BIG DATA IN THE PACKAGING AND PROCESSING INDUSTRY
Whether it’s from digitalisation, the internet of things (IoT), industry 4.0 or smart machinery, companies in the packaging and processing industry are faced with bigger amounts of data than we have ever had before when using modern technology. ‘Big data’ is the term that we use for extremely large, rapid and complex datasets that are almost unmanageable if we employ the usual methods. This data comes from industrial systems and IoT devices, for example for RFID tags or sensors, as well as from e-mail correspondence, financial transactions, social media or videos. They are saved on specialised storage platforms such as Data Lakes or Hadoop.
MACHINE LEARNING VIA ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Anyone that wants to use big data in a worthwhile manner should analyse the structured and unstructured data and process them further efficiently. Big data analytics can offer a helping hand here and can ensure optimisation of operating processes, higher profits and happier customers, among other elements.
One area which big data has particularly high relevance for within the packaging machinery and process technology industry is machine learning, aided by artificial intelligence (AI). Thanks to precise and automatic models, complex quantities of data are analysed in seconds and processed by machines so that the machines can make independent decisions on machine cleaning or machine maintenance, for example. Big data can be used in conjunction with predictive analytics in companies in order to optimise manufacturing, improve product quality and thus bring products onto the market faster.
The subject of data security: Big data projects need standards. In Europe, the EU directive VDI/VDE 3714 governs this Photo: Pexels
In addition, packaging robots can execute production and packaging processes automatically thanks to AI. Integrated camera and image recognition systems that give the robots precise information on the position or quality of the products are a prerequisite for tasks such as pick-and-place. Packaging robots are thus able to detect faulty parts and sort and exclude them when performing these tasks.
BIG DATA IN LOGISTICS
AI and big data are also an advantage within the sector of logistics and warehousing in the packaging and processing industry. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) use the determined IT data and transport goods autonomously from A to B in the warehouse or from the warehouse to the production facilities.
In addition, thanks to the determined data, potential delivery difficulties or currency fluctuations can be calculated in advance. Consequently, production can be adapted and optimised in a targeted manner.
Man with a red cap and Notepad scans the label on a blue drum.
Thanks to big data and sensor technology on the packaging, every product can be tracked. Photo Tiger Lily, Pexels
Big data and AI are also indispensable when it comes to return management. Companies can thus determine how frequently individual goods or groups of goods are returned and identify possible opportunities or limitations.
Smart packaging with code systems and sensors, such as RFID, aid in allocating returns and can reliably give information on the origin, state and special characteristics of the product. This transparency in the supply chain is also increasingly demanded by consumers: its influence on the purchasing behaviour of potential customers is equally great.
Last but not least, using big data in packaging ensures more security and safety within the supply chain. Sensors or data loggers are used to reliably report when packaging is damaged or has been opened.