Spokane, WA – Today, Pearson Packaging Systems, industry-trusted authority in end-of-line packaging automation, and vision software company Plus One Robotics are excited to announce their partnership to offer simpler solutions for complex packaging challenges.
As robots have become an integral part of manufacturing, and distribution and warehouse automation, the extent of what can be automated often hinges on how well the robot sees and interprets the data.
Vision software specialist, Plus One Robotics, uses 3D cameras to identify the three-dimensional geometric surfaces, edges, and corners of products and determines size, shape, height and location in real time. The integration of machine learning, also often referred to as artificial intelligence (AI), further boosts the robot’s ability to accurately pick when vision data alone is not entirely conclusive. The third layer of operational excellence is a human-led supervision system called Yonder that closes any remaining performance gaps by enabling a remote robot controller to solve exceptions without delay while training the AI to adapt over time.
For the first application, Pearson Packaging Systems is excited to integrate Plus One Robotics’ PickOne and Yonder software into its depalletizing cell to enable handling of mixed or rainbow pallets. Until now, this task could not be addressed efficiently because reflective or newly introduced cases would cause frequent stoppages that required manual intervention resulting in substantial downtime and lack of labor savings. PickOne, on the other hand, scans the pallet layers to determine optimal pick positions. If vision data is inconclusive, the system consults its continuously growing library of AI data. And if neither of those result in a high enough pick confidence, PickOne automatically generates a Yonder request to call in human intervention. With a response time of under six seconds, a remote robot controller efficiently handles the exception by manually selecting an item and its pick point. In parallel, Yonder stores the responses to facilitate ongoing machine-learning and increased efficiencies over time. Crew Chiefs can oversee several robots and are available as part of Plus One’s 24/7 remote service offering.
Erik Nieves, CEO of Plus One Robotics illustrates, “Imagine a spectrum of autonomy. […] On the left, you have a huge force multiplier but no flexibility. All it can do is what it was programmed to do. On the right, […], no force multiplier but a lot of flexibility. Both are successful business models but what’s missing and where the real action happens is the missing middle of supervised autonomy. One person responsible for many robots.”
Michael Senske, President & CEO of Pearson Packaging Systems adds, “The partnership is an exciting opportunity to automate increasingly complex tasks with consistency and simplicity for reliable throughput. Since we are nowhere near replacing humans with the ability to think, reason and learn, supervised autonomy gives us the ability to handle tasks such as sorting random, overlapping or overhanging products or introducing new SKUs without programming in an efficient way.”
AI-Driven vision is particularly beneficial in warehouse, e-commerce fulfilment and distribution centers that handle a multitude of SKUs. Manufacturers offering popular party mixes or variety packs are also increasingly interested in improving their efficiencies with the help of AI and vision-powered automation.
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About Pearson Packaging Systems
With its portfolio of case erectors, robotic top-loaders, sealers and robotic palletizers, Pearson Packaging Systems specializes in secondary packaging automation solutions to overcome labor cost and supply, safety, quality and throughput challenges. The OEM and turnkey system integrator offers a single source supplier experience that enables its customers to enjoy uniform machine interfaces, standardized machine features, industry-leading delivery times and a single point of accountability.
To provide flexible and scalable solutions and minimize total cost of ownership, Pearson Packaging Systems is dedicated to the application of advanced technologies and a user-centric design. Since its inception more than 65 years ago, a diverse set of high-volume manufacturers and distributors in the food, beverage, personal care, chemical and online commerce industries has relied on Pearson’s products and services to meet their growth and profitability objectives. To date, Pearson has deployed over 21,000 machines, servicing the erect, pack, seal and palletize marketplace.