Robot use in the packaging industry has grown nearly 48% among consumer packaged goods companies and PACK EXPO Las Vegas (held September 23-25, 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center) is primed to introduce the Robotics Zone, a new show floor destination that spotlights new robotic technology, human and robot interaction and collaborative robot (cobot) displays. The new area is an ideal place for attendees to get ideas and inspiration, meet leading robot providers and interact with cutting edge robotic technologies first-hand.
Attendees entering the Robotics Zone, located in Booth N-850 in the North Hall, will be welcomed by the PACK EXPO Greeter Robot, sponsored by Omron Automation. As they explore the interactive area they will experience:
- Local robotics teams displaying their robots in action in the Future Innovators Robotics Showcase
- Robots packing food for children, as a part of PACK for a Purpose: Robots Fighting Hunger, in collaboration with Blessings in a Backpack, which provides weekend meals for elementary students in supplemental nutrition programs
- Object Detection and Flexible Grasping with Artificial Intelligence Demo sponsored by Siemens Digital Industries US
- Comau’s Interactive Wearable Exoskeleton allows attendees to try on a wearable suit and perform assisted task and product handling
- Soft Robotics End-Of-Arm Tool Exhibit demonstrates an end-of-arm tool designed to mimic the human hand to grasp and manipulate items that vary in size, shape and weight
- Pick and Place/Relocation activities in action, compliments of the University of Waterloo and Septimatech Autonomous Robot
The growing demand for robots is sparking innovation in areas such as improved sensors, easier programming, integrated and unified controls, the selection of available end of arm tooling (EOAT) and the introduction of self-teaching robots. These innovations, highlighted in the infographic, and more will be on display first hand in the Robotics Zone and throughout the exhibit halls of PACK EXPO International and Healthcare Packaging EXPO. 10-minute sessions will be presented in the Robotics Zone where attendees can learn more about the robots on display as well as hear about the future of robotics on the factory floor.
As PMMI’s new Industrial Robots—Growth and Opportunity infographic points out, the growth in robot and cobot use in the packaging industry has grown in all areas. From 2014 to today, robot use in primary packaging has increased from 44 to 53 percent, in secondary packaging from 48 to 70% and in transport packaging from 66 to 73%. Additionally, cobot use is expected to grow from 3% in all of 2017 to 34% of robot sales in 2025.
“Robots are addressing significant industry challenges by providing increased flexibility and addressing labor shortages. With the many advances in robotics, this is a perfect time to bring the Robotics Zone to PACK EXPO Las Vegas and co-located Healthcare Packaging EXPO,” says Laura Thompson, vice president, trade shows, PMMI. “We are not only excited to showcase this innovation, but also to use this technology to fight hunger. We are honored to work with many PACK EXPO exhibitors and Blessings in a Backpack to make a difference in children’s lives.”
In addition to showcasing the most comprehensive robotics solutions for packaging, PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO will convene 30,000 packaging professionals with 2,000 leading industry suppliers. The 900,000 net square feet of show floor will also offer educational opportunities and industry networking lounges. At the Innovation Stages, exhibitors will present three days of breakthrough technologies during free 30-minute seminars, located on the show floor.