycle. “There is more we can do now as we have connectivity to the system, like providing OEE monitoring to help them understand where to optimize the - Craig Souser system, or on-demand training with virtual President/CEO - JLS Automation tech support. I see a vast amount of opportunity for both the OEM and the customer once we embrace and understand what [the technology] can do for us.” That connectivity helped launch the company’s SaniTrend product, a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) that provides automated, secure data acquisition and reporting of critical cleaning cycle information for any automated cleaning system. Cama’s Goodman said the digital twin, too, is an area of opportunity for OEMs. Us&UDLJZDQWHGDOOKLVPDUNHWLQJDQGWUDGHVKRZHRUWV ing simulation to show how a machine will together in one cohesive plan to strengthen JLS’ image. function helps with machine design, end user education, as well as overall risk assessment, We delivered. using simulations to test speeds and cycles that ensure the machine is set up for longHow can we help you build awareness term success. and generate leads? New OEM products and services, however, will require close partnerships—as much of the technology required to deliver all of this is outside of the OEM wheelhouse. “We will have to seek more innovative ways to make a better proposal for customers, and that happens in collaboration with Rockwell,” said Mika Ide, chief of sales engineering at Hirata Corp.

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The Non-Negotiable Traits of a Successful Salesperson Jay Speilvogel, CEO, Venator Sales Group

“At best, our new salespeople are glorified pre-sales relationship managers. They deliver quotes and proposals without any qualifying or critical thinking.” “The greatest sales call our new reps make is on us during the interview. Everything goes downhill once we hire them.”


nfortunately, we hear these complaints from sales managers across the globe. In truth, the interview is rarely a “great” sales call on the part of the sales rep. More likely, it was simply the culmination of a “bad” buying process where we end up getting exactly what we are asked for. The solution is to develop a list of non-negotiable traits for any prospective new sales representative hire. Let’s consider the short list of traits that most companies have for new sales hires: technical knowledge, experience in the industry, professionalism, and follow-through. These attributes are without question important and they serve as a blueprint for a “pre-sales relationship manager.” In order to hire the best sales reps who can generate new business and be successful in today’s complex, multi-constituent selling environment, we need to revise the way we

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search for and screen prospective new salespeople. Most companies have a clear set of expectations for new sales reps: • Targeting and penetrating new strategic accounts • Digging deeper into the business drivers behind the technical needs • Executing coaching direction • Navigating and negotiating access to key stakeholders • Carefully managing a pipeline of opportunities to closure However, these expectations are not taken into account when hiring and interviewing. Finding reps that can execute these behaviors requires a very specific list of traits and characteristics. The four most critical, non-negotiable traits necessary to be a successful salesperson—regardless

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of industry—are coachability, aptitude, fearlessness, and engaging; an acronym we call CAFÉ. Let’s break it down.


Gone are the days where being a great sales representative was based solely on the strength of the salesperson’s relationship with technical and purchasing people. Today, there are many environmental changes affecting every sales team—the least of which is global competition and more complex purchasing processes. In order to drive consistent revenue in this ever-changing selling environment, a professional salesperson must be able to receive and execute guidance and mentoring. This new environment demands a team effort with strong “sideline” coaching from sales management. This shift is away from the “lone ranger,” ego-driven salespeople that resist any form of coaching or accountability and dismiss it as unnecessary micromanagement.


Besides needing to absorb technical data, a salesperson must have the aptitude for assimilating a tremendous amount of information related to the constantly shifting

client business and operational environments. Successful selling requires the ability to link the economic value of your company’s solutions to operational results. Many salespeople with strong technical backgrounds lack the competency or desire to integrate the non-technical value messaging into their sales process. Unfortunately, when the aptitude for “business-drivers” is lacking, a salesperson will simply pass along their proposals to the technical champion hoping they will be successful at gaining the necessary internal approvals.


A successful salesperson must be fearless. They must be comfortable executing any sales process that requires a complex, multi-stakeholder selling strategy. Regardless of training, many salespeople still lack the assertiveness and conflict management necessary to execute. Typically, most salespeople can perform well in training but then falter when executing in the field. When questioned by their managers about their lack of performance, they justify non-action with a lack of time or a fear of overstepping and upsetting their main contact. Effective salespeople are able to overcome their fear and break out of their comfort zone. They are willing to ask the tough questions, negotiate for high-level access and maintain control of the sales process.


A successful salesperson must have an engaging personality, not to be confused with the “gift of gab” or being a “presentation guru.” An engaging salesperson is one with the ability to draw others into a dialogue with a steady two-way flow of information. An engaging salesperson will have a strategy for asking guided questions and “pivoting” appropriately to the other person’s answers regardless of whether the meeting is with a lower level manager, director, vice president, or a member of the C-suite. A salesperson that lacks this ability will tend to lull their prospect into a passive listening mode while they present features, benefits, and pricing. A non-engaging salesperson will come away from a sales call feeling confident that they’ve made a strong case and that they were well received as a result of their knowledge. Conversely, a strong salesperson with an engaging communication style will exit every meeting with detailed information uncovered during the meeting including a well-defined set of next steps and action items. The better approach to finding sales professionals who will be successful is to reconsider the non-negotiable traits. The four traits listed above—coachability, aptitude, fearlessness, and engagement—are vital when recruiting new salespeople if we are to break the frustrating and tiresome six-month cycle of hiring and firing.

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Four Ideas to Kick Up Your Lead Nurturing Success Sarah Loeffler, Director of Media Innovation and Marketing Insights, PMMI Media Group


id you participate in PACK EXPO Connects or another virtual conference lately? Or perhaps you’ve had some new prospects come in after hosting a webinar or sharing a white paper. For many OEMs, follow-up may look something like this: You send an email right away discussing your services. You wait a couple of weeks. Then, you follow up with another email offer with new content related to the initial interaction. And then perhaps you have a certain cadence of email interactions where you try to gauge interest before you bring in your sales team. Sounds good, right? Although this approach can indeed advance relationships and support sales, it’s also not as effective as it could be.

Four strategies for success

A few additional strategies can help your company become even more successful. Pay close attention to buyer behavior across channels. If you’re tracking only email opens and clicks, then you’re missing out on all the other ways a prospect may potentially be signaling interest in you. For deeper and accelerated insights, you want to be looking at engagements across channels, particularly visits to your website. Not sure how? Most marketing automation can assist with this tracking. Or, a free option that can help is PMMI Media Group’s Converge tool. With Converge, OEMs are able to track multiple lead touches from any campaigns they run with PMMI Media Group, leads from PACK EXPO Connects, as well as any other campaign activities they choose to upload—including campaigns run with other publishers or leads acquired at other virtual shows. All of the supplier’s lead data is walled off from the PMMI Media Group database. Using Converge, the OEM can see clicks, registrations, or tradeshow visits at the account level, from individuals, or multiple members of the buying team at a single location or at related locations within the company. With an add-on option called Scout—also free—OEMs can add a simple script to their website that will detect visitors from PMMI Media Group campaigns and log which pages

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on your site they visit. It then displays the entire sequence in Converge, whether it’s one visit or a dozen spread out over weeks or months. So not only will you be able to tell who clicked through to your website, but you also can tell which pages and videos they viewed once they got there. Recognize buying decisions happen with teams, not individuals. Also important for lead nurturing success is knowing that most packaging machinery and materials end users make team-based buying decisions. In fact, more than half of all packaging equipment purchases involve committees of four or more individuals, according to PMMI Media Group’s Machinery End User Buying Process and Perspectives Report. What this means is that when you’re nurturing your leads by email, it’s likely you are reaching only one or a few of the decision makers who happened to share their email address with you. Periodically supplementing existing nurturing tactics with campaigns designed to hit outside of your channels—such as using trade media—is a great way to help ensure your messaging extends to reach even those stakeholders yet to be known





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to you. Take advantage of supplementing your message reach by working with those who have a bigger and deeper database than you. To access PMMI Media Group’s full Machinery End User Buying Process and Perspectives Report, visit: Know that buying cycles can be long—and you need to be there when folks are finally interested. One of my favorite marketing colleagues once said (a bit tongue in cheek): “It’s not as sexy as ‘the big idea,’ but let’s not kid ourselves: In lots of cases, the single biggest factor in campaign success is just that it ran long enough.” With nurturing campaigns in particular, adequate duration is crucial. In B2B buying, especially when you’re talking about a high-ticket item such as machinery, the path to purchase can be long and have many fits and starts. All too often, companies will send out a few emails to assess nearterm sales interest, separate out only the most promising leads and then pretty much call it a day. But that’s missing out on a good portion of value. Your nurturing should also be about educating prospects, building trust and being at the ready throughout the buying journey. Most research on machinery suppliers begins six months or longer before any funding, according to the PMMI Media Group report. And many teams report that making decisions has taken



longer than it used to over the past few years. What this means is that nurturing is a long game. You need to keep communications going throughout the year to ensure you’re top of mind once research and vetting finally starts getting serious. Don’t get too email-centric. So many marketers get tripped up focusing solely on a series of emails for these periodic communications. But a host of tools are available, especially if you’re willing to scale by integrating with some of your prospecting efforts. Are you currently targeting accounts with web ads and pre-roll? What about direct mail? Paid social? With each of these approaches, PMMI Media Group offers options to target your audience list in addition to appropriate segments of ours—for example, by industry vertical. The best part is you don’t need to be a technical expert. The heavy lift of setting up the logistics with these campaigns comes from our experienced team. For more information on these options, talk to your PMMI Media Group sales rep or Wendy Sawtell, VP Sales, To view more Marketing Insights content, see marketingresearch Easily share this article with your peers:

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Deemed Project Patriot, the new $40 million facility is strictly dedicated to VTM production and quality control, and it will serve a role going forward for flu and other viral products.


OEMs Collaborate to Ramp Up COVID-19 Test Medium Production By 20,000% in Six Months Viral transport media tubes filled with liquid media are used to store and transport nasal swabs for viruses including COVID-19. Sixteen integrated lines were designed, built, and installed in 20 weeks to meet demand. Keren Sookne, Director of Editorial Content, Healthcare Packaging

“Nimble” is an understatement for most life science manufacturers producing COVID-19 test materials, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), or treatment this year. Thermo Fisher Scientific snapped into action and began ramping up production of its viral transport media (VTM) tubes at the outset of the pandemic. Later, they received orders from the U.S. government to scale production from 50,000 per week to 10 million per week. VTM tubes filled with liquid medium are used to store

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and transport nasal swabs for viruses including SARSCoV-2. In March, the Thermo Fisher facility in Lenexa, Kan., was already filling 10 and 15 mL conical tube configurations. The company ramped up to 24/7 operation and retrofitted their lines to run faster at the outset of the pandemic, but it was clear that they needed new machines to meet demand. Considerations beyond speed included: • Some of the conical tubes are skirted, but the tubes without skirting do not stand up on their own. • The medium has similar viscosity to water, but Jason Gourley, strategic projects, senior project engineer at Thermo Fisher Scientific, says: “From a filling perspective it’s very similar to water, but if it lands on a surface, drips, or spills and begins to dry, it becomes sticky. If it’s not immediately wiped or cleaned, it turns into a goo, similar to spilled soda left to dry.” This didn’t cause issues with capping, but if a tube happened to spill and medium got on other components—such

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as the feed screws or labeler—equipment could bind up and cause downtime in cleaning. VTM lines also needed to be ramped up at Thermo Fisher’s sites in Perth, Scotland, and Wesel, Germany. In both Perth and Wesel, the operation switches between filling VTM and saline, depending on current demand. Gourley explains, “It’s the same tube and cap, same fill size. The difference is the liquid itself, the labeling requirements, and different pump settings.” Healthcare Packaging Editor Keren Sookne broke this story during PACK EXPO Connects’ Thursday morning Jumpstart Session. All PACK EXPO Connects Innovation Stage presentations, exhibitor demos, and more can be accessed on-demand through March 31 at:

Speedy timeline

When Gourley arrived in Lenexa from his usual Rockford, IL, facility in March, the immediate need was to understand the process and determine where automation could increase throughput dramatically. Speed was key. The Thermo Fisher project team had vendors offering to drive components to the facility—instead of overnight or two-day shipping—because they knew every hour counted. Gourley suggested working with Morrison Container Handling Solutions for high speed integrated lines. “I’ve worked with Morrison for about three or four years. They’ve done some screw feeds and integration with a line in Rockford.” The initial request to Morrison was whether they could create a smaller system within approximately a week. “They immediately hopped on it and followed through. They had a quote ready the next day, working through the night and everything,” Gourley says. Some projects take a step-wise approach to implementation, but he noted time didn’t allow for that in this case. “This was all at once. We drew it out on a napkin one morning. The next morning, we were putting it together.” It was difficult to nail down project specifics with a constantly moving target. “Every day something changed. One million per week was the initial goal and it was only going to be for about three or four months,” Gourley says. “Everything started out with, ‘Maybe. But could you do it?’ We had four on order and then the question came down from the government on how we can get 10 million a week and what would it take.” The original order for the first machine (machine No. 1) was placed in early April and the machine shipped in approximately five weeks. That included design from scratch to manufacturing, build/assembly, and testing. A total of 14 systems shipped to Lenexa and two systems shipped overseas in the next 20 weeks. To put things in perspective, the normal quoted lead time for one system/line can be 20 weeks or more.

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System details

The Morrison systems allow Thermo Fisher to orient, contain, move, and support the pointed conical tubes. They are handled from a dual feeder bowl solution to drop into the screws. (R-Tech Feeders Inc. based in Rockford, IL, supplied the tube elevators, feeder bowls, and shuttle dropping mechanism for the tubes into the Morrison screws.) The system then indexes six tubes at a time underneath the filling head, indexes along underneath the cap applicator, and then into a spindle capper. (APEX Filling Systems in Michigan City, IN, supplied the cap sorters and cappers.) Fill and torque checks are performed by production every 15 minutes. There is also a no-cap sensor and crooked cap sensor at the discharge of the machine. If a cap issue is detected, the machine will stop, alert the operator to remove that tube, and then the operator is able to reset and start the machine. Every second counts when running at a rate between 120-132 parts per million. Tubes exit the machine in different orientations based on the machine and location. • Machines No. 1 and No. 2 run pointed tubes which don’t stand on their own. • Machines No. 3 through No. 16 run skirted tubes that technically have the ability to stand on their own, but Gourley notes that even the skirted tubes—moving at rate, with liquid—do not stand securely on their own. Dorner Conveyors move tubes directly from the machine, out of the cleanroom to the labeling machine, auto feeding onto the labeler. There is still an operator to perform quality checks or interventions at the labeler. (Label applicators are supplied by Missouri-based Pack Leader USA.)

