Innovative multi-year, multi-phase Digital Transformation strategy paying off
TAUNTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Harpak-ULMA, the North American arm of ULMA Packaging, has been named as one of Putman Media’s first annual Smart Industry Transformational Leadership Award winners in the category of OEM IIoT Pioneer. The program honors individuals and organizations leading the way to Industry 4.0. This year’s winners, chosen from across the globe have successfully envisioned, planned and executed the digital transformation (DX) of one or more aspects of their business through the application of digital and disruptive technologies. The award categories and selection criteria reflect today’s most critical business transformation challenges. Awards recognize the importance of executive vision and organizational communication; the ability to build talent, manage change and collaborate across functional siloes; and the successful reinvention of operational processes, customer relationships, and business models.
Harpak-ULMA is one of three machine builders or industrial original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) recognized for successfully leveraging digital technologies to increase value for their customers and generate new revenue streams. The award recognizes Harpak-ULMA’s execution of an innovative multi-year, multi-tier plan to introduce smart, connected packaging platforms. The program embraces native integration for augmented reality applications, embedded IIoT, and big data solutions that leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver predictive maintenance as well as industry performance benchmarking services. Harpak-ULMA announced the plan in 2018 as part of its newly formed partnership with Rockwell Automation, and has reported strong customer adoption subsequently.
Kevin Roach, Harpak-ULMA’s CEO, explained, “The first phase of our plan was to standardize our packaging platforms on Rockwell Automation’s Integrated Control and Information Architecture — which is largely complete. We are well into our native AR integration and have multiple pilot-partners in play. We recently launched phase three, which extends and deepens IIoT integration to enable digital twin capabilities. This allows plant floor personnel to interact with equipment using mobile or wearable technologies that digitally expose machine KPI’s and internal operations. We are now planning for the final phase. This will focus on building out our Big Data capabilities to introduce a new business model for delivering predictive maintenance services for packaging operations – similar to the capabilities that exist in the aircraft engine business today. Collecting anonymous equipment performance data at that scale will also lend itself to an industry benchmarking service. We know this final phase is aggressive – packaging OEM’s are not typically associated with machine learning or artificial intelligence-based solutions. But we are very pleased with customer response so far, and we believe our approach may just disrupt the industry status quo when it comes to driving line uptime.”
Keith Larson, Content VP for Smart Industry, explained the first annual awards rationale, “Our mission is to facilitate knowledge exchange, explore emerging best practices and spur business development to accelerate manufacturing’s digital transformation. Harpak-ULMA’s strategy epitomizes the convergence of information and operational technologies driving that transformation – such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0, and big data analytics. Strategies like this are what will make the next industrial revolution a reality. We’re also pleased that our awards program sponsor, Rockwell Automation, has invited the winners to share lessons learned at the upcoming virtual DX Strategists Conference on June 10th, the first day of the company’s ROKLive Experience virtual event.”
Harpak-ULMA is the North American arm of ULMA, a $1B industry leader in complete packaging line solutions for Food, Medical, Bakery, and Industrial products. Harpak-ULMA provides smart, connected packaging systems utilizing Rockwell Automation’s controls and information platforms to deliver greater efficiency, uptime, and throughput, as well as better package quality and reduced waste. Well-designed, reliable solutions reduce customers’ total cost of ownership, help them overcome the challenges of an aging and evolving workforce, and improve control of maintenance expenses with competitive parts sourcing. In addition to offering ULMA primary packaging equipment, Harpak-ULMA is also the exclusive North American distributor of G. Mondini tray sealers, RAMA secondary packaging machinery, and DIGI weigh/price/labeling equipment. Harpak-ULMA joined the Rockwell Automation Partner Network in 2018 as part of its initiative to build and deploy smart, connected packaging solutions.
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