NPE2018 watch (literally) and 4 more cool things from the show

NPE Arburg line

PlasticsToday reported on 5 cool things we saw during the 5-day run of NPE2018 (those links are found at the end of this report), which covered 1.2-million square feet of exhibition space for 2,180 exhibitors. Because there was so much in Orlando to draw from, our daily reports barely scratched the surface of what we saw as interesting and innovative. 

Which brings us to this sequel that supplements the original quintet of cool with five more worth pointing out that are just as innovative, based on my 30 years’ experience as a packaging reporter.

In short, the largest-in-history NPE NPE2018 was awesome and overwhelming, everything anyone could want in a tradeshow.

NPE Arburg watchOur cool sequel starts with a booth that literally stopped attendees in their tracks and compelled them to stand dozens deep in line for about 30 minutes (photo above).

What was worth that kind of wait that drew many hundreds of visitors to the booth of Arburg (Lossburg, Germany)? It was the incentive for them to receive a souvenir watch assembled before their eyes by a robotics-driven work cell that itself helped pass the time in line.

The demo was an example of Industry 4.0 for the individualized automated production of single-unit batches by an electric two-component Allrounder 570 A that produced two, two-color wrist straps molded from Liquid Silicone Rubber. Thanks to the Multilift V 15 linear robotic system and an assembly station, the watches were complete with housing and fastening and ready to use in 70 seconds. Besides watches, the system is appropriate for packaging, medicine and additive manufacturing.

Ironically, I didn’t have time to wait in line for a watch as my natural curiosity and the fact that there were so many dozens of aisles to explore beckoned me more.

It wasn’t the only attention-getter in the booth: A separate line formed on another side of the packed and expansive booth where visitors could leave with a molded and assembled small folding stepstool.

At a show of this magnitude, getting attention amid the considerable “noise” meant going way over the top. I’m sure there was more to see here, too, but it was time to move on.

EastPack 2018 held June 12-14 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City offers the latest in manufacturing and automation, a dedicated 3D Printing Zone, hundreds of exhibitors and a jam-packed 3-day packaging conference. For more information, visit the EastPack website.

Next: The incredible waste-reducing additive

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