Remote installation

As many business travelers have found, travel restrictions have held up some trips. Gourley says, “Between Chicago and Lenexa, Kan., there were still restrictions, but

The Morrison systems allow Thermo Fisher to orient, contain, move, and support the pointed conical tubes.

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we had higher level approvals due to the critical needs of the project.” For the sites in Europe, it was a different story. “For Scotland, we tried to go through the embassy and the government to get those supporting individuals on site in Chicago around the July 4th weekend, to review their machine at Morrison and to be a part of an installation in Lenexa. But we weren’t able to get approval prior to their machine arriving at their site,” he explains. Gourley and his colleagues performed all 16 factory acceptance tests (FAT) on-site at Morrison. The company performed/recorded virtual FATs for the European sites. “For the first two, we developed/worked through a protocol and had it circulated for approval, so we knew what we were looking for,” he says. “But we also had timeline restrictions—we already had the plane booked. There’s only so many tubes we could run and only so much time we had with the new system.” Both Perth and Wesel received their machines with only instructions, videos, and the ability to call for support. Yet each site respectively had their first machine received, installed, and running at rate in five to six days. By then, Lenexa staff had installed about seven machines in the U.S., so they had plenty of lessons learned, videos, PowerPoints, instructions on the sequence, and items to pay attention to. “We were a part of the complete build, the complete runoff, and the complete disassembly in creating these specific systems. We went through rolls and rolls of blue tape, putting on notes, alignment features, noting all the dimensions, anything we learned from the first several machines. It is wild to think that we shipped machines around the world to sites that had never physically seen or ran the equipment. A lot of thanks go to those receiving individuals for their patience and perseverance,” Gourley says. The company made use of Microsoft’s HoloLens program for live video feeds from the augmented reality headsets. “We were able to see their troubleshooting issues live, and they were able to live-view their machine during validation and ask as many questions as possible. “We built up the files and everything to have immediately available, so if they had a question and they were viewing it right in their headset, I had the pictures, dimensions, and videos available to pull right onto their screen and into their viewpoint to do a direct comparison,” Gourley explains. One of the toughest parts of the remote work was not the machine integration itself, but the time differences between sites—six hours to Perth and seven hours to Wesel. Which site worked during business hours and which worked off-shifts? “Everybody did everything. It was 24hour support,” he says. See Thermo Fisher, Dorner, and Morrison Container Handling Systems in action by accessing PACK EXPO Connects ondemand content at:

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After inspection, tubes are passed to an operator to fill 72-count boxes in Lenexa.

From a filling perspective the medium is very similar to water, but if it lands on a surface, drips, or spills and begins to dry, it becomes sticky.

Regulatory considerations

The largest regulatory hurdle to overcome was making sure they met all the CE mark requirements—mandatory for equipment in Europe to demonstrate safety conformance—for the Perth and Wesel units. Gourley says, “As soon as possible, we brought in a third party to fully understand the CE standards and additional safety requirements. We immediately started talking with both sites’ environmental health and safety teams to ensure that we were going to comply not only with CE, but also be aligned with their site safety expectations.”

20,000% increase

After ramping up 20,000%, you might think it would be time to relax. The facility in Lenexa now has 14 lines installed—as of Aug. 25—with the capacity to produce 10 million VTM tubes per week. But the work continues. Thermo Fisher has ordered 14 more systems—four for Lenexa and 10 for Scotland. “A lot of credit goes to the teams at Morrison and supporting ven-

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enabling us to deliver on the federal government contract. Overall, we’ve met our commitment with a lot hard work and with everybody invested 110% in making these test kits available for society.” Easily share this article with your peers:

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dors to start from scratch and build 30 systems between March and the end of the year. It was really a team effort with a lot of credit to Thermo Fisher personnel—including the engineering and procurement groups—between R Tech, Apex, and many sub-contractors. There was definitely a lot of collaboration,” Gourley says. It’s too soon to talk efficiency, particularly with the rapid increase in staffing and training, but they are averaging over 100 tubes/min per machine. Gourley explains, “The machines run very well and they’re well over the OEE that we were anticipating. Now we’ve gotten the initial kinks out of the way and the operators are a lot more familiar with the operation.”


Key takeaways

The Lenexa team learned a lot along the way, especially with machine #1 since it was a completely new system in some ways for Thermo Fisher, Morrison, and everyone involved. “For machine number two through number 16, we took a ton of lessons learned and worked to implement on the fly. We’ve gone back and implemented some on number one also,” says Gourley. The collaboration between Morrison, Thermo Fisher, and other vendors was key. He adds, “We were getting the Morrison machine ready on Monday, receiving vendor components on Tuesday, running the full system on Wednesday, and FAT-ing and shipping on Thursday and Friday. At one point we shipped three systems in one week and one of them was international.”

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Next steps

The team continues to investigate more streamlined processes and automation to help aid in inspection and packaging. Currently, operators perform a visual inspection for media content and cap, and check for wrinkles, damage, and legibility of the label. Then tubes are passed to an operator who populates 72-count boxes in Lenexa. Each machine produces a lot of approximately 24,000 tubes every three and a half to four hours—about a pallet and a half worth of material. At peak, with 12 machines running, it’s a pallet approximately every four minutes, so there’s considerable volume to handle thanks to the new machines. Gourley comments, “The Morrison machines, along with the efforts of all of the other vendors, and all of the dedication of the Thermo Fisher individuals were key in

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PostPandemic Planning How to responsibly resume onsite operations, business continuity, and worker safety in 2021. Stephanie Neil, Editor-in-Chief


he news of effective COVID-19 vaccines from multiple pharmaceutical companies has people anticipating living life without masks very soon. But experts are saying—not so fast. We won’t truly be out of the woods until there is widespread immunization and the contagion rate goes down, and that could take a while. That means, as we move into 2021, there will still be guidelines to follow from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) around personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing. Companies will continue to allow telecommuting and will continue to invest and use technology to stay connected with employees, partners, suppliers, and customers—regardless of location. And keep that mask handy because many American citizens are embracing the wearing of masks in public and, even after the pandemic passes, a mask may be the new social norm anytime someone is not feeling well. Masks in, handshakes out. But it’s not just human behavior that is changing. Business has changed, too. Manufacturers have learned how to be resilient during this pandemic, responding quickly to disruptions in the supply chain and in their own operations. And the “new normal” may just be here to stay. “Enabling business continuity has sweeping implications beyond the pandemic,” says Wes Sylvester, global director of the manufacturing, energy, and industrials

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practice at Cisco Systems Inc. “We have spent a lot of time talking to CIOs, CFOs, and people running the plants, and most of them are finding that safety will be of the utmost importance when they make a transition back. And they are working on being more resilient, everything from supplier diversity to the opportunity to go back into the office or make more roles permanently work from home. Everyone is focused on work from home and remote access and those things we believe will stay after the issues have subsided. But one survey I recently saw said 75% of workers still want an office and a place to go. So, as you think about scaling up remote access and work, you also have to think about how to scale it down in times of crisis.” Crisis could be a pandemic, a power outage, or a natural disaster. It’s anything that disrupts operations. Going forward, business continuity requires resiliency, which Sylvester says relies on four business behaviors: respond, reflect, reimagine, and rebound. Response is the immediate “must-do” reactions including social distancing, contact tracing, PPE, temperature screening, and cleaning. Reflect includes a plan for the next three to 12 months, such as hybrid work modes, stabilizing the supply chain, retaining institutional knowledge, and adopting remote access, remote experts, and mobile workers. Reimagine includes a plan for the new normal. That could mean new digital businesses, new products, near sourcing supplies, more connected supply chains, and advanced manufacturing technologies. And then a company

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can rebound by putting new models to work. Of course, rebounding requires management to think differently.

FUTURE-BACK STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT While we can all learn from the past year, it’s more important to look far into the future. So, for example, here we are in a world where companies like Facebook are announcing it anticipates that half of its employees will permanently work from home by 2030, brought on as a result of a pandemic that is changing the way we work. But it’s not so easy to do. It requires technology, policies, process changes, new rules, and a culture shift to ensure people working at home feel as rewarded and in the know as those working onsite. “It’s a system problem,” says Mark Johnson, co-founder and senior partner at growth strategy firm Innosight. “Trying to get someone to do something breakthrough means not following the traditional path upward and onward. It’s not like following Lean and Six Sigma to drive efficiency improvement. It’s a step change, a point of departure, and a transformation.” Johnson co-authored a book on how to evolve an organization toward a new paradigm. The book, called Lead from the Future, How to Turn Visionary Thinking into Breakthrough Growth, focuses on a concept called “future-back,” which addresses the barriers to change that exist in established organizations. “Systems replace systems, so what is the new system? Imagine that and architect it and work it back.” To do that, answer the questions: What’s the objective and what do you imagine are all of the pieces of the sys-

tem in the future? What assumptions have you made and how do you walk back to the experiments you need to start today? And, while it may seem to be a reverse engineering exercise, “the difference here is that the system is not just technological, but it involves humans. Nobody knows what the world will look like 10 years from now, but by having the conversations, bringing in trends and the potential disrupters, and spending the time to ask the right questions and have the right discussions, you start to develop a point of view,” Johnson says. “It’s filled with assumptions, but innovation teams are often surprised by how much of a sense of direction they have of where they want to go.” During the COVID-19 crisis, so much has changed and it isn’t going to go away, Johnson says. Management should ask questions to figure out what the future company “system” will look like. “But the better question is, ‘do we have a plan to learn?’” Read how Jan Tharp, president and CEO of Bumble Bee Seafood Company, overcame a chaotic time at the company and successfully rebooted the brand during a time of crisis on page 51.

A good place to start learning is to look at other industries. In education and in cities with smart buildings, there are social distance monitoring and hybrid learning spaces with advanced technology. “In smart buildings, we have an amazing camera solution where we look at people to see if they are socially distanced and if they are wearing the correct PPE,” says Cisco’s Sylvester. Cisco is also partnering with other technology providers, like Rockwell Automation to securely connect IT and OT networks, and a collaboration with RealWear helped the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) to quickly pivot milk production and distribution in the early months of the pan-

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demic. The DFA is a cooperative composed of more than 13,000 farmers from across the U.S. who were considered essential workers and critical infrastructure when COVID-19 hit. The problem was, most of DFA’s milk and dairy products are distributed to schools, businesses, and restaurants—all of which were closed down, sending more people to the grocery store. DFA was not capable of quickly shifting large scale distribution to the grocery stores. So with both an obligation to get food to consumers and obligation to keep farmers in business, DFA turned to Cisco to help them figure it out. With engineers working at home and less plant personnel onsite, there was a lack of interaction and communication. The people who were working onsite needed to meet—while staying six feet apart. In addition, travel was non-existent, so OEMs could not come onsite to fix equipment. “We set up remote screens, Webex systems, and the RealWear headsets so everyone could join and see each other and interact on video in the same meeting without having to be in the same conference room,” Sylvester said. The RealWear hands-free “head-mounted tablet” also helped teams across manufacturing sites to securely connect with OEMs, suppliers, and contractors for remote expert support. “Now we are working with them on what the plan is for the next three to 12 months, [such as] if we will maintain a hybrid work mode and if there is a cost savings. Also, how will we use this technology to train the next-generation workforce.” Hear how Rich Products Corp. is using Microsoft HoloLens to solve problems onsite while following CDC guidelines on page 43.


The ADP Research Institute recently surveyed over 25,000 employees across the globe from 25 countries to understand engagement, resilience, and the impact of COVID-19 on the workplace in 2020. Only 17% of workers were shown to be highly resilient amid the pandemic, but the resilience increases with facts, direct communication, and personal experience. According to the report, “this finding has profound implications for leaders. If it is true that we demonstrate more workplace resilience the more up close and personal we get to the reality of COVID-19, we can conclude that sugar-coating or whitewashing that reality is not helpful. People need facts, not blithe reassurance. Personal experience of the reality of the problem seems to help build resilience to help people overcome fear and access their capacity.” At PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, this honest and upfront approach has created an environment in which employees feel safe enough to come back to work on a staggered schedule of three days in the office and two days telecommuting. It was a phased-in approach that included employee surveys to gauge comfort levels and a task force to make sure everyone was safe. “During the pandemic, the key words we are using are “flexible” and “responsible,” says Laura Clairmont, PMMI’s director of human resources, noting that phase one started in May with people coming in one day a week and now are in phase three, which is three days in the office. The task force would check the COVID-19 numbers for both of its office geographic locations, gauge how everyone was feeling, and also followed the CDC and Virginia recommendations of a phased approach to re-opening. They then shifted into the next phase of three days in the office—which remains in place with flexibility based on the need to come into the office for meetings or the need to be home with children who are doing remote learning. Every employee has their temperature taken before entering the building, which is done via a touchless screen. And there is proper PPE available to employees all around the office, as well as while in the

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office they have strict rules on people in offices and meeting rooms to ensure social distancing. Managers are held accountable for knowing how their staff is doing—especially remote workers. And given the stress of the situation, everyone is encouraged to use the employee assistance program that includes 24/7 access to a third-party mental health professional. “This is the norm until COVID-19 is over,” Clairmont says. “And it is working. We are functioning and able to get all of our work done no problem with people not seeing each other [every day].” One of the tools that has helped connect people wherever they are working is the association’s adoption of the RingCentral cloud-based communications platform supporting voice, text, videoconferencing, and web meetings, which was deployed prior to the pandemic. In fact, it’s working so well that Clairmont anticipates that employees will want to continue telecommuting post pandemic. “But we don’t have an answer for that yet.” And, once a vaccine is available to the masses, there’s another question that HR professionals may not have the answer to: Can private employers require employees to take the vaccine?


