Manufacturing, logistics and procurement - November 2018

05 December 2018

Developments in robots
Industry 4.0 has the potential to alter radically all stages of the packaging industry. In an article, Smithers Pira examines key future developments in automation and robotics.
While the penetration of automation equipment has been somewhat slower in the food and beverage industry when compared to some other sectors, ongoing technology developments are leading to greater opportunities for manufacturers to benefit from increasing the levels of automation in their food and beverage processing machinery. Find out more in the white paper (8.5 MB) Taste of Processing Trends Around the World published by PMMI. According to a report (in Dutch, 238 kB) by ABN AMRO (in Dutch), the NL food industry is catching up very quickly in the field of robotisation.
Robots that automatically harvest tomatoes or package biscuits in boxes of various sizes are now becoming a reality: Wageningen University & Research will be working together with various partners to develop flexible robotics for food production as part of the new and comprehensive FlexCRAFT research programme. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has made 2.7 million euros available for this research to which another 1.3 million euros has been added by the corporate sector.

Blockchain technology to become mainstream
Worldwide analysis of leading organisations implementing blockchain by Capgemini demonstrates the technology’s potential to transform supply chains across the globe. The report (2.9 MB), “Does blockchain hold the key to a new age of supply chain transparency and trust?”, predicts that blockchain will enter mainstream use in supply chains by 2025.
GS1 has released a new position paper (273 kB) on the future of blockchain technology.

New intelligent pallet developed and Chain of custody of wood
Experts estimate that over a billion devices will be entering the Internet of Things (IoT) every year for the next few years. Many such devices will be deployed for use in the transport and logistics industry. The tiny devices on pallets, containers and packaging will soon be transmitting billions of status messages. They will also be able to identify their location and communicate with one another autonomously. Deutsche Telekom, Fraunhofer IML and the European Pallet Association (EPAL) have developed an intelligent pallet. A device, dubbed the Low-Cost Tracker, can detect its own position, as well as being able to track any movements, impacts and changes in temperature. As well as its location, the waterproof sensor detects impacts, inclination, acceleration forces and the temperature of each pallet. The pallet reports its status whenever there is a deviation from plan, i.e. if it senses any unexpected shaking or temperature fluctuations.
ISO has published a new standard to support responsible use of wood. ISO 38200, Chain of custody of wood and wood-based products, specifies the requirements for a chain of custody that allows users to trace the origins of wood and wood products every step along the supply chain.

NL Customs publishes Brexit toolkit for the packaging industry
On 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom will be leaving the European Union. As an entrepreneur, you run the risk of no longer being able to do business with the United Kingdom as of 30 March 2019. To help entrepreneurs in the packaging industry, NL Customs has developed a Brexit toolkit (in Dutch, 913 kB).
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