Catch up on the latest packaging and processing developments

08 September 2019

PPMA Total Show 2019 will open its doors at the NEC, Birmingham in the UK, from 1 – 3 October. The exhibition will showcase the latest innovations in smart manufacturing, processing and packaging solutions for a variety of industry sectors.

The exhibition offers an opportunity to find out more about the latest solutions in processing equipment and packaging machinery, with many of the 450 exhibitors demonstrating advanced technologies and innovative solutions. The event will also offer an opportunity for visitors to find out more about smart technology developments such as the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the integration of vision equipment and robotics into existing production lines. 

The Enterprise Zone will include a free to attend issue-led conference programme that will focus on the key issues facing modern manufacturing – including Brexit, serialisation, AI, waste reduction, sustainability and the circular economy. 

Case studies and presentations in this area will provide visitors with real examples of best practice manufacturing and excellence in processing and packaging production.

At 1.00pm on Tuesday, Kieran Edge MPhys MIET of AMRC, will give a presentation entitled AMRC Factory 2050 – Empowering the UK for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He will argue that the adoption of advanced technology is vital to keeping manufacturing capability within the UK.

Increasing early adoption of emerging technology and understanding how separate industries tackle similar problems will allow a company to grow more rapidly and increase profitability. During this talk, visitors will hear how the AMRC works with UK companies to ease and de-risk integration of advanced technology and techniques to aid UK-based manufacturing.

At 2:00pm on Tuesday Elisabeth Olafsdottir from Cognizant Consulting, Microsoft, will look at how manufacturers are transforming their businesses using real life examples of how AI can create operational efficiencies and also help organisations create new revenue streams. 
On the exhibition floor
Omron is using the event to debut its flexible production system. It will showcase an end-to-end flexible automated manufacturing process – including roboticised arm, connected camera and mobile capabilities – which will offer visitors an in-depth look at how technology is enabling more customisable, personalised manufacturing with the multipurpose mobile robots able to perform different tasks as needed.

Providing a model of a fully-automated factory using technology solutions that exist today the automated production system includes component retrieval, assembly and quality inspection performed entirely by autonomous robotic technologies. The system is completely digitised, allowing all data produced to be displayed on a dashboard and closely monitored by a supervisory system.

Visitors to the stand will be able to interact with the system, designing their own specification, placing an order and watching as the solution assembles their product in real time. Through an onsite dashboard, it is possible to customise a product at every stage of the production process, from order entry to delivery, modelling the flexible production lines of the future.

Carlo Gavazzi will demonstrate how advances in technology can aid operational excellence by providing insight into systems to reduce unscheduled downtime while improving productivity and energy usage. It will be discussing the latest innovations and advantages of IO-Link Sensors; illustrating increased availability of data, standardised wiring, remote configuration and monitoring as well as, simple device replacement.  Also, on the stand will be the latest wireless handheld IO-Link smart configurator which is said to make previously a laborious tasks quick and easy.

On the SICK stand visitors will be offered a behind-the-scenes insight into the company’s own Industry 4.0 smart sensor production facility in Germany. Using interactive links, visitors will be able to learn about SICK’s real-world experiences of establishing a facility from scratch according to classic Industry 4.0 principles.

The Industry 4.0 theme will continue across the SICK stand with a range of products showcasing smart sensors, including an expanding number of Smart Tasks and edge processes that can communicate directly with the Cloud.

SICK’s range of PRIME photoelectric and contrast sensors will be among the solutions targeted at packaging machinery applications. The new 4Sight Automated Print Inspection System developed in collaboration packaging automation specialists Autocoding Systems will also be on show.   

SICK will also reveal further developments in its AppSpace platform to develop and pool software applications for smart, programmable devices like the Inspector P 2D, and the Trispector1000 3D, vision sensors.  This will include SICK’s new Presence Inspection 2D quality inspection SensorApp developed in AppSpace for Inspector P smart cameras.