According to the National Law Review: “Because there is no law or regulation that directly address this issue, employers considering a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy should analyze how mandatory flu vaccination policies have been interpreted… It is possible the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may approach the COVID-19 vaccine differently than its traditional position on mandatory flu vaccinations. From the beginning of the pandemic, the EEOC has recognized COVID-19 meets the higher threshold ‘direct threat standard,’ which allows employers to conduct more extensive medical inquiries and controls than normal.” And, let’s say an employer does go the route of mandating vaccines before someone may return to work, they will need a HIPAA-compliant way for HR organizations to manage and track vaccinations. Healthcare management technology company, ixlayer, recently announced the COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Platform which could play an important role in the last mile of vaccination, including onboarding medical histories, engaging patients, and reporting critical data to federal, state, and local health departments. Through the ixlayer dashboard, employers, health departments, and other organizations will be able to divide responsibilities and manage access. The ixlayer platform provides a way for employees to get pre-educated on the vaccine and go through a screening

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process from the comfort of their home so that clinical staff already have their information. Then, post-vaccination, there’s the ability to follow the individual to make sure there are no side effects and that there is follow-up as the current coronavirus vaccines will require two injections spaced either three or four weeks apart. “Building upon the foundation of our technology, ixlayer is transforming into a fully integrated testing and vaccine distribution system for organizations to manage and scale COVID-19 responses from one central platform seamlessly and efficiently,” says ixlayer CEO Pouria Sanae. Vaccine tracking is just another change that organizations may see moving forward. But changes are touching every aspect of business—including sales.

THE MORE THINGS CHANGE THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME According to Growth Dynamics, a global sales performance analysis company, sales organizations are dealing with three issues amid the pandemic: Struggling to find a way to re-define the role of sales to recruit the right talent; arming themselves with a strong value proposition or reason why a customer or prospect should want to meet; and not prospecting enough to build a pipeline of new customers for 2021. Over the past several months tools like LinkedIn serve as a good way to reach out to potential prospects virtually vs. a cold call. But even with social media and videoconferencing, “the most effective tool in sales is still the phone,” says Ty Swain, CEO of Growth Dynamics. “It’s about being able to focus on the conversation.” And conversations are key to connecting with customers—which has always been the case with or without a pandemic. Right now, however, it’s all about listening. “Leadership needs to have their sales team reach out to existing and prospective customers and instead of sell, ask them what they are seeing and experiencing, and if they have a need for the types of things that the company does,” Swain says. “Instead of selling, ask questions and build a rapport.” In addition, Swain says, sales leadership have to know how to use CRM and LinkedIn tools and give the sales team direction on how to go about developing new customers in a digital environment. And, like Innosight’s Johnson noted, create a new standard based on what the future might look like—not what is happening in the present or even the past. Sure, it may be harder to predict what the sales pipeline will be in 2021, and companies may be struggling to retain and support the existing customer base. But that is just another symptom of the pandemic. “The role of sales is not harder, it’s just changed,” says Swain.

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Collaborative Robots Expand in Scope As the development of collaborative robotic systems continues, the line between typical industrial robots and those deemed “cobots” continues to blur. David Miller, Senior Technical Writer, Automation World


e all want to know what makes our co-workers tick, and perhaps collaborative robots—or cobots—are no different. Yet for all the buzz about their growing prevalence in industry, there’s often a great deal of confusion over precisely how the term “cobot” is defined. Therefore, as companies look to increase productivity, circumvent labor shortages, and reduce human contact in their plants with the help of cobots, it’s time to ask: What does it truly mean for a robot to be collaborative? It’s important to note that there is no single, formal definition of what a cobot is. Rather, ISO standards 102181 and 10218-2 set forth four potential characteristics of collaborative robotic systems. These collaborative capabilities—safety monitored stop, speed-and-separation monitoring, power-and-force limiting, and hand-guiding—can all be achieved through the use of sensors, control systems, and peripheral devices, some of which may already be integrated within a robot upon purchase and others can be retrofitted to a pre-existing industrial robot. “There is no hard line between collaborative and noncollaborative robots,” says Andie Zhang, global collaborative robots product manager at ABB. “Cobots are basically a subset of industrial robots with different features, and almost all industrial robots we provide have the possibility of becoming more collaborative. From the user’s perspective, they should think about what the specific operational

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problem they want to solve is and what the best way to do so is. Picking an option always depends on your application.”

Various approaches

Highlighting the variety of available cobot products, ABB, for example, offers a multitude of different collaborative robot products. While the company’s YuMi robot, which is trumpeted as being “inherently safe,” may spring to mind first due to its small size and power and force limiting capabilities, ABB also offers SafeMove, a software system that integrates with ABB’s IRC5 robot controller family to allow its pre-existing industrial robot lines to engage in both safety monitored stops and speed and separation monitoring. Simply put, by utilizing pressure-sensitive safety mats, light curtains, or laser area scanners as inputs, SafeMove enables industrial robots to either slow down or stop entirely when workers enter their hazard envelope. The key distinction here is whether or not an application requires a human to work so closely alongside the robot that there is potential for a collision. If so, such as in a situation where task changeover is frequent or workers are required to continue processing parts after a robot has finished

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handling them, cobots like YuMi (which allow for hand-guiding and power-and-force limiting) may be the best option. However, because the laws of physics require these robots to be smaller and move slower to remain collision-safe at all times, speed and payload capacity may need to be sacrificed, thereby lowering throughput potential. In contrast, if a robot is capable of working mostly on its own with humans only occasionally entering its workcell, safety monitored stop and speed-and-separation monitoring technologies, which can be externally appended, may be preferable, and come with the added benefit of being compatible with larger, faster industrial robots. One technology company focused exclusively on transforming industrial collaborative robots into cobots is Veo Robotics. This company’s FreeMove system uses multiple camera sensors and an algorithmic computing platform to transform industrial robots into cobots. To read more about how Veo Robotics’ uses the ISO speed-and-separation monitoring standard to achieve its aims, read Automation World’s coverage of the technology at:



would have qualified before,” Campbell says. “For instance, I know a 22-man machine shop that now has ten robots. Before, I wouldn’t have ever marketed to them because they wouldn’t have purchased traditional automation. Now they’re a huge part of this explosion in interest.” That’s why a company like Epson Robotics, which has yet to release its own cobot line, feels that it has learned from trends in the collaborative safety space and has something to offer customers who are eyeing a cobot purchase. According to Scott Marsic, senior product manager at Epson Robotics, when new entrants look to purchase their first robot, it is often their need for an intuitive user experience, scalability, and a low-cost product that incentivizes them to choose a cobot, over and above the need to actually share a workspace with their machine. In response, Epson Robotics has released its all-in-one line of small SCARA and six-axis robots, which Marsic feels can fulfill the same fundamental needs that many cobots do, even without the collaborative safety features. “The biggest feedback we’ve seen from people is that they purchase cobots because they see they’re easy to use, easy to implement, and easy to place, but what they don’t realize until after they’ve placed the cobot is that their throughput isn’t going to be what they expected. They like the simplicity of the programming and the graphical user interface (GUI) that allows them to get up and run-

Other options and considerations The term “cobot” is even more loaded than the nuances of ISO standards 10218-1 and 10218-2 would initially seem to suggest. Even beyond the specific technologies that enable robotic systems to become more collaborative, the concept of a cobot brings with it certain enduser perceptions and expectations apart from the product’s electronic and mechanical capabilities. As senior manager of applications development at Universal Robots, Joe Campbell points out that the cobot designation is as much about stripping away complexity and providing flexibility via easy integration, programming, and operation as it is about safety features. To meet these needs, the Universal Robots business model is oriented toward ease of use. In fact, Universal Robots’ market niche has long been small- and medium-sized companies, contract manufacturers, and any business that due to risk aversion, skills gaps, or lack of capital cannot adopt more fully automated solutions. “We’re selling double digit numbers of robots into companies that I previously never would have made a sales call on in my entire career because they never

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A Fanuc cobot working on an automotive headliner gluing application.

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ning quickly, but they’re not able to perform at the levels they really want to,” Marsic says. “What we’ve seen from our builders, our customers, and our distributors is that in some cases, cobots are not being used the way they were designed to be used. What people really need is simply ease of use.” The trade-offs Marsic indicates are the result of the need for power-and-force limiting cobots to remain below a certain threshold of size and speed to ensure they are collision safe at all times. He argues that the reductions in throughput that result from these slower speeds may ultimately hurt one’s bottom line, offsetting the initial labor savings the cobot allows for. Still, even though these restraints may affect smaller, power-and-force limiting cobots, advances in speed-and-separation monitoring are helping larger, faster industrial robots circumvent these boundaries. For example, Fanuc’s CR series cobots, which use speed-and-separation monitoring, can reach speeds of up to 1500mm per second and offer payload capacities of up to 35kg, which is the highest on the market, according to Fanuc. Greg Buell, Fanuc senior engineer, anticipates the trend continuing toward cobots with longer reaches, higher speeds, and greater payload capacities as speed-and-separation monitoring technologies continue to improve.

Making a decision

According to Universal Robots’ Campbell, while cobots have historically been smaller and more simplistic than general industrial robots, that’s largely because the companies producing them early on were highly specialized and sought to sell them to small- and medium-sized enterprises with a need for highly intuitive features. However, now that their popularity and functionality has expanded and major robotics manufacturers such as ABB and Fanuc have begun trying their hand at designing and selling collaborative robotic systems, end-users can expect larger, faster, and more powerful cobots to continue to proliferate. As a result,

The dual-arm YuMi collaborative robot from ABB is touted as the world’s first truly collaborative robot.

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potential purchasers should anticipate a more diverse landscape of choices, though this may turn out to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, as options multiply, it is likely that products that are more closely tailored to manufacturer’s individual needs will become more common. On the other hand, more careful consideration may need to go into parsing the alternatives to select the one that is best suited to a company’s particular application. This latter process will require keeping the trade-offs enumerated above firmly in mind. Beyond that, it’s important to note that, even when investing in inherently safe, power-and-force limiting cobots such as ABB’s YuMi, some safety qualms may remain. For instance, regardless of how collision safe a cobot itself is, if it’s tooling or the objects it is handling possess sharp points or jagged edges, humans working in proximity to it may still be injured. Similarly, while a cobot engaged in a machine tending operation may be able to stop if it collides with a human worker, that does not mean that the door of a CNC or other device could not still slam on an operator’s arm. Even in applications where fencing has safely come down, a box or other manipulated item dropped due to a momentary loss of air pressure to a pneumatically actuated arm could find itself sliding across the floor in a haphazard manner. As such, situational awareness on the part of plant floor workers remains important and performing a risk assessment before deploying any particular type of cobot is absolutely indispensable. For more on cobot risk assessment, read “In the Trenches with Collaborative Robots”: Finally, those interested in cobots should keep a close watch, not just on individual robots, but the various peripheral and add-on technologies being developed and released to supplement pre-existing industrial robotic systems. As in much of industry, software for zoning and safety controls continues to take precedence in areas where physical barriers and other hardware would have once been required. In addition, products such as Touché Solutions’ T-Skin, a tactile safety sensor system which can be applied to the surface of industrial robots to allow them to come to a safe stop upon collision with human workers, as well as several increasingly advanced vision systems for speed and separation monitoring continue to be game-changers in the collaborative space, making faster, higher payload collaborative robotic systems evermore feasible. And for those who feel overwhelmed by the rapidly expanding suite of options presented by this seeming robotic takeover, it’s important to remember that whatever Hollywood films may have taught us, these cobots come in peace. Easily share this article with your peers:

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ASSOCIATION NEWS Sean Riley, Senior Director, Media & Industry Communications INDUSTRY SERVICES NEWS

Pandemic Policies for Field Service Personnel

Field service personnel have seen the direct impact of travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic causing increased uncertainty of how to keep business moving forward safely. As a result, the Field Service Managers Share Group, convened by PMMI’s Industry Relations Committee, has developed best practices—exclusively for members—regarding travel documents and requirements for field service personnel during the pandemic. Featuring preliminary communications, virtual tools, and a pre-visit checklist, the Field Service Personnel and Customer Tools work product acts as a tool to assist in the many activities associated with service visits to customer sites. Download for free at:

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Use the PMMI U Skills Fund to Train Your Team

As COVID-19 continues to enforce travel restrictions, social distancing, and working remotely, the need for a skilled workforce hasn’t changed. Companies are turning to virtual training to upskill their employees no matter where they are. The PMMI U Skills Fund can help support your training costs. Take e-learning courses anytime through PMMI’s online TechEd 365. For questions on the PMMI U Skills fund or the courses, reach out directly to Jane Tran, program coordinator, PMMI at or learn more at:

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PACK EXPO Connects Engages CPGs Through March 31 Sean Riley, Senior Director, Media and Industry Communication


fter bringing the industry together during its launch week Nov. 9-13, PACK EXPO Connects continues convening consumer packaged goods companies and brand owners with more than 700 exhibitors at “This event continues to connect the industry, which was our number one goal in a year when professionals cannot attend physical trade events,” says Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI. “And our exhibitors were remarkable in their ability to react and deliver effective demonstrations despite the technical challenges entirely outside of their control.” Despite exhibitor preparedness, technical issues kept the live demonstrations from launching as intended on Monday, Nov. 9, but the PACK EXPO Connects exhibitors adapted, and demos returned for attendees looking to see technology in action the remainder of the live event. Exhibitor Engage Technologies Corporation and its family of companies, including Squid Ink, Eastey, and AFM, attained nearly 1,000 new contacts during the live launch portion of PACK EXPO Connects, according to marketing manager Josh Nelson. “We were successful in providing live demonstrations of our equipment after switching over to the Zoom platform after [a few] technical difficulties on Monday morning,” Nelson said. “We formed a plan as a team to put our demonstration agenda into an easily emailable format.” Nelson was pleased with the

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feedback he received regarding their virtual showroom. Customers were particularly pleased with the interactions and detailed information his team could provide in the chat as the demonstrations were live. Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery serves as a prime example of an exhibitor who pivoted on the fly to mine substantial success from PACK EXPO Connects. “Spee-Dee was fortunate to have a successful demo on

