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Siemens’ first AI packaging robot: with help from Flanders

German engineering giant Siemens is teaming up with Cloostermans, a Flanders-based engineering firm that specializes in custom-made, high-end automation machines. Together, the two companies have developed the first modular AI concept for packaging. This will enable manufacturers of consumer goods to work more efficiently and reliably. “With AI, flexibility in packaging options is vast,” says Mathias D'hoore, mechatronics manager at Cloostermans.

Profiting from personalization

As the market for consumer goods becomes more and more customized, producers and packaging companies are faced with a challenge. To keep up with the trend for personalized products, both production and packaging need to become more intelligent. “Switching from one type of packaging or from one product to another often takes weeks on the factory floor, leading to inefficiency and longer time to market,” explains Frederik Berckmoes-Joos, CEO of Cloostermans. “That’s where AI comes in.”

The next step in product and production design

According to Eddy Nelis, senior vice president of Digital Industries at Siemens, “AI helps companies use software tools more efficiently, create more advanced designs and optimize workflows. More complex tasks that require a better perception of the environment and deeper knowledge can now increasingly be assigned to machines. This allows operators and technicians to focus on strategic tasks instead."

From the very start of the project, Siemens was confident that they could increase the efficiency of packaging with the help of AI:

Even before the machine was built, we knew it would work. We were also able to simulate how the production line would fit into the supply chain. The way the machine is assembled and connected to the rest of the supply chain with the latest technologies is truly spectacular.

Eddy Nelis
senior vice president of Digital Industries at Siemens

The perfect match for a revolutionary project

The AI concept developed by Cloostermans and Siemens works completely autonomously and reconfigures itself for each new application based on a digital model.

For the first time, AI will be integrated into packaging machines in a way that not only mimics, but also automates flexible human handling and thinking during packaging. Producers will be able to switch to a completely different type of product or packaging faster than ever before.

Frederik Berckmoes-Joos
CEO of Cloostermans

Considering the highly innovative nature of this ambitious project, Cloostermans couldn’t have asked for a better partner for this collaboration. CEO Frederik Berckmoes-Joos: "Siemens has a lot of experience and expertise in the field of AI. Thanks to its TM-MFP technology, AI algorithms control every movement, allowing the machine to handle a whole range of types of products and packaging." 

More info

CloostermansSiemens
Reported by
https://www.siemens.be/
15 December 2020

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