An innovative digital printing technology from the world’s largest glass manufacturer, Owens-Illinois (O-I), provides the application of mass personalization technology at industrial speed for beverage manufacturers. The technology is expected to become commercially available in both the US and Europe by mid-2019. Europe alone makes up 24% of the global personalized package market and O-I is excited to begin talks regarding proposed projects and collaborations.
Mass Personalization Technology With EXPRESSIONS
One of the latest techniques and technologies adding value to manufacturing processes, Owens-Illinois EXPRESSIONS, and the sculpted version of the service, EXPRESSIONS RELIEF, offers a revolutionary way to transform bottle design. The techniques are praised as a way for beverage manufacturers to further set themselves apart from the competition with an eye-catching avenue to get customers’ attention.
Arnaud Aujouannet, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of O-I, recently discussed the new technology with Manufacturing Global, stating: “The most important thing about O-I: EXPRESSIONS is it’s a differentiation service provided to brands but enabled by digital direct-to-print on glass. There are four core benefits; it’s unleashing creativity, it’s increasing speed to market, it’s a true personalization and it’s sustainable.” He added, “There is unlimited creativity and you even can print images on packaging with high resolution that can go up to 720 DPI. The unique thing about what we offer is the ability to create a 3-D print like embossing on bottles and even color this embossing. It’s enabling us to provide a completely different look and feel for a bottle that potentially starts with a very standard shape.”
What began on a small scale in 2014 has nearly been realized with the installation of two direct2glass industrial printing lines, which enable contactless direct printing. Quick curing inks and CMYK color models allow the process to incorporate the full spectrum of Pantone hues.
Mass Personalization Technology For The Masses
The ability to personalize products to meet and exceed customer expectations is anticipated to drive brand engagement and customer satisfaction. Going further, the technology could offer retailers and individual customers the opportunity to personalize their vessels for promotions, events, and celebrations at an affordable rate.
You can find O-I and its EXPRESSIONS technology on display at the following upcoming trade shows:
Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) is the world’s largest glass container manufacturer and preferred partner for many of the world’s leading food and beverage brands. The Company had revenues of $6.9 billion in 2017 and employs more than 26,500 people at 78 plants in 23 countries. With global headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio, O-I delivers safe, sustainable, pure, iconic, brand-building glass packaging to a growing global marketplace.
Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm, NetSuite Solution Provider, and Epicor Platinum Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of the Industry.
With the many concepts of Industry 5.0 already lending fantastic possibilities to manufacturing industries across the board, the disruption potential of its components in the world of beverage manufacturing is nothing short of groundbreaking. Beer, Wine, and Spirits are some of the most complex and subjective tastes being explored among discerning palates the world over. Here’s how AI and mass personalization are bringing a personal touch to these industries.
A Mass Personalization App For Your Tastebuds: Gastrograph
The beverage aisles of convenience stores, groceries, and big-box stores offer the illusion of diversity, with dozens, if not hundreds, of drinks available for purchase. However, these beverages have undergone massive amounts of testing and QA to market them to the widest audience possible. The overarching “cast the widest net” philosophy of food and beverage manufacturers has left a sour taste in the mouths of many consumers. CEO of NYC-based Analytic Flavor Systems, Jason Cohen, offered as much in an interview with The New Food Economy, “My take is that pretty much all the food and beverage products on the market today are awful,” he explains. “There are no products engineered for me.” And Cohen is right. Manufacturers have formulated snacks and drinks for decades with the right amount of salt, sugar, and fat to hit the proverbial “sweet spot” for consumers. What Cohen’s start-up aims to do is enable consumers to find the foods that fit their ideal flavor profile. How does he plan to do so? Artificial Intelligence and mass personalization.
It doesn’t stop at the taste, either. Moisture level, texture, gaminess, and a host of other characteristics fall under designations in the Analytic Flavor Systems Gastrograph app, a categorization spectrum that takes into account 24 different touchpoints with varying levels of intensity. Submenus under each characteristic allow for even further analysis. A sample Flavor Analysis of Dogfish Head’s 120-minute IPA was mapped in The New Food Economy’s article highlighting the app and larger topic of AI and mass personalization in beverage manufacturing.
A flavor analysis of a craft beer, Dogfish Head’s 120-minute IPA, mapped using the Gastrograph app.
The personalized flavor profiling concept emerged during Cohen’s studies in Information Sciences and Technology. Cohen didn’t finish his graduate degree but instead opted to pursue his project with Analytic Flavor Systems and Gastrograph App. Now touted as the first artificial intelligence platform to understand human sensory perception. Some of the biggest names in the beverage are leveraging Cohen’s services. While it remains to be seen how strongly one can lean on the findings of the Gastrograph AI, the happening could signal a new era of consumer profiling practices where food and beverage makers will make this sensory profiling a compulsory part of research when developing new products.
Craft Beverage Makers Make Impact Among US Manufacturers
Among the 10 fastest growing industries in the US is the beverage manufacturing industry ranks third, which only highlights the importance of innovation in the fields of gastronomy and manufacturing. Beverage manufacturing ranks just below Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction and the highest-ranking Support Activities for Mining. The three experienced 44.9%, 17.1%, and 17.1% growth in sales, from first to third ranking. This designation for beverages included everything from breweries to water and soft drinks. Sageworks analyst Libby Bierman offered comment following the recently released report “If you think about the rise in microbreweries and taprooms, it may not be that surprising to see these manufacturers nearing the top of the list.” The report itself relies on cooperative data gleaned from financial statements from private companies, like accounting firms, banks, and credit unions.
Encompass Solutions, Inc. is an ERP consulting firm and Epicor Gold Partner that offers professional services in business consulting, project management, and software implementation. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems or addressing emerging challenges in corporate and operational growth, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. As experts in identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of the Industry.