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Monday via the PACK EXPO Connects platform, and then we jumped over to Facebook Live for our remaining demos,” says Dave Navin, president and CEO, Spee-Dee. “We plan to use the recorded content posted on the PACK EXPO Connects platform as a way to continue to build our brand and engage our customers. We have all found new ways to connect with our customers, which provides one more tool for us.” In addition to demos, educational offerings—many debuting for the first time at PACK EXPO Connects—produced engagement, surpassing expectations. More than 800 attendees tuned in live to the keynote address by Kim Houchens, director, Customer Packaging Experience at Amazon, which remains available on-demand at The daily Jumpstart sessions each averaged 400 viewers seeking insights into key trends and technologies. And every day, more than a dozen Innovation Stages, afternoon Trend Chats, and Daily Downloads with PMMI Media Group editors attracted high daily participation. The Solutions Room wrapped up the week on Friday with targeted interactions from the OpX Leadership Network, Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC), the Institute of Packaging Professionals, and the Contract Packaging Association. “PACK EXPO Connects offered a unique opportunity to report on industry developments via a new digital format,” commented Jim Chrzan, vice president, content and brand development, PMMI Media Group. “I’m incredibly proud of our team and grateful to Amazon, General Mills, Bush Brothers and many industry experts who presented. Engagement from the packaging and processing community

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was exciting to see, and the experience has expanded our vision of the many ways we can deliver content.” Engagement will continue through March 31, 2021, with on-demand demos, educational sessions and showrooms remaining available as resources for industry professionals in the coming months. Easily share this article with your peers:

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Preparing for the Prospect of In-Person Events Sean Riley, Senior Director, Media and Industry Communications


s we head into a new year, hope is on the horizon for a return to actual face-to-face meetings with fellow humans that do not involve a computer screen and a webcam. PACK EXPO Connects continues to connect packaging and processing professionals virtually through March 31, 2021. However, the industry craves the networking and sense of community that comes from a live, in-person show. During a recent interview for the unPACKed with PMMI podcast, PMMI Board member and Chairperson of the PMMI Show Committee, Matt Jones, vice president of sales and aftermarket for Dorner, offered a solid summation of the current state of the industry. “The one thing that I think we all have to work to overcome is this virtual fatigue that’s taking place as well,” says Jones. “While we’ve invested in a lot of materials and recorded a lot of items to engage with customers via PACK EXPO Connects, we’re also still trying to continue to drive the personal connections.” In a way, he points to one silver lining that emerged from forced isolation, and that is underlining the necessity of live trade shows and meetings once restrictions lift. “I think there’s an opportunity for us to have both this type of an event, the PACK EXPO Connects type online event for people who cannot attend the show in person, but what this event did, in no small respect, was really galvanize and reinforce the importance of live events,” Jones says. “And I think that’s a good thing.” As the producer of a portfolio of trade shows, PMMI agrees and began preparations alongside the Las Vegas Convention Center for PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO 2021 before PACK EXPO Connects even went live in November, with precautions taking center stage and safety top of mind. Initial space selection took place in Dec. 2020, but booths remain available on a firstcome, first-serve basis. Because PMMI is in regular communication with the Convention Center and Las Vegas Visitors Authority, the show management team are constantly updated on the most up-to-date regulations regarding COVID-19 and protocols specific to Las Vegas.

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The Las Vegas Convention Center is a Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC)-certified facility, and PMMI has staff certified as GBAC-Trained Technicians as well. What does this mean for you as an exhibitor to ensure your staff is as safe as possible and assure attendees that their health and well-being are top of mind? 1. GBAC accreditation confirms the establishment of a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to control and/or minimize the risk associated with infectious agents such as SARS-CoV-2 (responsible for COVID-19 disease) for employees, customers, clients, visitors, the community, and the environment. 2. It further establishes a framework for communication and raising awareness of best practices as they relate to cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. 3. With these standards in place, PACK EXPO Las Vegas can provide assurance and establish confidence that proper cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention work practices are in place and implemented. Looking ahead to 2022, PMMI has begun selling space for PACK EXPO East, with a deadline of March 22. By early April, the wheels will already start to turn for PACK EXPO International and Healthcare Packaging EXPO 2022, with applications for space available for our McCormick Place return Oct. 23-26, 2022. PMMI will communicate updates regularly to exhibitors of PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO via our Exhibitor Update. Exhibitors should keep an eye out for more information in the coming weeks.

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CPGs Lean on OEMs for Help with Equipment, Training, and Safety in the COVID-19 Aftermath


he PMMI Annual Meeting took place in October and was virtual this year, but the association still shared important presentations with members that included the Chairman’s update, an economic outlook, cybersecurity vigilance, and the ever-popular CPG panel, which gives PMMI members the chance to hear from their customers. This year, members tuned in to the CPG panel to hear from three engineers responsible for packaging equipment at their companies. During the hour-long session, Wilken Benjamin, principal packaging equipment engineer at Rich Products Corp., John Giles, manager of Ada engineering at Amway, and Joe Zembas, senior manager of reliability engineering at J.M. Smucker Company, discussed COVID-19 issues, equipment needs, and more with OEM Magazine editor-in-chief Stephanie Neil. Stephanie Neil: How would you describe your business condition right now? Joe Zembas: Here at J.M. Smucker Company we are predominantly a retail company, but we do have a good portion of our business in the food service channel as well. When everyone shut down restaurants several months ago it definitely hurt our food service segment, but meanwhile, everyone was filling their pantry and eating at home more. There were a lot of PB&Js being made. And we had to fill shelves that had been stripped. Back in March, if you were to go to the grocery store, half of the shelves were empty. Plants were taxed with making more than what they were previously making. We saw a significant rachet up in the need to get product out, keep shelves full, and keep people and pets fed. And, as our corporate environment had gone to working virtually, it had thrown caveats into the way we get work accomplished. So, it was controlled chaos, business as usual, it was everything. John Giles: I agree with lot of points Joe made, particular with the controlled chaos, but not so much with the business as usual. There was a lot of out of box problem solving for us and defining a new normal. I hear the comments that we’ll return to normal and all will go back to the way it was, but I don’t think that’s the case. We’ll define a

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new normal and I see our company doing that [for example, figuring] out who needs to be in the office is a big issue for us. We are still in phase two of restricting the people who can come on campus. We are able to do more jobs remotely than we ever thought possible. The difficulty we are facing is understanding how well is that job performance going with people working remotely and what are we getting out of it. But we are extremely busy with projects and don’t see any let up in that in the future. Stephanie Neil: How do you manage service technicians and others coming into the plant? Joe Zembas: If you go back to March there was no guideline. We had to be agile and fluid about how we were doing it. We put checklists together following CDC guidelines and we’ve continued to adapt that system. We cut back as much as possible on external visits and instituted checklists before people come on site, like thermal monitoring of individuals when they come on sight and we’ve also looked at what kind of systems we need to put in place to help that be effective. Before, when a tractor trailer showed up with a load of packing materials, a lot of papers would go back and forth and there were interactions that had to go on. We’ve moved a lot of that to now being paperless by leveraging the technology out there that is available. We are working through touchless invoicing and transactions with truck drivers. Stephanie Neil: A recent PMMI business indicator poll asked members what their biggest obstacle was as of late and they focused on supply chain disruptions. Are you having the same experience? Wilken Benjamin: I’m an equipment engineer so I’m generally focused on the end product, but I do hear on work team meetings where supply chain is an issue in getting raw materials. The biggest thing for me is equipment OEMs and lead times being extended when it came down to steel and trying to cut in different equipment. We’ve had some issues where lead time that would normally be in the neighborhood of 16 to 18 weeks now would be 32 weeks.

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Stephanie Neil: What does it do to the organization when you have extended lead times? Wilken Benjamin: We are doing a lot of equipment replacements and we are focused on cost savings, so it delays those savings. Is it effecting the business? Can we still run? We do, just not as efficiently [as we would] with the new technology. Stephanie Neil: The PMMI Business Indicator Poll showed that quotes and proposal activity has gone up since March. Why is this happening? Joe Zembas: In essence, we all had a business plan and things we had committed to. Obsolete pieces of equipment needed to be updated and there were new product launches that needed to hit the market. Once we got through the initial tidal wave of chaos in March and April we still have a 30 years old tray packer sitting out there that I can’t buy spare parts for any longer. I still need to get that quote, get the project funded, and get it underway, so that is part of the normal business we’ve had to continue. Wilken Benjamin: Real simple. Labor. As we bounced into the COVID-19 environment, one thing we saw is that when people were afraid to come to work, we still had to fill orders. It became evident that the things we were working on for five years down the road, we would have to pull those things in and start automating more processes. Stephanie Neil: John, are you looking for new types of equipment or turning to more automation? John Giles: Labor is a huge part for us and automation ties into that. We had a plan for an automation spend and where to spend that capital. Other than the little blip where things slowed down in March and April, it’s still full steam ahead and following the original guide for capital projects. We also have a large sector of the nutrition industry and we’ve seen explosive growth with nutrition products, especially immunity defense products. That accelerated some of the things we were doing internally to pull up plans to bring up additional lines and support that growing segment of the business. Stephanie Neil: How can your OEM partners help? John Giles: In today’s market we definitely rely on that partnership and it’s everything from going through all of the options and things you can get on the machine and equipment to make sure it will suit the products we’ll make with it. When we get to design and FAT, where we normally have boots on the ground to inspect and look at things, that is where we rely on close relationships with our suppliers or OEMs to make sure they get the equipment we want. We have strong OEMs supporting us and willing to do more than they would have in the past and that is a mutual benefit to everyone.

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Stephanie Neil: If this is the time for OEMs to come up with new business models and new services, what would you ask them for? Wilken Benjamin: As CPGs, we all want as much aftermarket support as we can receive—and get it as free as possible. With that said, one of the things we are looking at is that we need to keep our equipment running, yet we don’t want anyone in our facility because of COVID-19, so we’ve been digging into technology to figure out how we can have that support. We’ve been checking out [Microsoft] HoloLens and we are receiving a lot of good feedback from everyone in our facilities. So we’ve been sending the HoloLens around to some of the different problems we’re having, whether it’s R&D projects or purchasing equipment for FATs or collaborating plant to plant. [PTC’s Vuforia] Chalk is another project we’ve put out there. Some OEMs came to me with Chalk and we said we would like to test it out. It was interesting because it was pre-COVID-19 that we were saying it’s a neat app and we need to try it out, not knowing it was something we’d really need. Joe Zembas: Training has always been difficult. The more we can do virtually, the more dynamic we can make it and it will address the need to not have the OEM in our site for a week to do extensive training for individuals. I think that five to 10 years from now you won’t get a vendor onsite to do training. As we continue to move forward there will be more virtual, more visual, the little 30-second video clips. Things like the pandemic will accelerate that movement. Stephanie Neil: Last year at the PMMI Annual Meeting there was a lot of discussion about cybersecurity, but I haven’t heard any of you talk about it. Is it still an issue? Wilken Benjamin: Oh, yeah, it’s definitely an issue…we are just trying to figure ways around it using iPhones and doing anything we can, especially with start-ups. We’ve had three startups since this pandemic and when we start talking about all the devices to try, IT still pushes back. So, cybersecurity is still top of mind, and I shouldn’t say we are trying to get around it—we are being creative. John Giles: It is really about being creative and coming up with different solutions. It comes down to who you are partnering with. We are seeing a lot more cooperation because of the pandemic and we realize we need to do things and open things up, but cybersecurity will never drop into the back seat, we are just becoming more creative about learning how to deal with it. To view the entire conversation go to: Get a glimpse of what the future looks like for CPG equipment investments and see what others are saying about their current business conditions. View the November 2020 Monthly Business Indicator report here: Easily share this article with your peers:

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The Data Dilemma of Intelligent Equipment Models OEMs will rely on software suppliers to help them deliver equipment to their customers under new Machine-as-a-Service business models. But collaboration and confidentiality agreements will be the key to success. Marcia Gadbois, President and General Manager, ADISRA


lobal disruption due to COVID-19 has led to decreased capital spending throughout the worldwide economy, yet it has also been a catalyst accelerating the need for remote monitoring of industrial equipment. End users are looking for smarter ways to operate, and many machine builders and their suppliers are responding by pivoting business models. For example, a shift from traditional purchase agreements to products-as-aservice (PaaS) provides more flexibility and opens doors for small-to-mid size manufacturers to acquire the resources they need to be successful. OEMs in partnership with software providers can offer value-added services to end users under this new paradigm, while generating predictable revenue streams.

MaaS and EaaS

Services are becoming an important pillar in the overall strategy for differentiation and revenue generation, and OEMs are responding by evaluating different methods for selling services or renting their machines. Instead of looking at the sale of a machine as the end of a transaction, OEMs are now concerning themselves with the entire lifecycle of the machine. And as OEMs begin to offer their machines using new models such as machine-as-a-service (MaaS) or equipment-as-a-service (EaaS), software suppliers in partnership with OEMs need to license their software—and other advanced services such as machine predictive maintenance and remote health monitoring—in a similar way. At

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this time, only a small fraction of OEMs are offering these models, but competitive pressures should increase adoption rapidly over the coming years. MaaS is where an OEM engages with a software supplier to access real-time and historical data from their equipment in the field. With this data, the OEM can offer value-added services such as guaranteed performance/ uptime, advanced analytics for optimization, and predictive maintenance modeling. EaaS is similar, except the OEM uses production data made available by the software supplier to rent out the hardware and software to end user customers, charging them based on usage. As the end user realizes production from the machine, the OEM is compensated on a per unit basis, effectively renting the machine. This provides end users with a more flexible payment option and lowers their financial burden as costs are only incurred when the machine is up and running. MaaS is a monthly service fee (or subscription fee) while EaaS is a per-unit charge. However, both models free end users to focus on their core strengths by shifting maintenance, repair and update burdens to the OEM and their software suppliers. Read more about the pay-for-performance model in the article The Aftermarket Opportunity:

Industrial automation software as a key enabler Software suppliers in the manufacturing space are working with OEMs to make these new business models possible by adjusting their business towards a data-driven, service-oriented approach—transforming the end user customer spend from CapEX to OpEx.

