Packaging Automation Study: A Focus on Packagers

Packaging professionals play a unique role in today’s production ecosystem. In addition to wrestling with “traditional” issues of reducing costs and optimizing production, packagers must also contend with rapid-fire changes brought on by the ebb-and-flow of consumer tastes. The following is an overview of the survey audience, the challenges and opportunities they face, and ...

04/01/2008


Packaging professionals play a unique role in today’s production ecosystem. In addition to wrestling with “traditional” issues of reducing costs and optimizing production, packagers must also contend with rapid-fire changes brought on by the ebb-and-flow of consumer tastes. The following is an overview of the survey audience, the challenges and opportunities they face, and future growth of automation within packaging environments. Digital edition of supplement and research study are available .

How many packaging lines does your company typically run in your location?

• More than seven

31%

• 3 - 4

21%

• 5 - 7

19%

• 1

15%

• 2

14%

How often does your company change packages on a line?

• Multiple times per day

38%

• 1– 2 times per week

22%

• Once per day

18%

• Rarely/single-line

15%

• 1– 2 times per month

5%

• 1– 2 times per year

2%

What is the primary reason for line changeover?

• Different/new SKU

61%

• Package size change

31%

• Other

5%

• Accommodate prior shift shortfalls

3%

Are you using industrial Ethernet for connectivity and communication:

• Yes

49%

• No

35%

• Don’t know

16%

What format of Ethernet are you using?

• Ethernet/IP

77%

• ProfiNet

6%

• PowerLink

4%

• SERCOS III

3%

• Other

3%

• Modbus TCP

2%

• EtherCAT

2%


Top 5 job functions of respondents:

• Engineering or production

40%

• Corporate/general management

19%

• Operations management

15%

• Research & development

8%

• Other

7%

Top 5 product types packaged by respondents*:

• Food & beverage

42%

• Pharmaceuticals

17%

• Personal care/cosmetics

14%

• Household chemicals/products

12%

• Machinery/Electronic equipment

10%

* Respondents were asked to check all that apply

Years of industry experience:

• 20+ years

41%

• 11– 20 years

29%

• 6– 10 years

15%

• 3– 5 years

10%

• 1– 2 years

5%

Employee size:

• 1,000 or more

39%

• 250– 499

15%

• 100– 249

14%

• 20– 99

13%

• 500– 999

9%

• Under 20

9%

Annual spend– packaging automation equipment:

• $500,000 or more

28%

• $100,000– $499,999

20%

• Don’t know

17%

• $10,000– $49,999

14%

• $50,000– $99,999

12%

• $5,000 - $9,999

4%

• Less than $5,000

5%


For more information and analysis on the market challenges, please turn to page 5.

Top 5 reasons to automate*:

• Control labor costs

81%

• Gain production efficiencies

74%

• Gain competitive edge

48%

• Increased reliability

47%

• Flexibility

45%

* Respondents were asked to check all that apply

Does any of your packaging equipment have automation options not currently in use?

• Yes

49%

• No

51%

How much value do you place on single-vendor availability?

• Moderate value

55%

• Great value

30%

• Little value

12%

• No value

3%

Does your company currently use preferred vendor lists?

• Yes

75%

• No

25%

How often are these lists evaluated?

• Annually

47%

• By project

29%

• Every 6 months

10%

• Every 2 years

6%

• Every 3 years or more

5%

• Every 18 months

3%

Does your workforce hinder you from making purchasing investments?

• Yes

10%

• Sometimes

49%

• No

41%

Top 5 reasons your workforce hinders new technology purchases:

• Operators lack technical/learning skills

68%

• Maintenance/support staff lack skills

44%

• Difficulty attracting skilled workers

42%

• Too focused on “hitting the numbers”

38%

• Management reluctant to invest

35%


For more information and analysis on trends and opportunities, please turn to page 7.

Read other articles in the Packaging Automation Benchmark Study, Part 1:

Change is constant

Market Challenges

Opportunities For Improvement

Future Prospects

How would you respond to the following statement: Packaging machine flexibility provides key competitive advantages

• Completely agree

51%

• Somewhat agree

43%

• Somewhat disagree

4%

• Completely disagree

2%

Five years from now, how will your number of automation suppliers change?

• Increase

42%

• Remain the same

47%

• Decrease

11%

Top 5 automation and control features to become important in next 5 years*:

• Ease of changeover

62%

• Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

51%

• Human interface features

41%

• Data acquisition

46%

• Interchangeable/modular design

38%

* Respondents were asked to check all that apply

Top 5 most desired product features*:

• Ability to access production data

48%

• Recipe-driven/tool-less changeover

44%

• Ability to access diagnostic data

42%

• Connectivity via industry-standard network

40%

• Consistent software structures (regardless of OEM)

32%

* Respondents were asked to check all that apply

Top 5 most important product attributes*:

• Reliability

70%

• Quality/durability

62%

• Price

60%

• Easy to use/install/maintain

56%

• Price-to-performance

51%

* Respondents were asked to check all that apply





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