Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly integrated into manufacturing processes, and these new applications are generating a lot of interest. Case in point: A few weeks ago, while we were exhibiting our CeraTek and Accu-Seal brand pouch and tray sealing machines at the Pack Expo packaging equipment and automation show in Las Vegas, it was clear that the “belle of the ball,” the pièce de résistance, the crème de la crème (indulge me; I just returned from France) was the SencorpWhite automated medical tray sealing cell, which consists of our CeraTek dual-sided 1612 tray sealer and Static Clean’s Hepa-Clean deionizer, supported by a MiR 100 autonomous mobile logistics robot integrated with an UR5 flexible collaborative robot arm.
Granted, that description might seem a bit complex but the concept behind SencorpWhite’s unique sealing system is actually pretty straightforward. We simply integrated our sealer with AI robots to create a fully autonomous, lights-out sealing cell for medical-device clean-room packaging. As a result, the entire sealing process—from acquiring and deionizing a tray, to loading the machine and parts, to cycling, unloading, and presenting the sealed package for final inspection—is completed without manual intervention. That’s right, we’ve developed a completely automated sealing cell. Watch this video to see the SencorpWhite automated medical tray sealing cell in action:
I realize that the pros and cons of automation have been a hot topic of debate for some time now, and I understand the concern that some of these new technologies could replace human labor, increasing unemployment and/or decreasing wages. But the truth of the matter is that manufacturing in America is experiencing its largest-ever gap between available skilled workers and job openings. In fact, a report last year by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute concluded that over the next decade, the skills gap may leave a whopping 2.4 million positions unfilled. Simply put, there just aren’t enough skilled workers available to do the work required—and that’s where automation, in general, and AI, in particular, come into play. Our clients are looking for solutions to keep their production lines up and running, and SencorpWhite is happy to oblige, with integrated, autonomous solutions that can be custom built for virtually any application.