Technology and innovation tend to gain tremendous momentum, bringing about innovative changes that cause significant disruption for industries. Those businesses that choose to fight or simply can’t keep up with change share the same fate of falling out of competition. Those businesses that embrace disruption stand a better chance of riding the wave of perceived chaos, better equipped to secure position in the state of Industry that follows. So far there have been four major upheavals in industry, the most recent of which being coined Industry 4.0. Rumblings of Industry 5.0 are already being felt, but let us fill you in on where we are now for some perspective.
In industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and intelligent devices and systems have taken primary focus. Relating to the numerous devices involved in manufacturing and automation that have grown increasingly intertwined, the IIoT allows businesses to take full advantage of the “smart factory” concept, where devices speak to each other and offer a new level of visibility and interactivity at every stage of the manufacturing process.
Industry 5.0 Focus
With technology developing at a tremendous rate, Industry 5.0 isn’t as far away as experts may have predicted as recently as a few years ago. Just as Industries are getting a grip on Industry 4.0, exciting new developments are coming to light that already has those who are in the know detailing what comes next.
Using robotics, automation processes are becoming incredibly streamlined, however, the powerful machines that enable such progress, remain significant hazards on the shop floor alongside their human coworkers. The field of collaborative robotics is addressing this with a focus on collaborative robots, cobots for short. While the current state of automation enables fantastic capability on the manufacturing floor, it can only do what it’s told, with human ingenuity assuming the driving force behind every action a robot completes.
John Phillips, Senior Manager of Production Services at Paradigm, has high hopes for collaborative robotics and the field’s ability to address the shortcomings of automation and put cobots on the same level as their human counterparts to take production processes to the next level. As Phillips puts it, “Collaborative robots are a new technology that allows us to have a human and a robot working in the same workspace. They’re now working in a pendulum type of operation where they can safely interact, allowing the human to check whether the robot has done an adequate amount of work before the final polishing is handed over to the human. It’s a very hand-in-hand kind of operation.”
The phrase may sound like an oxymoron, but Industry 5.0 concepts are making mass personalization a reality. Working on the new functionality and process improvement that collaborative robotics will provide, human laborers will be a more specialized component of the manufacturing process. Alongside their cognitive machine co-workers, humans will be able to mass-produce customized and personalized products for consumers with speed and precision.
This personalization can take many forms. Going beyond the scope of retail goods, personalization could take the form of medical treatments, specifically smart applications that appropriately summarize a patient’s unique lifestyle, health requirements, and physical properties to create a completely customized health regimen. Surgery is another application for collaborative robotics that is unique to every patient placed on the operating table. With the expertise of a trained surgeon and the precision of a robotic assistant, operating rooms are already enjoying the benefits of collaborative robotics.
Artificial organs, medical implants, transplants, blood transfusions, Diabetes, and a host of other medical applications can benefit from AI-driven and collaborative robotics-supported manufacturing processes.
The Davinci surgical system has been one such medical advancement in cobot technology for its ability to enhance surgeons’ operational capability in the surgical theater.
Productivity And A New Relationship Between Man And Machine
Up to this point, it should be very clear that Industry 5.0 is shifting back to a human focus, whereas Industry 4.0 had a predominantly mechanized focus. Humans will have more control over the robots within the manufacturing space, while the dangers that came with large, powerful robots will dissipate as more articulated and nimble cobots are incorporated into the manufacturing process.
Productivity improves as a result. Toronto’s Paradigm Electronics found exactly this to be the case when they incorporated a polishing unit alongside a human worker in their loudspeaker manufacturing process. Utilizing Universal Robots’ UR10 robotic arm, Paradigm employed both man and machine to polish their speaker cabs to a mirror fine finish with a 50% increase in productivity. Not only does this cut out the monotonous and sometimes dangerous tasks for human workers, but liability and healthcare costs resulting from such tasks are reduced for the organization, as well.
The consulting firm Accenture recently released an outlook from a survey conducted among 512 manufacturing executives around the world. The results of the study revealed that 85% of those surveyed foresee a collaborative production line between humans and robots emerging in their facilities by 2020. While this may have many manufacturers anxious that they’re getting left behind, it’s only natural that larger industry players integrate new technology first. As the technology is proven and becomes more heavily relied upon, the supply and integration costs fall and allow small and medium enterprises to compete in a more open marketplace.
New Job Creation
The modern-day fear of robots replacing humans in the workplace is deep-seated but largely speculative. Collaborative robots allow manufacturing floor workers to continue operating in their roles, with a reduction in the dirty, dangerous, and dull tasks they need to carry out. Training and education in how to program, operate and maintain a new fleet of robotic workers value-add to their already critical and difficult-to-replace skill sets. Amazon is already making strides in equipping its current workforce to emerge as the next generation of robotics experts.
A Chief Robotics Officer Could Be Implemented At 85% Of Corporations With More Than $50 Million In Annual Revenues By 2050.
The Chief Robotics Officer is the latest C-suite position to emerge alongside the growing robot workforce. The role’s primary focus, according to the Chief Robotics Officer Research Scenario, revolves around Robotics & Intelligent Operational Systems (RIOS) technologies. As manufacturing operations become more entrenched with advancing technology, businesses will find new departments emerging to coincide with their growing mechanized workforces.
More Data, More Visibility
In the age of information, data is king. Industry 5.0 promises to deliver even more visibility in terms of data from the automated processes on the manufacturing floor. In giving employees with key roles the data they need to fine-tune and adjust these processes in real-time, efficiency goes up while waste and costs go down for manufacturers. Leveraging the benefits of the next stage in automation evolution employs a more collaborative species of the robot, a more skilled human workforce, and the data insights to turn creativity and intellect into ruthlessly efficient processes.
Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm specializing in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of the Industry.