Micro-Epsilon UK will be showcasing its moldCONTROL inline thermography system and its latest in-line colour measurement systems. The moldCONTROL inline thermography system detects variations in quality by using a high speed, high-resolution infrared thermal imaging camera. It records the entire component in up to six different views and examines it. The principle is simple – a thermoIMAGER TIM thermal imaging camera records the infrared radiation emanating from the mould and visualises it. The temperature distribution provides a quality statement about incorrect temperature control of the mould, malfunction of the tool temperature, visible geometry errors and hidden defects. 

The colorCONTROL ACS7000 is an inline high-speed colour measurement system that measures the actual colour of the target by identifying their coordinates in the colour space. The system can be set up to continually monitor a production process and output the colour measurement via Ethernet, EtherCAT or RS422. It can be taught ‘pass fail/limits’ and then output out-of-tolerance alarms using digital I/O. 

TM Robotics will be collaborating with its UK distribution partner, RARUK Automation at the show. It will demonstrate the Toshiba Machine THL700 SCARA robot which will be set up to operate in combination with a Flexibowl feeding system, demonstrating a fully automated pick-and-place system.  Using a rotating disk actuated by a servomotor, the Flexibowl provides sorting and separating solution for small parts. 

RARUK Automation will be showcasing three systems based on Universal Robots, including models from the new e-series. The latest generation machines are said to enable faster development for a wider variety of applications, easier programming and compliance with CAT3 PLd.  

The first of the systems will combine a URCB5 cobot with a Robotiq 2-finger gripper and wrist camera to identify and sort coloured bearings and a Robotiq force sensor to stack them in their colour sets. Visitors to the stand will also see box palletising made easy and mobile with a new introduction of the EasyPalletizer platform equipped with the UR10e robot arm fitted Robotiq air-pick vacuum grippers.

Another demonstration will feature the Pick-It M-HD high definition 3D camera with Robotiq hand-e gripper – optimised for operation with UR e-series robots – and the Robotiq Force Co-Pilot, intuitive software development for applications that need force torque feedback.

A wide variety of new vision technologies will be displayed by Multipix Imaging. Visitors will be able to learn about different 3D camera techniques and which to use for certain applications. The Photoneo MotionCam 3D camera will demonstrate how robustly and consistently it captures 3D point cloud information from moving items to create 3D automated solutions.   

New Basler Embedded Vision kits will also be on display. The range consists of a variety of modular components to evaluate a solution leading to a successful embedded vision solution through the Basler dart board level camera and embedded processing board. Multipix will be demonstrating how Basler pylon SDK camera software supports Linux OS.
Visitors to the stand will also be able to find out more about how Deep Learning software tools can take artificial intelligence to new levels. MVTec’s HALCON Imaging Software now enables users to execute the deep learning inference on Arm-based CPUs, allowing for the deployment of deep learning applications on embedded devices without the need of further dedicated hardware. 

Interroll will, no doubt, be is set to highlight its recently launched DC Platform, which comprises a new RollerDrive EC5000 motorised roller, controls and power supplies. The Platform is a combination of 24V and 48V solutions that allows conveyor systems to embrace the digital world. With the RollerDrive EC5000, users can choose between different power levels, depending on the application. For example, 35W and 20W can be deployed for light-duty applications, or 50W for heavier loads. RollerDrive EC5000 is backwards-compatible with current controls and power supplies.

Thanks to an advanced CANopen Bus, the latest RollerDrive EC5000 is also capable of positioning items in an accurate fashion and it is possible to turn a powered conveyor into a gravity conveyor, if needed. 

HepcoMotion will showcase its range of linear and circular motion products for machine automation. The stand will include the GFX Hepco Guidance System for Beckhoff XTS (eXtended Transport System).  This solution utilises Hepco’s PRT2 and 1-Trak guidance systems to work with Beckhoff’s XTS circuit linear system to meet the needs of higher duty XTS applications where motion profiles and long-term durability requirements are particularly demanding.  This system is suited to a range of applications, such as a variable speed lane divider to sort randomly positioned items into separate lanes, or a double-sided system for a compact application that requires multiple motion profiles. 

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