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OEMs would traditionally need a stack of hardware, software, and networking elements to implement these types of solutions. This would require integrating programmable logic controllers (PLCs), human-machine interfaces (HMIs), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, network media, PCs for historians and analytical processing, internet connectivity, cloud computing, and more. Fortunately, modern HMI/SCADA industrial automation software systems have greatly increased capabilities and are ideally positioned to support PaaS models. They are typically installed close to the field equipment and data, and they possess the computing resources and connectivity needed to process and transmit information. This type of software can be delivered to OEMs in a software-as-asservice (SaaS) format, mimicking the OEM’s arrangement with their customers. For instance, ADISRA SmartView is an HMI/SCADA package that can operate inside the OEM machine or any embedded edge device. It delivers traditional visualization functions, and also operates as a data collector and communicator to support other software products from the company for cloud-based advanced analytics and predictive maintenance.

New software licensing for intelligent machines Software suppliers traditionally offered perpetual licenses suitable for when OEMs just sold their machines. Any subsequent support for ongoing updates and security patches, if it occurred at all, was a separate transaction, sometimes viewed by the OEM as a liability or an after thought.

New MaaS and EaaS models allow OEMs and their end user customers to keep software suppliers actively engaged, so everyone receives the benefit of the latest updates, while mitigating investment risk and reducing resource commitments. For example, predictive maintenance is a key concept benefitting end users, OEMs, and software suppliers because: • End users can directly link capital usage to production and equipment availability, clarifying the total cost of goods sold. • OEMs can access digital data about how their equipment is used, what functions are essential, and operational costs—all in real-time. • Software suppliers receive recurring revenue and performance data, both of which promote constantly improved software and predictive models. The collection of data regarding the operation of the equipment, the volume of goods produced, and other production data required to implement modern operating models and predictive maintenance raises a data ownership challenge. The model thus relies on a true partnership among all parties, which requires data confidentiality agreements to ensure mutual success.

MaaS and EaaS advantage

Despite the data ownership issue, there is a real advantage during these turbulent economic times for OEMs to offer their equipment end users ways of reducing CapEx and moving expenses to OpEx. End users incur no OpEx unless OEM machines are producing product, while OEMs and their suppliers create recurring revenue streams, with all three parties prioritizing uptime. And modern HMI software such as ADISRA can move beyond just visualization, adding the most needed historian, analytical, diagnostic, predictive, and remote connectivity features into an ecosystem enabled to run on a variety of hardware platforms at the edge. This feeds directly into these new equipment operating models, encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing between all stakeholders, and allowing each to use their unique expertise to ensure optimal performance. This production-centric mindset aligns all parties for long-term success throughout the lifecycle of the machine.

Modern HMIs, like ADISRA SmartView, bring considerable computing power to embedded OEM applications, enabling not only visualization but also advanced data collection, communications, and processing.

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PC-Based Control Systems and New Belt Actuator Offer Precision for Medical Tray Sealer Push-to-start medical tray sealer from Belco Packaging Systems, Inc. minimizes material waste, maximizes package quality, and improves operator safety. Keren Sooke, Director of Editorial Content, Healthcare Packaging


n medical tray sealing, balancing high precision, speed, operator safety, and per-unit cost are all critical. To meet these needs, Belco Packaging Systems introduced its BM2030-PC Medical Tray Sealer at PACK EXPO Las Vegas in Sept. 2019. Awarded with a PMMI Technology Excellence Award at the show for new innovation, the system is designed for consistency and repeatability, producing high quality seals for FDA-monitored operations such as implantable device packaging. Based in Monrovia, CA, Belco has served the manufacturing industry for more than 60 years. According to the company, the BM2030-PC represents customer feedback and requests that have been collected over the past 45 years of manufacturing medical tray sealers. “The system is designed for customers in FDA-regulated environments who need the machine-generated evidence that they’re complying with their quality management system,” explains Belco vice president Tom Misik. “The machine will let you know if something is not working right. When it is functioning properly, it will provide the data for the MDM [medical device manufacturer] to upload into their permanent device record.” The system offers speed and control, thanks to two Festo belt driven linear actuators, a Beckhoff industrial panel PC, and several other features for safety and ease of use. One of the hallmarks of Belco designs is its “no ifs, ands, or bolts” approach. The machine is built with a welded structural steel foundation, robust enough for avoiding metal distortion or warping in heat sealing operations that combine high temperature and pressure.

Sealer operation To seal the trays, the operator places pre-made thermoformed trays in each of the machine’s precision-machined

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seal fixture cavities with a die-cut Tyvek, laminate, or foil lid on top of each. With the touch of its Single Start Button, the cycle is initiated. The shuttle drawer slides in and the custom-engineered seal fixture contacts the stationary heat platen for the predetermined cycle time to heat seal the trays. To see the machine in action, visit: After the shuttle drawer slides back out, the patented automatic tray ejector elevates the trays up and out of the cavity, so that the operator doesn’t disturb the still-warm seal when removing the trays.

Belt actuator smooths motion When Belco set out to improve shuttle performance for the new sealer, they selected Festo’s ELGA series belt driven linear actuator which is designed for use in food and cleanroom environments, offering controlled linear motion at quiet speed and improved performance. “It was engineered to allow the shuttle drawer to move smoother at higher speeds than we could with our old linear actuator,” says Tom Volby, R&D project engineer at Belco, in a company video. Misik adds that this design represents a significant improvement in the availability (lead time) of this linear actuator over previous components they’ve used. With the shuttle speed increased, Belco set its sights on the tray ejection rate. Volby adds, “It made sense for us to improve the speed of the product ejector. Festo came in with a guided linear actuator that had a right-angle motor that was much quicker and had fewer components that would mount directly into the machine, and it was capable of lifting or ejecting any load that the machine would possibly see.” The seal fixtures are custom-engineered and machined as precision tools for each MDM’s components. Because of the fixture’s size and weight, Belco opted to automatically

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raise the seal fixture out of the machine to make it easier for operators to install or remove the fixture. The height is also helpful for removing trays after sealing.

Advanced controls for speed and ease of use Operators control and monitor the BM2030-PC using a Beckhoff CP3716, 15.6-inch-high resolution touch screen Panel PC with an Intel Atom processor. The system features a color HMI multi-touch screen and enhanced operator interface screens—the screen resolution allowed Belco to use previously developed screen graphics from other Beckhoff projects. The System Configuration screen displays the current machine configuration, while the System Limits screen displays the upper and lower limits of all system parameters. “It was an easy decision to go with Beckhoff control systems… we’ve been using Beckhoff for better than 15 years,” says Volby. The open PC architecture provides for real-time Package Data Acquisition, monitoring of cycles for process alarms, and local area network (LAN) capability. With documentation so critical to medical device packaging operations, Beckhoff’s comprehensive modular I/O system for all signal types and Fieldbus systems capture data for generating reports for machine level errors versus cycle level errors. Operations are fast thanks to the EtherCAT high speed Ethernet communication and Beckhoff’s Windows 10 em-

bedded Process Controller. Belco notes that process alarms for time, temperature, and pressure monitoring functions are handled by separate terminals within the system’s EtherCAT network. The machine was designed so that operators can easily access control, power, and utility components when needed.

RFID, bar code scanners, and vision systems The machine features a built-in RFID antenna, and every tool is also produced with an RFID tag—every seal fixture is identified using RFID prior to allowing a cycle to run. “We’ve been using RFID technology for a while,” says Misik. “We need to verify every time we cycle the machine that the validated process parameters of time, temperature, and pressure are only being used for that tool. That’s what gives the customer confidence that their machine is performing to their quality requirements.” “The advantage we’re introducing now is that we’ve moved the RFID reader to the top edge of the tool,” says Greg Fox, a project engineer at Belco. The centralized placement of the RFID tag on the upper tool edge allows seal fixtures of varying length to take advantage of this identification feature without requiring increased top plate size. The result is a faster response time with a minimum amount of potential for interference or misreads. EtherCAT and Ethernet protocols integrated into the control system allow for easy integration of bar code scanners and vision systems.

Light curtain protects staff and packages The BM2030-PC features a unique light curtain that is placed at the front edge of the tool area, that projects the safety curtain through the seal area to a receiver mounted on the back side of the seal chamber. “Belco added this to be able to detect whether someone’s placed their hand in an unsafe area in the moving zone of the machine, but it’s also able to detect if a package has been unintentionally introduced into the machine and gotten stuck onto the heater platen,” says Fox. “Safety is a primary concern,” explains Misik. “The light curtain has given us the flexibility to pursue the new design. It’s also given us safety support tools, not just for the operator, but also for the customer’s product. If something happened with the materials, and a package became hung up in the machine, rather than the machine continuing to cycle, it would recognize there was a jam, shut down, and the operator could carefully remove the device. The devices could be several thousands of dollars, and in the case of a tissue bank, the product may be priceless as it’s a human tissue.” The BM2030-PC Medical Tray Sealer was awarded with a PMMI Technology Excellence Award at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2019.

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Position Indicators Speed Changeover Three packaging machines handling powdered milk formula rely on monitored size changeover using electronic position indicators with IO-Link interface. Pat Reynolds, Editor Emeritus, Packaging World


owdered milk formula for babies is a sensitive product that must be filled gently, safely, and accurately. There’s no room for error or inefficiency when it comes to size changeover, whether it’s the primary, secondary, or tertiary package that’s being changed. One producer of powdered milk that installed a turnkey Rovema line—vertical form/fill/seal (vf/f/s), cartoning, and case packing—relies on SIKO’s AP10 electronic position indicators with IO-Link interface for monitored and consistently reliable size changeovers. Up to 40 adjustment points may be necessary in order to adapt all functions to a new format in this turnkey system. Changeover that relies on purely mechanical position indicators is susceptible to errors and inaccuracies, which is why Rovema turned to an electronic solution. The first such solution implemented, however, required the addition of an integrated controller, which was more complicated to connect and also more expensive. That’s where the AP10 from SIKO came in. Featuring IO-Link interface, it cuts costs on the controller and makes it much easier to integrate the position indicators as IO-Link devices into the machine control system. “IO-Link is a communication standard that is becoming increasingly widespread in the automation sector and is already being used more and more by us as an interface for sensors and actuators,” says Ingo Hamel, head of innovation R&D at Rovema. “It was therefore obvious to think about this for the size changeover and to involve SIKO, with whom we already have a long-standing constructive cooperation in the field of mechanical position indicators.” According to Moritz Müller, PositionLine product manager at SIKO, the inquiry from Rovema came at a good time. “We too were already working with IO-Link and thus developed the AP10 with an IO-Link interface, which can be easily and safely integrated into machine control systems,” says Müller. Infant formula in this particular customer installation is packaged in powder form in pack sizes ranging from 200 to 800 g. The powder is first filled into bags in parallel by two vf/f/s machines and then fed on two tracks to a horizontal

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cartoning machine. Here, one or two bags are placed in a folding carton and provided with a dosing spoon before the carton is closed. The cartons are then taken to a case packer and later to a palletizing system. All 40 adjustment points along the line must always be adapted to a new package size when a size change is made. Most of the adjustment points are located in the cartoner and end-of-line packaging area, less so in the tubular bagging machine. When a new size is needed, the corresponding recipe is selected in the controller, whereby all electronic position indicators receive the new setpoints directly via the IO-Link interface and display them clearly on the backlit display. The LED displays immediately change to red in color since the current position has ceased to be correct. The operator then goes on to mechanically adjust all corresponding points to the new values. Once the actual

Electronic position indicators simplify size changeovers. The status LEDs light up green when the actual and target values match precisely.

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position and the recommended setpoints match exactly, the LED display changes to green, thus indicating position reached. This is how the operator knows it’s okay to start running the new container size. The advantages for the operator speak for themselves: no more paperwork and no more long lists of values to tick off and document. All values are already available electronically and are transmitted directly to the position indicators. Moreover, changeover is much faster as well as safer because the feedback of the LED lights is clear. The system can only be restarted if all the corresponding position indicators light up green. One additional nuance in this installation is worth pointing out. The position indicators for the setpoints are given a specific tolerance range based on a nominal value. The operator has the possibility of making fine adjustment within this range and the position indicators will still light up green. If the operator picks a setting outside of this tolerance range, the display switches to red. Having this tolerance range can be advantageous in the event of packaging material inconsistencies in the carton area, for example. If the temperature of the hot-melt glue fluctuates or a corrugated case is slightly more creased, it may be useful to slightly adjust the guide rails or a contact pressure point. According to Hamel, the ability to make these fine adjust-

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ments is welcomed by the operators because they know the plant and product best: “The tolerance range allows the operators to make an independent assessment of the situation and gives them scope for action,” says Hamel. “This makes the process more efficient and helps the employee feel involved.”

