europe

Machines

Energy efficiency: more than just cost savings

Energy is expensive, and more efficient use can make a significant difference on the bottom line. But there’s much more to energy efficiency than reducing operating costs. This was demonstrated in practical terms by Emmebi, a long-established family business making high-quality interior design products at Brianza in the heartland of the Italian furniture industry. At
Technology

New sensor measures ripeness of fruit and prevents wastage

Each year supermarkets throw away large quantities of fruit. In the Netherlands this equates to turnover of an estimated 600 million euros. In the United States around ten percent of fresh fruit and vegetables does not make it into the shopping trolley. A shame and unnecessary, as an inexpensive sensor can monitor the ripeness of
Machines

Process packaging does more harm to the environment

Environmentally aware food manufacturers should not only be looking at their packaging material but also in particular at their packaging processes. After all, Thai researchers have discovered, that this is where the most major environmental benefit in terms of packaging can be gained. This explains why retort cups are scarcely more environmentally friendly as a
Cool stuff

Carbon is a precious resource: use it sparingly

Carbon is everywhere, from barbecue charcoal to diamonds, yet seeing it as a “precious resource” can enable machine-makers to reduce their carbon footprint without impacting on profitability. Return on carbon is a new management index that could become as important to businesses as return on investment. Carbon is present in nearly ten million known compounds,
Future

Zero defect solutions

Zero-defect production: improving one process can deliver substantial benefits It’s stating the obvious, but still worthwhile doing so: every production defect is a problem – often several problems. Defects cause delays, cost money and damage the reputation both of the machine maker and of other businesses in the supply chain. So it pays to look
Cool stuff

Smart packaging can talk

New packaging materials are not only more sustainable but also smarter. Near field communication (NFC) allows brand owners to communicate with their customers as well. It is predicted that this application will be widespread within a couple of years. NFC can be regarded as the successor to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), which can identify an
Future

Solar tracking – making the most of the sun’s energy

The development of photovoltaic systems – through which sunlight is converted to electricity – has accelerated rapidly over the past quarter-century, largely as a result of increased environmental awareness and high oil prices. There’s now a broad range of systems on offer, from the very small – providing power for individual pieces of equipment –
Creators

Collaboration provides breakthrough in packaging-problem PCB

Last year, a Chinese PCB (printed circuit board) manufacturer had problems incorporating all required wiring into its products. The suppliers who were consulted were unable to resolve the problem. That was until Omron was called in to resolve the problem using special technology. Last year, when a Chinese manufacturer of PCBs went searching for new
Machines

The flexibility dream came true!

On the face of it, there are not many parallels between vehicle production and packaging machinery. However, the challenges are very similar, particularly in the increasing need to offer manufacturing versatility, dealing efficiently with different products. Mass production used to be a synonym for standardisation – “you can have any colour as long as it’s