How is the rise in robotics and automation impacting our industry, and what are the challenges decision-makers face in 2017? We bring you the results of our Packaging Technology Survey 2017 to provide a snapshot of key trends.

As the food manufacturing sector is well aware, robotic automation is not a new phenomenon on the factory floor.

What is new is that the rate of adoption is increasing rapidly, and the evolution – and in some cases, revolution – in technology.

The World Robotics 2016 Industrial Robots report stated that by 2019, close to 2.6 million robot units will be working around the world.

Australia is certainly seeing an uptake of such ‘futuristic’ technology in packaging and food manufacturing as companies large and small seek to adapt to the needs of a changing market.

In the PKN Packaging News + Food & Drink Business Packaging Technology Survey 2017, we sought input from industry to gain insight into current Australian industry practices, drivers and plans related to the purchase of packaging line equipment and robotic automation technology.

Who is purchasing what, and why? We had these questions answered. We also explored equipment procurement practices pertaining to the selection, purchase and commissioning of packaging equipment.

Respondents to the in-depth survey and telephone interviews comprised professionals from senior management, operations management, engineering, sales and marketing and quality assurance functions from a broad spectrum of industries, with 50 per cent of respondents from the food industry and a further 25 per cent from the consumer packaged goods industry.

The survey was produced in collaboration with engineers and consultants from Accupak, Accuweigh and Robotic Technologies-Systems Australia.

For the key findings of the report, click through to the digital issue of Food & Drink Business.