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Pack Expo Highlights Advances in Packaging Equipment (...)

22 Oct 2018

Pack Expo Highlights Advances in Packaging Equipment amid Major Industry Growth

As the packaging industry continues to evolve so too does the equipment and technology that supports it. Below is a roundup of five innovations displayed at Pack Expo International 2018.

Pack Expo International opened to historic attendance this week, amid forecasts of growth in the packaging industry. Based on The Association for Packaging and Processing Technology’s (PMMI) newly released State of the Industry U.S. Packaging Machinery Report, packaging machinery shipments are forecast to grow to $10.5 billion.

Per the State of the Industry report, the value of domestic shipments of packaging machinery rose 6.4 percent to $8.2 billion in 2017—and are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1 percent by 2023.

Food represented the largest packaging machinery sector in 2017, accounting for 36.6 percent of shipment revenues, followed by beverage at 22.1 percent. The pharmaceuticals sector is expected to grow the fastest at a CAGR of 3.5 percent by 2022. While the largest machinery type category in 2017 was case handling at 15.1 percent, bottling line machinery is forecast to grow the fastest, with a CAGR of 5.3 percent by 2023.

E-commerce has influenced much of this market growth, with the first quarter of 2018 e-commerce sales accounting for 9.5 percent of total retail sales, according to PMMI’s recent report, E-Commerce: Think Inside the Box.

“Across all demographics, from Baby Boomers to Generation Z, a growing number of people are purchasing a large portion of their products online with greater frequency than ever before,” says Paula Feldman, director of business intelligence, PMMI. “E-commerce operations need advanced equipment in order to keep up with demand, and manufacturers are investing in smarter, automated functionality to achieve a greater level of machine flexibility.”

Here are a few highlights for this year’s exhibitors:  

Yale Showcases Robotic Counterbalanced Stacker Lift Truck

In an age of increasing demand and limited workforce availability, operations are turning to robotic solutions to optimize workflow and enhance labor efficiency. Yale Materials Handling Corporation highlighted the latest addition to its robotic lift truck lineup, the Yale MC10-15 counterbalanced stacker driven by Balyo’s autonomous technology.

The counterbalanced stacker model can move from point-to-point both horizontally and vertically, allowing it to autonomously retrieve or deposit pallets from elevated spaces. This opens a variety of tasks for automation, including transferring pallets from floor-level staging areas to conveyor lines, loading and unloading in cross-docking applications, and stacking pallet loads onto elevated storage racks. 

Baylo’s software is tied into the standard truck’s infrastructure, meaning operators can easily switch the stacker from automatic to manual mode to handle unplanned challenges or fluctuating demands. 

In addition to the MC10-15 counterbalanced stacker, Yale offers two other robotic lift truck models integrated with Balyo technology—the Yale MO70T tow tractor and MPE080-VG end rider models. 

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