The IO-Link advantage

IO-Link is a communications standard that is gaining ground internationally. As a communications protocol that is subject to an international standard, IO-Link is manufacturer-independent. Accordingly, devices and masters can be developed as communication participants. Integration is possible via simple point-to-point connections at the lowest network level, and the wiring effort is extremely low compared to fieldbus interfaces. The SIKO AP10 displays are regarded as IO-Link devices, each of which is connected to an IO-Link master, which usually has eight ports. From the master, communication with the controller is via another high-performance protocol, in this case SERCOS III, though EtherNet/IP is also frequently used by Rovema. Müller explains the reasons for not using EtherNet/IP throughout for communication: “IO-Link is the much more cost-effective interface, which also makes significantly lower demands on the wiring and is thus also easily connected.” Rovema’s Hamel confirms the easy integration. “We were very pleased that the first commissioning worked right away—without a lot of cabling work and with simple parameterization and integration into the control system.” According to Müller, there is also a simple diagnostic function. IO-Link quickly shows which device may have a fault or needs to be optimized. For this purpose, the position indicators can be exchanged during operation without having to open up an entire network ring. The affected device can be simply disconnected and replaced by a new one thanks to the star-shaped plug connection to the IO-Link master. The parameterization can then be loaded directly from the IO-Link master into the new (identical) device and thus accepted. Electronic position indicators for monitored size changeover are optionally available for all Rovema machines and systems—which, according to the company, has been very well accepted by customers. The customer of the packaging plant for infant formula had all 40 adjustment points equipped with AP10 displays because the benefits are so compelling: faster changeover times and much less documentation effort, because everything is electronically stored and retrievable. The most important advantage is the significantly increased process reliability due to the red/green LED system; incorrect settings can no longer occur. Easily share this article with your peers:

Call to Discuss Your Application Today! 1-800-821-5831 or 1-858-278-2900

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Leading Through Crisis the Bumble Bee Way Jan Tharp, CEO of The Bumble Bee Seafood Co., discusses the leadership methods that overcame chaotic times at the company. Stephanie Neil, Editor-in-Chief


he 120-year-old Bumble Bee Seafood Company has undergone a massive transformation within the last year under the stewardship of president and CEO Jan Tharp. The mission to reboot the brand included introducing plant-based foods, pouch-based packaging, a renewed commitment to ocean sustainability, modern commercial campaigns, and an overhaul of the company culture. All of this was done on the heels of an enormous corporate controversy that happened under the company’s previous leadership, which resulted in a collusion investigation between three of the biggest names in the tuna industry. During that time, Tharp stepped in as interim CEO and took over officially as president and CEO of the company in early 2020, leading Bumble Bee through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding and a sale of the company’s assets to Taiwan-based FCF Co., for $925 million. In this conversation with OEM Magazine, Tharp discusses the skills required to lead a workforce through chaos, and it starts with a “people first” philosophy. OEM Magazine: Are there things that you can point to during the recent challenging times specific to Bumble Bee and even now in the pandemic, that have elevated the way that you lead or changed the way you think about things? Jan Tharp: You’re talking about a crisis and leading through crisis. And essentially when you’re in that state, what you’ve lost is predictability and control. And as humans that’s what we want. Without predictability and control, we all become very anxious. Think about an airline pilot and how they manage turbulence. The pilot has the ability to either elevate that anxiety or dilute it. Typically, the pilot comes on in a reassuring voice and explains to the passengers what is going on and they pass it back to the passenger and tell you what you can do to help—stay in your seat and fasten your seatbelt. Well leadership is exactly the same thing. When you are going through turbulence

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Jan Tharp, CEO of The Bumble Bee Seafood Co.

or a crisis it is about communication…If you can clearly articulate the plan and explain to your team members how long it’s going to take you to get to your end state, what that end state looks like, and how they can help you along in that journey, well, then you’ve diluted that anxiety and all that energy is moving toward your to-be state. It’s essentially communication. And it happens every single day. And if you can do that effectively, you can manage through a crisis. And we’ve done that [through] all the issues we’ve had at Bumble Bee Seafood Company, and we’re doing that during the pandemic. To see more of this interview with Jan Tharp, which originally aired during PACK EXPO Connects Jumpstart morning show, go to: OEM Magazine: How have things changed to ensure the alignment, confidence, and trust as you move forward in a new strategic direction?

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Jan Tharp: One of the tenants of my leadership style is to listen. And that’s sometimes really difficult because when you’re in a situation and you hear of a problem, you want to solve for that problem, that’s our natural instinct. So being able to take a step back and listen, and don’t filter your ideas through your own head, but to listen with empathy and compassion to what people are saying, certainly helps design the programs that matter to our employees or our team members. And so, we’ve done that. We did a survey to get a pulse of how people are feeling inside the company. We’ve done the exact same thing in our factories. And from there, we’re using that data to give back programs that help our team members. And the difference here is when this first started, everyone jumped to their own conclusions as to what our team members needed. And it went through our own filters of some of the things that we were thinking about. And what we found is that what they really needed wasn’t any of the things that we thought that they wanted. It was heightened communication. It was a few things that we could be doing better inside of our facility. And so, what our team members are feeling is: not only did we listen, but we’re paying back in programs that matter to them. And when you do that across an entire company, the results are actually remarkable. Did you miss PACK EXPO Connects? No problem, the virtual show will be available through March 31, 2121. Learn more here: OEM Magazine: What does sustainability mean to the Bumble Bee brands? Jan Tharp: We came up with a platform that we call Seafood Future. It’s focused on the fish, it’s focused on the ocean, and it’s focused on people. We all need to be thinking about sustainability. When we develop a new product, it can’t go through the entire process and then hit sustainability after it gets on the grocery store shelf. It has to be part of the design process. Ocean plastic is a big concern with consumers. So is the fact that the population is growing. The population should be right around nine to ten billion people by 2050. And what we’re doing today will not sustain that type of growth. Bumble Bee was one of the first companies to get into a plant-based seafood partnership. It doesn’t dilute anything that we’re doing in the wild-capture fisheries, but it certainly is another way of embracing the fact that together we need to do something to protect our oceans. OEM Magazine: We’re seeing some different packaging coming from Bumble Bee (visit for more) and also a new commercial campaign. Tell us about that. Jan Tharp: We’re very excited about our new commercials because they’re communicating in a different way. Tuna is a fantastic product. [In terms of] the protein per calorie, there isn’t any protein that is better, [but] we haven’t been talking about that in a way that resonates

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with consumers. Every one of our ads is a use of education and it comes at it from a completely different perspective. Whether you’re hiking, whether you’re at the gym, whether you’re just looking for something easy to make at home, we’re trying to bring that relevance back and we’re trying to do that in unexpected ways. I think every commercial that you see from the Yes! Bumble Bee! campaign, you’re not expecting a pouch to show up at the end, or you’re not expecting a can of tuna, and that’s by design. The unexpected, the provocative, and the bold elements get people to start envisioning seafood in a different way, a new and exciting way. And we’re talking about the health benefits of our products, because there are numerous health benefits. OEM Magazine: You are a co-chair of the PMMI Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network. Can you tell me why that is important to you? Jan Tharp: I have always said there is something for everyone in the packaging and processing industry, whether you’re creative or technical. The landscape is so wide that it provides so many opportunities. There’s something to be said about leadership and really honing in on leadership skills, because it is a completely different skillset and something that you need to work on if you’re going to motivate and influence people to join you on your journey. At the Bumble Bee Seafood Company, we want talent to join us here, and we have to do that through effective leadership skills. So, I think that is absolutely something that we can teach at the Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network. OEM Magazine: What is your long-term vision for Bumble Bee? Jan Tharp: If you would have asked me 10 years ago, I probably would answer, “Bumble Bee’s in the shelf-stable seafood category.” But that’s boring and that’s not going to get you to come to work for us. When you think about it and change the narrative and talk about what we’re really doing here at the Bumble Bee Seafood Company, we’re feeding people’s lives through the power of the ocean. And we are touching people’s lives. We are influencing them, and we are making them better. And that is something that people would want to be part of. People will want to join us on that journey because we are doing something for the planet. We’re fighting for the health of the oceans. We’re elevating lives of people that help us on this journey. And we’re also doing things for our brand, that’s at the core of why we exist. And, we’re trying to create products that resonate with consumers. That journey of feeding people’s lives through the power of the ocean is so much more impactful and so much more heartfelt. So, my wish as we look forward the next 10 or 15 years is that we bring that purpose to life and every team member around the world feels that, believes it, and is so proud to be on this journey with us. To learn more about PMMI’s Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network, go to:

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ANNUAL PRODUCT REFERENCE GUIDE This handy reference guide contains the latest automation components carefully selected for packaging and processing machine applications, covering the following categories: CONVEYING .......................................................... PAGE 54 DRIVES & MOTORS ........................................PAGES 54-56 INSPECTION & DETECTION ................................... PAGE 58 I/O & WIRING ........................................................ PAGE 59 LINEAR MOTION .................................................. PAGE 59 MACHINE COMPONENTS ...............................PAGES 59-60 MACHINE CONTROL.......................................PAGES 62-63 MACHINE SAFETY ................................................. PAGE 63 NETWORKING ...................................................... PAGE 63 PNEUMATICS ....................................................... PAGE 63 ROBOTICS ............................................................. PAGE 64 SENSORS & VISION ............................................... PAGE 64 WEIGHING ............................................................. PAGE 64


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CONVEYING Feeders/Conveyors Eriez offers a wide range of high speed, high de ection and volumatic feeders, mechanical and electromagnetic vibratory and hori ontal motion conveyors and mechanical & electromagnetic screen separators that are extremely energy efficient and ideal for all your high speed packaging needs. Eriez

All-in-one Mechatronic Drive System MOVIGEAR MOVIGEAR® is an all-in-one mechatronic drive solution for hori ontal material handling. It combines the gear unit, motor, and electronics in one highly efficient and hygienically designed unit. MOVIGEAR reduces start-up and operating costs by as much as . SEW-EURODRIVE

DRIVES & MOTORS Versatile drives for basic applications SINAMICS V20 VFDs • Variable frequency drives The V2 line of V Ds from Siemens offer a low cost and easy to commission solution for simple applications. Integrated energy-saving functions such as energy consumption display help to increase energy efficiency in drive applications. Versatile and cost efficient for a variety of applications. Automation24

Complete Drive System PC-based control technology from eckhoff is ideally suited for single and multiple axis positioning tasks with highly dynamic requirements. The A Servo Drive series and A multi-axis servo system with high-performance EtherCAT system communication offer maximum performance and dynamics. Servomotors with One Cable Technology OCT , which combines power and feedback system in a standard motor cable, reduce material and commissioning costs. ow available in the U.S., the e tended Transport System TS offers paradigm-shifting capabilities for motion control by combining the advantages of rotary and linear motion principles. e k ai n

Patented Slow-Forward and Fast-Back Horizontal Motion Technology has Transformed the Conveying Market FastBack • Horizontal Conveyors ast ack gently transports product by cycling through slow-forward and fast-back hori ontal motion,which neither damages product nor disturbs coatings, while providing the fastest product travel rates, maximi ing product distribution efficiency. It is the industry s conveyor of choice. Heat and Control

JIE Stainless Steel Gearmotor Products The RESK series is designed to challenge tough operating conditions for various industrial applications including food-beverage and food processing industries. IE products are engineered for rough conditions and tested for extreme environments. The products meet DA norms and are available in IEC as well as EMA options from stock inventory for quick delivery. This helps continuous plant operations enabling uninterrupted operations. IP as well IP K variance available to choose from the range of the products. All units are U and CE approved. Available in two configurations in-line helical & right-angle elical bevel solutions to suit applications and mounting arrangements. oth versions are available in Cast Iron body with corrosion resistance Epoxy paint. JIE-Drives ANNUAL PRODUCT REFERENCE GUIDE

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DRIVES & MOTORS JIE Stainless Steel Gearmotor Products The RESR series is designed to challenge tough operating conditions for the food-beverage and food processing industries. IE products are engineered for rough conditions and tested for extreme environments. The products meet DA norms and are available in IEC as well as EMA options from stock inventory for quick delivery. This helps continuous plant operations enabling uninterrupted operations. IP as well IP K variance available to choose from the range of the products. All units are U and CE approved. Available in two configurations in-line helical & right-angle elical bevel solutions to suit applications and mounting arrangements. Available in two configurations in-line helical & right-angle elical bevel solutions to suit applications and mounting arrangements. JIE-Drives

JIE Stainless Steel Gearmotor Products


The RTR series is designed to challenge tough operating conditions for various industrial applications including food-beverage and food processing industries. IE products are engineered for rough conditions and tested for extreme environments. The products meet DA norms and are available in IEC as well as EMA options from stock inventory for quick delivery. This helps continuous plant operations enabling uninterrupted operations. IP as well IP K variance available to choose from the range of the products. All units are U and CE approved. Available in two configurations in-line helical & right-angle elical bevel solutions to suit applications and mounting arrangements. oth versions are available in Cast Iron body with corrosion resistance Epoxy paint. JIE-Drives

Stainless Steel Gearmotor Products IE Stainless Steel gearmotor products RESK series- specially designed to challenge tough operating conditions for the food-beverage and food processing industries. IE engineered products for rough conditions manufactured and tested for extreme environments. The products are meeting DA norms and available in IEC as well as EMA options from stock inventory for quick delivery. This helps continuous plant operations enabling uninterrupted operations. IP as well IP K variance available to choose from the range of the products. Also, all units are U and CE approved. Available in two configurations in-line helical & right-angle elical bevel solutions to suit applications and mounting arrangements. JIE-Drives

Servo, AC, and DC Drives Drives Servo products include stand alone, multi-axis motion controllers, integrated control and drive packages, and integrated motion and machine controllers. AC variable frequency drives and DC drives are available for applications through 2 P. Parker Hannifin

Motors/Gearboxes Parker s full line of electric motors include rotary brushless servo, spindle, frameless, and vehicle types. inear motors of both iron core and iron-less designs offer exibility for positioning applications. Standard and high precision gearheads are available in right angle or inline styles. Parker Hannifin

Wide Range of Applications and Sizes and Known for Reliability and Flexibility


Gearmotors from SEW-EURODRIVE SEW-EURODRIVE offers wide range of gearmotors in right angle and parallel-shaft designs, available in millions of configurations. Our gearmotor products are recogni ed globally for reliability and robustness. SEW-EURODRIVE ANNUAL PRODUCT REFERENCE GUIDE

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DRIVES & MOTORS No External Drive Parts VDG Drum Motors • One-Component Conveyor Drive With all drive components enclosed inside the drum, including the motor and gearbox, the VDG Drum Motor increases efficiency, operator safety, and space utili ation. All drive components are designed for , hrs. of continuous operation before maintenance, reducing operating costs. VDG (Van der Graaf)

Extend Lifespan of Conveyor Systems VDG Drum Motor with Patented IronGrip™ Lagging System The IronGrip agging System, composed of steel bars welded onto the drive shell with sectional lagging panel inserts, eliminates uneven belt and lagging wear, and improves belt tracking & traction by . This lagging system extends the lifespan of the lagging, belt, and overall conveyor system. VDG (Van der Graaf)

Increase Food Safety SSV Sanitary Drum Motors • Sprocketless Conveyor Drive The SSV Drum Motor with belt profiles machined directly onto the drum, drives modular, wire mesh, and monolithic conveyor belts without sprockets. This drum motor design eliminates areas prone to bacterial harborage and food by-product build up, reducing washdown time and water consumption by . VDG (Van der Graaf)

