Harpak-ULMA, an industry leader in smart, connected packaging solutions, was named a PMMI 2023 Technology Excellence Award winner for its “AI Enabled Augmented Reality for Transforming Packaging Operations” at PACK EXPO International 2023.
Harpak-ULMA has developed and deployed various AR solutions as part of its smart, connected machine strategy. Combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities with AR applications dramatically improves maintenance outcomes by enforcing and validating step-by-step guides and visual work instructions. The company’s beta deployment at multiple Fortune 50 producers has exceeded expectations, including one instance in which untrained staff completed a complex repair with 100% accuracy and 70% faster than an experienced technician.
“Leveraging Augmented Reality in a production environment immediately impacts frontline worker productivity. It’s much faster and more effective to offer staff ‘knowledge-on-demand’ versus traditional training and written instructions,” said Alexander Ouellet, Harpak-ULMAs Innovation Manager.
Responsible for executing the company’s multi-year, multi-phase technology strategy, Ouellet has found that “people prefer, and respond better, to visual guidance. It overcomes language barriers and shortens lengthy training cycles. Combining AR capabilities with AI provides additional guidance by enforcing and validating step-by-step processes in real time. ‘Currently, we’re only scratching the surface of the synergy between AI and AR technologies. I believe our technology approach and results resonated with the audience — evidenced by our award for excellence.”
Harpak-ULMA is developing various innovative technologies that support the digital transformation of packaging operations, including remote [OEE] monitoring, digital twins of their machines, and, eventually, predictive capabilities that leverage AI and machine learning to minimize unplanned downtime.
PMMI Technology Excellence Awards recognize innovations in packaging and processing and are bestowed, based on attendee voting, at PACK EXPO, the world’s largest packaging and processing show. Harpak-ULMA won its award in the General Packaging and Processing category. PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, produces the awards and PACK EXPO.