The Impact of PI on the Packaging Industry
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The physical internet (PI) is having an impact on every stage of the supply chain. From manufacturing to transportation, PI, just like packaging, plays a major role in all the industries involved in the supply chain. The most popular PI standard today is modular packaging, in which drivers can drop at hubs for other drivers to take the next leg. Then, the original driver can pick up a different load and return it to that morning’s home base. (Related topics: protective packaging, moisture barrier bags)
This and other logistic changes brought about by the implementation of PI have had a massive impact on the packaging industry. Since modular packaging allows drivers to drop off and pick up packages in several different hubs along the routes, it is of extreme importance that the right protective packaging is used before the distribution process starts.
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Further, Robots and other AI-powered equipment have been implemented in several warehouses, manufacturing companies’ storage floors and other places where package manipulation has been automated. This means that now more than ever, it is absolutely necessary to comply to industry standards in order to ensure the items inside each package will remain safe and intact throughout every step of the process from its manufacturer or creator to the final consumer.
Since materials handling suppliers of all sizes are pursuing mobile robots, using the right packaging protocols is key to avoid any issues. But to get there, several aspects have to be worked out. To start, there has to be a strong ROI. This is not the 1980s when so many CEOs wanted robots in their facilities for the cool factor. Mobile piece-picking robots are way past just being cool. Furthermore, the technology is still developing. You can’t expect a piece-picking robot to handle items just like a human.
Mobility and wearables are now ready to break out in facilities of all sizes, which means that labeling and other protocols that are compliant with military specification packages will no longer be an option but absolutely mandatory to ensure the safe arrival of a package to its destination.
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