Packing It Up: Summary of the Las Vegas Pack Expo 2023
2,000 exciting displays, 4 massive exhibition halls, 1 gigantic show to highlight the advancements in the packaging and processing industries in 2023. Check out the sights from Pack Expo!
Packaging and processing encompass a wide range of the common applications of robotics and automation in the control world. For nearly every manufacturer, the final step of the process involves critical decisions on how to package, palletize, and store the finished goods before distribution.
Pack Expo Las Vegas demonstrated an incredible variety of devices and integrated work cells designed for that final step in boxing, wrapping, palletizing, barcoding, measuring, scanning, sensing, conveying, and storing products of any shape and size.
The Control.com editorial and engineering team spent many hours walking the floor, learning new insights, and interviewing technical product experts in the current and future demands of the packaging industry. Join us as we share a bit about what we learned!
Festo’s Proportional Pressure Regulator
Air handling and delivery is one of the most critical parts of any pneumatic system. Downstream controls can be tuned and adjusted to calibrate a system, but a system cannot function without proper air delivery.
Festo’s new VPPI Proportional Pressure Regulator
Festo’s new VPPI pressure regulators allow proportional control allowing a variety of signal input options. Digital inputs can select from an array of preset pressure values, while analog inputs (4-20 mA and 0-10 V) can also proportionally adjust the regulation. IO-Link allows both configuration and adjustment of the valve, while also providing an option to read the current pressure value while in operation. Bluetooth is also employed as a configuration tool.
Anomaly Detection with AI From Schneider Electric
When we hear about preventive maintenance, it usually involves temperature and vibration sensors attached to the casing of a machine to detect abnormal operation, indicating imminent failure. This is certainly true, but another detectable symptom is in the form of actual pictures and videos, much like a real operator. The problem comes in the form of analyzing these images and turning those pixels into actionable solutions.
Schneider Electric's machine center demonstration
Schneider Electric demonstrated a booth with both machines and software, including an illustration of this vision-driven preventive maintenance solution using its own manufacturing facility, saving $150,000 per year after leveraging AI-driven visual data analysis to identify failing chain links in an overhead monorail system.
New PLCs From Arduino Pro
Microcontrollers are the heart of every control system. But without a hardened outer shell for protection against harsh environments and without a development environment for IEC PLC languages, there have been barriers to widespread adoption.
Two industrial platforms from Arduino, the micro form Opta PLC on the left, and the open-frame Portenta Machine Control (PMC) on the right.
Recently, Arduino has expanded into the industrial space with the Pro lineup, including both PLC hardware devices, as well as software compatible with the IEC 61131 languages, including ladder logic.
In addition to the hardware platforms on display, APS Engineering was also present in the Arduino booth to demonstrate a great application of the PMC platform, controlling an inkjet fluid delivery system with pumping and heating abilities, and providing a host of communication and configuration options.
APS Engineering’s inkjet delivery system using Arduino hardware.
OTTO Motors AMR Fleet
Clearpath Robotics, the parent company of OTTO Motors, has made headlines recently during an acquisition arrangment by Rockwell Automation, but the display at Pack Expo clearly demonstrated the performance of the mobile robot fleet.
Three of the OTTO Motors' AMR catalog.
Several of the mobile models of OTTO robots, including a forklift-style mover, transported packages around the booth, remotely navigating and charging as required.
Processing Equipment by Bradman Lake Inc.
Among the exhibitors were many processing equipment manufacturers offering either standard or custom arrangements of machines engineered to fill a specific need. One such example was Bradman Lake, demonstrating a variety of equipment for industries including food and beverage, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, as well as consumer goods.
Bradman Lake’s IL120 carton closer processing equipment cell, assembled with green internal lighting just for Pack Expo, a very nice touch!
These kinds of companies, known for engineering design and equipment integration skills, can be a tremendous benefit to companies that need some assistance in getting started with a large control and automation project.
Thousands of Exhibitors!
Scroll through and enjoy more pictures gathered from around the Pack Expo show floor, and be sure to sign up to attend next year in Chicago at Pack Expo International to join the fun and be a part of the action!
Festo's demonstration of ingress protection (IP) ratings against moisture
Antislosh technology keeps fluid more stable by limiting accel/decel. The unicorn duck proves it, can't argue with that.
PFM Packaging integrated workcell
Yaskawa Motoman robot demo
Large Kawasaki robot palletizer
YSICK Intelligent Sensors working with a Doosan cobot
nVenia palletizing robot demo
Lego Kawasaki robot facility!!!
Festo's 7th axis of motion sporting a cupcake hat to show stability of motion
Safety devices from KEB America
KUKA package handling robot, this one designed with a gripper for soft items like bags, rather than rigid boxes.
One of FANUC's newest models with a curved arm to allow wide slip sheet motion in a more compact space
Schmalz gripper on a Yaskawa robot
Mitsubishi series of iQ PLC and networking technology
A gripper from Soft Robotics picks up simulated food items from a conveyor
The Minipal palletizer from Columbia/Okura
Universal Robots palletizing system from partner Robotiq
End of line packaging from Blueprint automation