IPT: What are some of the marketplace trends in material handling technology?
Peter Devenny: From the standpoint of the pharmaceutical sector that I devote to, there is a vivid increase in biotechnology sector enquiries for all manner of manual handling systems. We have seen an increasing general trend for machinery to meet Pharma 4.0 requirements; this could mean that the client is now controlling our entire machine from one central system (for example, via a profibus connection on our machine), and we are no longer producing software ourselves, but writing functional design specifications for the end-user software contractor to configure into the central system. Furthermore, another seemingly upward trend is the ever increasing realisation from industry to ensure operator wellbeing is maximised from the standpoint of manual handling regulation.
Whether itís a legal requirement or company culture change, this brings increased efficiency and productivity for the plant/factory, as well as employee retention benefits as their working life is made easier. There is also, and probably always has been, a trend of investing in automated material handling systems in countries that have higher labour costs.
Peter Devenny at Palamatic (October 2019)
Keywords: Material handling technology, Automation, manufacturing, Palamatic, Pharma 4.0