Real-time Monitoring IntelliDrive™ Drum Motor • Conveyor Drive with Integrated VFD With PM motor technology and integrated VFD, the IntelliDrive™ Drum Motor provides conveyor drive data feedback and simplifies belt speed selection without loss of torque or belt-pull, increasing efficiency & lifespan of the electric motor, minimi ing downtime and decreasing overall operating costs. | VDG (Van der Graaf)

Sustainable, Flexible, Easy AC Drive GA500 • AC Industrial Microdrive Easy to install. Simplistic design. ighly reliable. Yaskawa s GA microdrive offers simple motor setup with highly exible network communications, embedded functional safety, no-power programming, and easy-to-use tools featuring mobile device connectivity with our DriveWi ard mobile app. | Yaskawa America

Compact Right Angle Gearboxes Crown Right Angle Gear Drives • Featuring Lifetime lubrication Designed for dependable, economical transfer of speed or power, the Crown Gear right angle gearboxes are compact and feature efficient, quiet operating spiral bevel gears. IP -Rated drives with ickel-Plated housings available from stock. Available in : and 2: speed ratios and two and three-way versions. Zero-Max


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Stressed out? Juggling too many motion control projects while trying to keep up with new technology can be overwhelming! It’s time to contact an SEW automation specialist. Our exclusive software modules empower you to perform complex automation very simply and without experience. Or, we can provide a complete package including project planning, software, components, commissioning, and worldwide support. Either way, relax... We got this! / 864-439-7537

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Eriez metal detectors safeguard against both ferrous, nonferrous and stainless steel metal contaminants. treme metal defectors offer the highest level of sensitivity and can be positioned at different locations throughout the process from raw or bulk materials through final package inspection.. Eriez

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Eriez magnetic separators are the first line defense to remove unwanted steel in the process ow that can damage equipment or contaminate products. These range from simple magnetic grates to powerful high-intensity magnetic filters for the ultimate in product purity. Eriez



Eriez DA compliant, PolyMag additives impart metal detectablity, -Ray contrast and magnetic separation into a range of polymers. We supply these additives to molders of returnable plastic containers, pallets, scoops, scrapers, o-rings, conveyor belting, bucket elevators and more. Eriez

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CEIA offers the world s only multi-spectrum detection technology which neutrali es product effect for all types of metal contaminants both magnetic, and non-magnetic. Deliver unparalleled inspection with extremely high detection sensitivity for all food products, anywhere along the line. Hea an nr

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Ishida is an industry leader with leading -ray inspection systems that can detect foreign bodies of the lowest densities, greatly outperforming more conventional models on the market. uild customer loyalty and brand reputation by ensuring that the best quality products reach your customer. Hea an nr


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I/O & WIRING Solutions for Every Fieldbus eckhoff supplies a complete range of fieldbus components for all common I Os and fieldbus systems. With us Terminals in protection class IP 2 , and ieldbus ox modules in IP , a complete range is available for all important signal types and fieldbus systems. eckhoff offers a complete EtherCAT I O portfolio for the high-speed Ethernet fieldbus based on EtherCAT Terminals, the EtherCAT ox and EtherCAT Plug-in Modules. e k ai n


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eed precise, high speed, repeatable linear motion, without the time-consuming process of designing your own linear stages Yaskawa s Sigma Trac II linear stages can significantly reduce your time to market and increase your machine s speed and performance. ust bolt it down, connect, and go a ka a eri a


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EPC s Tru-Trac linear measurement solutions are integrated encoder, measuring wheel, and spring-loaded torsion arm assemblies in all-in-one units. Available with a variety of wheel types, even rack-and-pinion gear, Tru-Trac encoders can be mounted in almost any orientation, even upside-down. n er Pr an



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EPC s versatile programmable motion feedback devices offer electronics that allow you to choose from different output types, 2 waveforms, and resolutions from to , CPR. Available in 2. shaft, mm blind hollow bore or thru-bore, or as part of a linear measurement solution. n er Pr an

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Absolute encoders provide motion feedback with a unique digital code or bit for each increment of shaft rotation, and retain position information even after power-down. Available in shaft or blind hollow bore, with SSI, CA open , EtherCAT or PRO I ET communication protocols. n er Pr an

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Available in shaft, hollow bore, and thru-bore, the Model is a high-performance, economical motion feedback device. These highly-configurable encoders offer optional extended operating temperatures, a variety of mounting options, and up to 2-pole commutation for brushless motor control. n er Pr an ANNUAL PRODUCT REFERENCE GUIDE

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MACHINE COMPONENTS Linear and Rotary Stages and Actuators Electric Positioners A complete collection of precision linear and rotary positioners in standard and custom configurations, ranging from miniature stages to electric cylinders to heavy duty rod-less actuators in screw or belt drive configurations. Parker Hannifin

Marking & Coding Lasers Synrad High Performance 5 W - 100 W CO2 Lasers Reduce operating costs by eliminating consumables, and minimi ing maintenance downtimes with Synrad high performance CO2 lasers. Engineered for non-contact, highspeed digital marking and coding systems. Synrad

Cutting, Perforating & Scoring Lasers Synrad High Performance 100 W - 400 W CO2 Lasers Minimi e set-up and change over downtimes, and make on-the- y digital cutting, perforating, and scoring changes with Synrad high performance CO2 lasers. ast, powerful, precise CO2 lasers engineered for high speed cutting, perforating, and scoring systems. | Synrad

Laser Scanning Kits Synrad Pre-Aligned 2-Axis & 3-Axis Laser Scanning Kits Upgrade traditional processing systems with digitally controlled, non-contact cutting, marking, and engraving systems to improve results and lower operating costs. Prealigned CO2 laser scanning kits make integration and operation fast and easy. Synrad

Precision Mounting of Shaft cComponents where Frequent Readjustment is Required. ETP Keyless Shaft Connections • Keyless bushings ero-Max s ETP keyless bushings are the perfect locking devices for shaft-to-hub connections. ETP connections are ideal for positioning and locking shaft components in a system, and provide the best solution where keyways and tapers can weaken or cause excess wear to shaft couplings. Zero-Max

Servo Motor Coupling CD Coupling • Servo Couplings Composite Disc Couplings allow you to transmit high horsepower in a small envelope. These high speed exible shaft couplings are ideal for cyclic applications where speed and repeatable accuracy are critical for keeping systems going. Available in standard and custom models. | Zero-Max


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MACHINE CONTROL Precise solutions for complex control tasks SIMATIC S7-1200 PLCs • Control systems With the PRO I ET enabled P C SIMATIC S - 2 from Siemens, an efficient and precise automation solution is ensured for complex control tasks. The MI connection and open Ethernet protocols allow for open communication with other devices, including those from other manufacturers. Automation24

Industrial PCs for Every Application igh-quality components based on open standards and rugged construction of device housings mean that eckhoff Industrial PCs are ideally equipped for all control requirements. Embedded PCs make modular IPC technology available in miniature format for DI rail mounting. eckhoff Industrial PCs are also ideally suited to other kinds of tasks wherever reliable and robust PC technology is required. e k ai n

Comprehensive Automation Software Platform eckhoff control technology is scalable from high-performance Industrial PCs to mini P Cs and can be adapted precisely to the respective application. TwinCAT automation software integrates real-time control with P C, C and C C functions in a single package. All eckhoff controllers are programmed using TwinCAT in accordance with the globally-recogni ed IEC - programming standard. With TwinCAT , C C and MAT A Simulink are available as programming tools in addition to IEC - .. e k ai n

Controls and HMI ACR7000 Multi-Axis Motion Controller A high-performance, complete control solution The ACR series combines performance, value and scalability that meets and exceeds OEM expectations. Standard and axis systems are readily available for prototypes and unique machine designs, yet can easily scale for high volume OEMs. The ACR series is perfect building block for customer specific motion system solutions. Parker Hannifin

The Modular Automation System that Makes Even the Most Complex Tasks Simple. MOVI-C Modular Automation System MOVI-C modular automation system is a one-software, one-hardware, automation platform that combines fully integrated components, control electronics and software. MOVI-C provides simple to advanced automation control without advanced programming. SEW-EURODRIVE

One controller for servo AND robotic motion MP3300iec • Machine controllers One controller for easy, familiar IEC control of all types of automated motion: servo axes, robots, and virtually any other motion mechanism. Program it all with P Copen and IEC - ease, plus Ether et IP, Modbus TCP and MEC ATRO I K-III networking...even web-based diagnostics Yaskawa America


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MACHINE CONTROL The amp that speaks AOI to your PLC SigmaLogic7 Compact • er ifier A reliable, high performance servo amplifier with a bonus: included Add On Instructions AOIs for the Rockwell ControlLogix and CompactLogix family of programmable logic controllers. Send instructions directly from your PLC directly to SigmaLogic7 Compact: no other programming software is required. | Yaskawa America


MACHINE SAFETY Overload Safety Devices Torq-Tender Safety Couplings •

Safety Couplings. Mechanical Torque Limiter

Zero-Max’s Torq-Tender overload safety devices incorporate torque limiters for dependable overload protection. When a jam-up or excessive loading occurs, the built-in torque limiter will reliably and quickly release to prevent system damage. Available in stainless steel. | Zero-Max

NETWORKING Continuous Diagnostics and Parameterization IO-Link Master Ethernet IO modules with integrated IO- ink master facilitate reliable, efficient communication between management and sensor/actuator levels as they assume a gateway function between Ethernet and IO-Link. Up to eight IO-Link devices may be directly connected—four channels are available for sensors, four channels for actuators. | Pepperl+Fuchs

Reliable Connection to Ethernet-Based Systems DeviceMaster® Gateway DeviceMaster industrial Ethernet gateways support the wide range of modern and legacy equipment available on the market. They can be used to easily link Ethernet-based controllers, SCADA systems, and MIs with field-level devices such as barcode scanners, R ID read heads, weigh scales, vision systems, printers, encoders, and sensors. | Pepperl+Fuchs

PNEUMATICS Flow meters for compressed air SD Compressed air meters • Process sensors The SD series of ow meters for compressed air and specialty gases from ifm accurately detect ow velocity, volumetric ow quantity, consumed quantity and medium temperature. Reliable detection of even small quantities and leakages is possible, even during temperature or pressure uctuations. Automation24


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ROBOTICS Robust and accurate distance sensing technology O5D laser distance sensors • Photoelectric sensors The O D series photoelectric sensors from ifm efector utili e time-of- ight technology in a compact design. Reliable color-independent detection is possible even at long ranges. Accurate background suppression ensures detection of shiny and matte objects even at an indirect angle. | Automation24

Perform Complex Automation Tasks Without the Complex Programming MOVI-C Automation Software Modules MOVI-C automation software modules make even the most complex automation tasks simple. Using robotics, AGVs, palletizers, or conveyors? No problem. We have a module for those... and more. MOVI-C makes complex automation simple. | SEW-EURODRIVE

SENSORS & VISION Versatility Meets Simplicity R10x Photoelectric Sensor Series The compact, short-range R x Photoelectric Series offers industry-standard, easy-toinstall housing styles with DuraBeam and Multi Pixel Technology (MPT). IO-Link built into every model provides communication down to the sensor level, and different sensing modes deliver versatility, reliable detection, and precise measurement. | Pepperl+Fuchs

A Proximity Sensor for the Toughest Environments Flat Iron™ Inductive Sensor Pepperl uchs surface mount lat Iron offers 2 more sensing distance than a traditional proximity sensor, yet requires only the mounting space. The new design-- an ultralow, mm profile--allows integration into areas previously not possible for metal-face sensors. | Pepperl+Fuchs

WEIGHING Turn to the Biggest Name in Weighing Technology for Ultimate Performance Ishida CCW • Multi-head Weighers Ishida invented computer combination weighing (CCW) technology, changing the packaging industry. They still deliver top performing multihead weighing machines, ensuring that product is handled gently, cleanly, efficiently, and quickly while reducing product giveaway and weighing accurately. | Heat and Control


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2020 PRODUCT REFERENCE GUIDE COMPANY DIRECTORY Automation24 Automation24 is the premier online supplier for industrial automation components. The continuously growing range of items from brand name manufacturers, fully-stocked on-site warehouse and easy-to-use webshop along with superior customer service and free technical support allow Automation24 to provide a well-rounded experience to their customers. | King of Prussia, PA | 610-981-2900 Contact: Customer Service/Technical Support,

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e k implements open automation systems based on PC Control technology. The product range covers Industrial PCs, I/O and fieldbus components, drive technology and automation software. Products that can be used as separate components or integrated into a complete and seamless control system are available for all industries. The eckhoff ew Automation Technology philosophy represents universal and open control and automation solutions that are used worldwide in a wide variety of different applications, ranging from high-performance packaging machines to intelligent building automation. na

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Encoder Products Company Encoder Products Company, Inc. (EPC) manufactures encoders for motion feedback in industrial automation from our corporate headquarters right here in the USA. When you call EPC, you talk to real engineers and encoder experts who can help you find the right motion feedback solution for your application. EPC s standard lead time is just 4 to 6 days. | Sagle, ID | 800-366-5412 Contact: Dave Wilson, National Sales Manager,

Eriez Eriez is a leader in advanced separation technologies. Equipment includes magnetic separators and metal detectors to remove dangerous tramp metals throughout a process as well as compact & heavy-duty feeders, conveyors and screens. Eriez equipment is designed to work in all processes, wet or dry, conveyed on a belt, pneumatically, or gravity ow. | Erie, PA | 814-835-6000 |


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2020 PRODUCT REFERENCE GUIDE COMPANY DIRECTORY (CONTINUED) Heat and Control Heat and Control®, a world-leading equipment manufacturer, offers the latest technology and highest quality equipment for processing, coating, seasoning, conveying, weighing, packaging, and inspection systems and develops innovative solutions for production challenges, With a global team, we help manufacturers to achieve production goals. | Hayward, CA | 510-259-0500 Contact:

JIE Drives JIE Drives was established in with the passion, focus and goal to improve gearing technologies with the spirit of craftsmen and create the century enterprise one gear reducer for years. Continuous improvement while remaining true to our core values and founding aspirations, we forge ahead with great experience from past professionalism, embracing future intelligence in service to the world. IE is committed to delivering happiness to our global partners in everything we do. | Carol Stream, IL | 630-580-9986 Contact:

