The shipping and packaging industry has seen an enormous boost amid the pandemic. But packaging was developing, changing and innovating before COVID arrived.

On today’s episode of “Uptime,” host Daniel LItwin spoke with Steve Lipps, Sr. Director of Product Management for Douglas Machine. With over 25 years in the packaging equipment industry, Lipps highlighted the macro-trends he’s seeing and what developments on the horizon are most exciting.

The packaging industry ultimately serves the consumer, and, as consumer trends change, so does packaging. These changes often call for an increase in operations, and COVID has posed a specific challenge to the packaging industry, pushing it to do more with less.

As resources have been less available, demand has never been higher, but robotics are poised to help the packaging industry adapt.

Lipps said he sees investments in machines that emphasize simplicity and usability becoming more important, making it intuitive for operators. Expanding on that, he also sees designers finding ways to reduce parts, thereby reducing maintenance.

All of these developments in robotics trickles down to the packager, buyer and consumer, making the process cheaper and more efficient. Specifically, packaging technologies can address key needs and challenges related to the skilled labor gap, productivity, asset utilization, machine flexibility, changeover, accessibility, ergonomics and safety, and much more.

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