Gupta: We should develop more intelligent automation solutions

By 10 Oct 2020

Automation eases complex processes and ensures the right quality during production and distribution, says Harsh Gupta of HB Fuller

Gupta: Reversing industry steps of using single-use films in abundance has become a challenge

Standalone use of single-use plastics, paper for laminates
Originally, the industry took a bold step of using single-use films in abundance for the ease of packing and addressing supply chain challenges. Now, reversing them has become a real challenge. Companies will need to start addressing this on two fronts. Standalone use of single-use plastics needs to be permitted within the industry dealing with heavy items or machinery with a return option. This will also help in tracing its efficiency. It’s not easy to find an alternative for the same offering at the same level of cost and performance. 

For laminates, we can develop paper rather than plastic films. The industry should invest in the development of a range of barrier coatings – cold/hot sealable coatings on the paper – to give the barrier properties along with the sealing properties. This can be used as a substitute for thin film.

Automation in the dairy sector
India, being geographically widespread and with such a diverse population, needs to develop more intelligent automation solutions to address segments such as dairy, which follow complex processes to ensure the right quality during production and distribution. The model of the milkman providing fresh milk is common in India, so automation is required to strengthen the distribution channel in terms of designing a flexible, safe, reopenable, and multi-usable packaging. Containers must be filled accurately with the help of a pre-installed flow metre that can be sanitised easily after every use. This would also ensure the shelf life of this perishable item. Another big challenge of the dairy industry is waste management. To manage this efficiently, sustainable packaging can play a very important role.

Innovation in food packaging
HB Fuller’s reinforcement technology, with various adhesive coated solutions, provides sustainable packaging with improved functionality. Clean, retail-ready packaging provides a safe, no-knife opening to access the products without damaging them. And our premium shelf-ready opening provides a good shelf appearance to showcase products. Our applications enable the shipper to display the products all in one box, using 35% less paper than a two-piece tray and cover shelf-ready format.

A smart factory in India
India’s first ‘self-aware’ factory is set up at the Indian Institute of Science’s centre for product design and manufacturing in Bengaluru. This factory is capable of ‘thinking’, working on its own. Technologies such as cloud computing, internet of things, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and robotics will be pivotal to foster industry 4.0 models and smarter cities. 

HB Fuller’s paper straws

Paper straws quickly emerged as an alternative to single-use plastic straws. To become a successful, long-term option, they need to be strong, food-safe, water-resistant, hygienic, and biodegradable or compostable. And, they need to be commercially viable – businesses and consumers are willing to pay a fair price, a reliable and efficient supply chain exists, and long-term usage rates emerge.

HB Fuller’s technical specialists are working with customers to advise on the choice of paper and select the right adhesive from its range of solutions to efficiently manufacture sustainable alternatives to plastic straws.

Tags: HB Fuller

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