Parker Hannifin Parker Hannifin is a ortune 2 global leader in motion and control technologies. or years the company has engineered the success of its customers in the mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. Parker s engineering expertise and broad range of core technologies uniquely positions the company to help solve the world s greatest engineering challenges.. | Cleveland, OH | 800-358-9070 | 216-896-3000 Contact:

Pepperl+Fuchs Pepperl+Fuchs is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and application of high quality factory and process automation products and services. Pepperl uchs pioneered the development of proximity sensors years ago, and continues to set the standard for innovation and quality today. Pepperl uchs has established itself as a partner for globally active operators of automation technology and offers the broadest portfolio of proven components for the requirements of factory and process automation. | Twinsburg, OH | 330-425-3555 Contact:


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2020 PRODUCT REFERENCE GUIDE COMPANY DIRECTORY (CONTINUED) SEW-EURODRIVE As a world leader in drive technology and a pioneer in drive-based automation, SEW-EURODRIVE has established a reputation for quickly solving the most difficult power transmission and motion control challenges. SEW-EURODRIVE offers much more than just components. They provide a complete solution from start to finish, including design expertise, project planning, software, commissioning, and worldwide support. Their team of automation experts can solve even the most complex motion control challenges. | Lyman, SC | 864-439-8792 Contact:

Synrad Synrad offers a broad range of high performance CO2 laser sources, and pre-aligned laser sub-systems for digital processing. Reliability, ruggedness, and near maintenance free operation are the hallmark of our lasers. Synrad is part of Novanta Inc., the leading global supplier of precision photonic components and subsystems for OEMs. | Mukilteo, WA | 425 349 3500 Contact: Rick Elento, Lead Generation Manager,

VDG (Van der Graaf) Established in 1985, VDG supplies drum motors to a wide variety of belt conveyor applications. Manufacturing in USA and Canada with cutting-edge production technology & in-house R&D, the VDG Drum Motor is an efficient, reliable, and safe conveyor drive solution, reducing cost of ownership while improving plant throughput. | Shelby Township, MI | 888-326-1476 Contact: Wan Lin, Inside Sales Manager,

Yaskawa America To packaging professionals, the Yaskawa name means an immediate boost in productivity and product quality. We achieve it with machine controllers, robots, servo motor/drive systems, and variable frequency drives that quickly, easily improve throughput for greater profitability. Yaskawa precision helps to enhance the beauty and integrity of a finished packaged product. | Waukegan, IL | 847-887-7000 Christina Caccamo, Business Development Manager,

Zero-Max Zero-Max has the experience and products to handle coupling, connection and motion needs for food processing, case packers, auger filling systems, and pouching systems. Solutions include: Servo Couplings, Safety Couplings, ETP Keyless Connections, and Right Angle Gear Drives, available in standard, stainless, modified or custom designs. | Plymouth, MN | 763-546-4300 Brian Mishuk, Director of Sales & Marketing,


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High-Payload, High-Reach, Lightweight 6-Axis Robot Epson Robotics Epson Robots showcased its new C12XL 6-axis robot at PACK EXPO Connects. This newest addition to the company’s C series of 6-axis robots is Epson Robots’ highest payload and highest reach robot released to date. It features a 12kg payload capacity and a reach of 1400mm. As with Epson’s other 6-axis robots, the C12XL has a slim, lightweight design due to its use of Epson’s QMEMS (quartz micro electro-mechanical system) technology in the robot’s gyro sensors, which are part of the robot’s servo system. This technology dramatically reduces the weight of the robot, allows for low residual vibration, and minimizes overshoot with smooth end-of-arm motion, according to Epson.

Hygienic Linear Transport System Beckhoff Launched in the U.S. market at the 2019 PACK EXPO event, the eXtended Transport System (XTS) line from Beckhoff was expanded at the 2020 PACK EXPO Connects event with the announcement of a hygienic version of the system. With its IP69K protection and resistance to chemicals, acids, alkalines, aggressive cleaning agents, as well as water and steam from high-pressure spray, the XTS Hygienic is designed for demanding environmental conditions in the food and pharmaceutical industries. It has a hygienic design without any corners, edges or undercuts, which make it easy to clean. The base plate of the XTS Hygienic is made of FDA-approved, anodized Nituff-coated aluminum and features a stainless-steel rail.

YOUR PARTNER MOVING FORWARD! Rod Ends and Spherical Bearings designed and manufactured to Aurora’s exacting standards for quality and durability. Registered and Certified to ISO_9001 and AS9100. From economy commercial to aerospace approved, we’ve got it all!

Aurora Bearing Company 901 Aucutt Road Montgomery IL. 60538

Eliminate Lagging Delamination Van Der Graaf A lagging system adds material to a drum motor to improve the grip between the motor and the belt. The most common form is rubber lagging that has been vulcanized and hardened over a steel shell. During a demonstration at PACK EXPO Connects, Van der Graaf (VDG) demonstrated its IronGrip Lagging System, which is composed of steel bar reinforcements welded onto the drive shell with sectional rubber lagging inserts, which transfers load forces more efficiently than standard rubber lagging. With up to 40% more traction than standard rubber lagging, the IronGrip allows for less pre-tensioning while providing higher belt-pull, the company said. The difference between standard rubber lagging vs. IronGrip lagging comes down to how the forces are distributed between sections of the drum motor. Common problem areas include, shear force at contact points that cause delamination, belt mis-tracking off the center of the conveyor, and wear on external components. IronGrip mitigates these issues by distributing forces with high grip and less tension.

complete library of CAD drawings and 3D models available at:

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Self-Optimizing Vacuum Conveyor Piab Offering six times faster changeover, Piab’s Changeover Champion vacuum conveyor piFLOWp SMART enables users to save time when changing from one material to another, increasing the productivity of their operations, according to the company. With each new conveying cycle, the piFLOWp SMART uses machine learning to automatically tune the process by configuring and optimizing a flawless flow of materials, set at the correct rate.

Modular Drive System with High-Efficiency Motor Nord-Gea Decentralization is a key component of modern automation technologies to support modular OEM machine designs and simplify maintenance and repair. In the demo of Nord’s LogiDrive system at PACK EXPO Connects, the company highlighted how the decentralized drive package reduces engineering and commissioning efforts. With this modular system, the number of variants can be minimized, making it easier to maintain and reducing total cost of ownership for the operator, according to the company.

Modular Machine Control Automation Platform Bosch Rexroth

At PACK EXPO Connects, Bosch Rexroth demonstrated its new ctrlX Automation platform. The complete ctrlX Automation system includes IoT, software (ctrlX Works), motion, safety, drives and motors, I/O, control system (ctrlX Core), and HMI components. This Linux-based multicore technology breaks down the boundaries between industrial PCs, embedded system platforms, and drive-based technology by providing one control system for all of these functions.

For Motion Feedback in Packaging Applications, EPC has your solution.

Innovation in motion feedback since 1969 For 50 years, EPC has been providing encoder solutions for reliable motion feedback. Whether it’s an application for servo labeling, heavy-duty packaging, material handling, or any place where motion feedback is required, we have the solution you need and the expertise to help you find it.

Specializing in custom encoders, fast When you call EPC, you talk to real engineers and encoder experts who can help you spec the right encoder for your motion control application. And we’ll get it to you fast. Standard lead time is still just 4 - 6 business days, with same-day expedite options available on many models.

Call us today to get started.

1-800-366-5412 |

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IIoT-Enabled, Multi-Purpose Servo Drive Lenze One of the clearest trends in modern automation technology is flexibility—the built-in capability of a device to perform more than one function or be used in more than one way. And flexibility of application is evident in Lenze’s new i950 servo drive. In its demo at PACK EXPO Connects, Lenze highlighted a key aspect of the i950’s flexibility via its three modes. The i950’s drive-based motion includes two servo drive modes. Those modes are: 1) drive parameterization using Lenze’s pre-configured FAST software application, which allows personnel who are not engineers or programmers to commission the drive and its application; and 2) custom configuration of the FAST applications, enabling OEMs and system integrators to access the code behind the applications, using IEC 61131-3 programming languages, to customize the pre-developed FAST software code for unique uses. Fieldbus protocols, like Profinet, EtherCAT, EtherNet/IP, can be used to connect a Lenze controller or any third-party controllers to the i950 in these two servo drive modes.

Audio-Visual Headset for Maintenance and Repair Honeywell Intelligrated At PACK EXPO Connects, Honeywell Intelligrated demonstrated its TechSight product—a combination of hardware and software that allows subject matter experts, no matter where they are located, to see exactly what maintenance crews are dealing with in real time, eliminating the communication limitations of a cell phone call and the safety concerns associated with using handheld devices during industrial maintenance procedures. TechSight allows for on-screen annotation of images to help guide workers and it supports messaging via Skylight Web. Remote experts connected to a TechSight glasses wearer can zoom in on the image being sent from the wearer as well as take snapshots.

BETTER THAN A LOAD CELL FAST WEIGHT CAPTURES EASY INTEGRATION Weigh cell deliver faster weight captures with higher accuracy. Our extensive weigh kit portfolio with numerous infeed, outfeed, and weighing conveyor options simplifies integration into your machine and controls.


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PMMI Is Your Answer



Aurora Bearing Company













Encoder Products Company






Hardy Process Solutions



Heat and Control, Inc.






The Kondracki Group



Lubriplate Lubricants Company









Parker Hannifin



Paxton Products



Pepperl + Fuchs, Inc.






SEW Eurodrive, Inc.


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Slideways, Inc.








Van der Graaf






Yaskawa America Inc.


Zero-Max, Inc.



TEMPCO Electric Heater Corporation

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OEM Magazine (ISSN# 2377-293X) is a trademark application of PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. OEM Magazine is published four times annually by PMMI with its publishing office, PMMI Media Group, located at 401 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60611; 312.222.1010; Fax: 312.222.1310. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, IL, and additional mailing offices. Copyright applied for 2015 by PMMI. All rights reserved. Materials in this publication must not be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publisher. Applications for a free subscription may be made online at Paid subscription rates per year are $80 in the U.S., $125 Canada and Mexico by surface mail; $200 Europe, $400 Far East and Australia by air mail. Single copy price in U.S. is $20. To subscribe or manage your subscription to OEM Magazine, visit Free digital edition available to qualified individuals outside the United States. POSTMASTER; Send address changes to OEM Magazine, 401 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60611-3789. PRINTED IN USA by Quad Graphics. The opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of PMMI. Comments, questions and letters to the editor are welcome and can be sent to: Mailing List: We make a portion of our mailing list available to reputable firms. If you would prefer that we don’t include your name, please write us at the Chicago, IL address.

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Leaving 2020 Firmly in the Rear View Mirror This time last year, I began my column kicking off 2020, touting the growth of PMMI as an association, our move to a new home in Herndon, and a bright outlook for the year ahead. And while I will avoid any brash predictions for 2021, I remain as optimistic now as I did then. In fact, after seeing the way packaging and processing responded and persevered as the world tilted a bit off its axis, I am positive about the prospects for PMMI, our membership, and our industry— for 2021 and beyond. Many of you participated in our first all-virtual Annual Meeting and watched Alan Beaulieu, president and principal, Institute for Trend Research (ITR) Economics, offer insights on what we can expect for 2021. Beaulieu was bullish on the industries that make up a large portion of the markets we serve. Food production has come back strong and should continue through 2021, indicating good news for PMMI members as food always serves as our largest sector. Beverage sales and production are also progressing upward, and the rates of change noted by Alan signal a continuance as we move through 2021. And companies in the personal and health care industries should be incredibly, or almost impossibly, busy as Alan quipped. Pharmaceuticals and medical device production are also on the rise and will be crucial to the processing and deploying of COVID-19 vaccines once approved. To the delight of North American companies, onshoring continues to happen as the global supply chain becomes significantly less global. With travel restrictions and tighter borders, PMMI members will find a larger customer base as companies continue to bring their operations back to the U.S. and Canada. Pharmaceuticals, in particular, will benefit from onshoring as ingredients and processes return to the Western Hemisphere. All told, our industry is more essential than ever, and our resilience is allowing us to weather the COVID-19 storm. Nowhere was this more evident that with the launch of the PMMI Media Group produced PACK EXPO Connects in November. The industry amassed on day-one, and when technology problems rendered the live demos unavailable right out of the gate, our exhibitors quickly adapted to find alternative ways to provide solutions to the thousands of end-users registered for the event. Despite the unexpected challenges, you fulfilled your essential role. PACK EXPO Connects is active through March 31, 2021, at Until then, everyone at PMMI is working hard to drive customers to your showrooms and highlight its value as a place to find packaging and processing solutions under one—digital—roof. At PMMI, supporting our members is our mission. It is why we come to work every day, and now more than ever, we are determined to do everything that we can to keep you—and the industry—moving forward. That means we are also working tirelessly to prepare for a return to inperson events in 2021 with EXPO PACK México returning to Mexico City’s Expo Santa Fe México June 8-11, 2021 and PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2021 ascending on the Las Vegas Convention Center Sept. 27-29, 2021. Whatever 2021 brings, we are ready for it. And we are here, working for you, and we wish everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year. Jim Pittas is the President & CEO of PMMI. He may be reached at or at

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Now more than ever...

❱ Connecting you with customers ❱ Providing business solutions ❱ Delivering resources for challenging times PMMI Media Group: Reach customers through print and digital content and lead-generating products like Converge.

PACK EXPO Events & Trade Shows: Connect with prospects and build customer relationships through the power of PACK EXPO.

PMMI Business Drivers: Get insight into your customers’ needs and industry best practices.

Stay connected. PMMI can help.

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THIS IS A SMALLER FOOTPRINT ACR7000 Servo Drive/Controller

Integrated drive and controller Four or eight axis versions Less wiring, smaller package

Parker enables packaging machinery designers to conserve panel space while delivering high performance in multi-axis servo systems. Less wiring means simplified installation and cleaner panel layout.

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Profile for PMMIMediaGroup

OEM Winter 2020  

OEM Magazine offers information of interest for machine builders, reporting on the latest technologies, products and business topics. OEM ex...

OEM Winter 2020  

OEM Magazine offers information of interest for machine builders, reporting on the latest technologies, products and business topics. OEM ex...

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