Page 52 - Packaging News Magazine May-June 2019
P. 52

Industry 4.0 focus at AUSPACK
Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things were key areas of interest at AUSPACK 2019, with both the inaugural Business and Industry Conference and the exhibition floor devoting plenty of time and space to smart factory technologies.
Smart packaging was a highlight of discussions at the Business and Industry Conference. Industry expert John Broadbent told guests that early adopters of this technology will find themselves at a significant advantage once the mainstream catches up, while laggards will struggle.
“The longer you kick the can down the road, the bigger the gap becomes,” he said.
According to Broadbent, the nine main use
cases for Industry 4.0 and IIoT technology are
asset tracking, automation, predictive maintenance, safety and security, smart buildings, customer engagement, data intelligence, product-as-a- service, and agile design processes.
The utility of properly gathering and analysing business data is huge, he added, and can save businesses time and money.
“How would you feel about sitting in your car with no dashboard, windscreen blacked out, rear view is where you were thirty days ago, and the managing director is in the passenger seat asking are we there yet? You wouldn’t drive like that, but people run their businesses like that all the time,” he said.
Broadbent then facilitated a panel comprising Paul Barber of Lighthouse Systems, Michael Parrington of Pact Group, Richard Roberts of the Open IIoT industry group, and Alan Spreckley from ABB, to discuss practical implementation of Industry 4.0 systems.
Spreckley said one major barrier to adoption of Industry 4.0 is change-aversion in businesses.
“People in general have a resistance to change. They feel too comfortable with where they are and what they have,” he said.
Broadbent argued that there is never a “right”
or “wrong” time to invest, and that businesses need to get on board and constantly update themselves.
“The right time for continuous improvement is always,” he said. “It doesn’t matter when you’re doing well or not doing well.”
According to Roberts, one crucial early step in embarking on an Industry 4.0 project is forming partnerships, either internal or external, to ensure your business has the skills needed to operate the new technology.

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