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Technology: Industry's Favorite Toys & Gadgets
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Embracing new technology is not easy. Is the wood packaging industry ready? The following comments from our industry thought leaders share on several areas of old and new technology, along with a little nostalgia. We reached out to all of our members and here is what they had to say in answer to the following questions: Q1: What ‘old’ technologies/equipment do you still use? Fax machine, dot matrix printer, walkie talkie, pagers, paper rolodex, etc? Q2: What modern day technology/equipment do you use (laptop computer, smartphone, paperless fax machine, electronic billing/invoicing, business software? Q3: Which new tools are your favorite toys that you or your business couldn’t survive without in today’s business environment? Q4: Which available new technologies, such as driverless vehicles, drones, robotics, 3-D printing, RFIDs or other, do you anticipate using for your business in the short term (1-3 years) or long term (3-10 years)?


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Q&A: Dean Roderick, Managing Director, RodPak

Posted By Dean Roderick, Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A1: The fax machine is a staff favorite, mainly because its key purpose is to receive the list of daily food specials from our local take-out store. Personally I love our electronic printing whiteboard (Panasonic) from the 1990’s. Unfortunately, both are about to become redundant as thermal printing paper is difficult to source.

A2: In a quick survey of our staff, the smartphone is the clear favorite.

A3: We have become very dependent upon a range of apps: banking and finance apps to track spending; weather apps for the operations staff to assist planning; airline and flight radar apps to assist in making travel more efficient for management and sales personnel.

A4: In the short term, there is no doubt that robotics and automation will be further developed in our operations. Improved use of portable electronic devices for operational and logistics purposes is imminent.

With a longer view, continuous implementation of automation to eliminate manual handling and to enhance quality control. It is probable that some form of driverless vehicle/s will be used to reduce the costs associated with stock movements. The Pallet Design System™ (PDS) will be at the heart of business operations in ten years’ time, having been developed into a fully integrated unit load design system. Technical sales personnel will work with clients to reduce total unit packaging costs through smart design. Finance staff will have seamless integration with accounts systems to improve cost control. Manufacturing will only produce to customer approved designs, typically uploaded directly from PDS to the pallet machines.

Email Dean Roderick, RodPak

Tags:  app  automation  design  logistics  pallet  robotics  software  system 

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Q&A: Ralph Rupert, Manager, Unit Load Tech., Millwood, Inc.

Posted By Ralph Rupert, Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A1: Fax machines are still frequently used at our manufacturing locations. In fact, many of our suppliers and customers prefer to fax orders and invoices rather than call or email them in. We also use walkie-talkies as a convenient way to communicate between team members on the manufacturing floor.

A2: At Millwood, we could not live without computer-based software, such as EDI (electronic data interchange), the Pallet Design System™ and other database systems along with smartphones and tablets.

A3: Microsoft Suite (specifically Word, Excel and PowerPoint) are absolutes. As our customer base increases so does our use of these technologies. Our marketing team also enjoys using applications in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite.

A4: In the short term, we expect to see more bar-code labeling in more of our manufacturing facilities to help track how many pallets our team members are repairing each shift. We expect to continue seeing advancements in automation. In our industry specifically, our manufacturing facilities will continue to invest in automatic nailers and ergonomic equipment.

Email Ralph Rupert, Millwood, Inc.

Tags:  app  automation  bar code  cloud  data  edi  electronic  labeling  pds 

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