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How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Packaging Industry

Artificial Intelligence is All Around Us

Artificial Intelligence

When we talk about AI, it conjures images of either studious people with pocket protectors in Boston basements or Will Smith fighting off an army of advancing robots. While those are fun flights of fantasy, they’re not entirely accurate representations of the current state of artificial intelligence and what artificial intelligence will become in the future. The loose term “artificial intelligence” contains everything from tracking RFID codes to prevent spoiled food from being put on store shelves, to machine learning amongst the Internet of Things that can optimize production lines and everything in between.

Though there are many forms of artificial intelligence being deployed in the packaging industry, it is all in the aim of using these technological advances to increase efficiency and limit waste.

Finding the Perfect Fit

The benefits of artificial intelligence in the packaging industry start, quite literally, at the beginning. It is estimated that over 80% of all product-related environmental impact is decided during the design phase. Product designers can use artificial intelligence to aid in eco-design and even project ways to reduce energy consumption of a product and its packaging throughout the entire life cycle of the good.

Now, remember the last time you ordered something from Amazon and how it came in a box that seemed either way too big or way too small? You might have thought that was the careless choice of whoever packed your purchase but, actually, the size of your Amazon box is determined by artificial intelligence to ensure it arrives to you safely and quickly. This includes making sure there is enough protection that the product is not harmed in shipping (which can lead to costly returns running up even more energy use) and that those Amazon trucks flying around the neighborhood are packed as efficiently as possible (again, to save on energy costs).

Right on Time

Earlier, we briefly mentioned RFID codes. Let’s dig a little deeper into the ways that machines communicate with each other and even “double check” the work of humans in warehouses and stores. RFID codes, QR codes and good ol’ traditional barcodes are ways for machines to quickly scan any and all possible information about a particular package. If it can be written down, it can be included with the data summoned instantaneously by an RFID code. The benefits are innumerous, but a couple examples of this system in action is ensuring foods with an expiration date are delivered well before they go bad or keeping track of small, individual packages in giant warehouses, so they never get lost in the shuffle.

Artificial Intelligence

Speaking of timing, it’s only a matter of time before even the most advanced pieces of technology suffer malfunctions due to use and age. This is another opportunity for artificial intelligence to shine. Instead of requiring a dedicated human inspector to be constantly examining the inner workings, machine learning enables any item part of the Internet of Things to self-diagnose and prescribe preventative maintenance, combating extended downtimes on production lines.

Artificial Intelligence to Assist, Not Replace Humans

The scariest non-Will Smith related thought that crosses our minds in regards to artificial intelligence is that machines will lead to many workers, especially blue-collar workers, losing their jobs. However, that is not the case. As it stands now, and will continue to in the future, artificial intelligence can be used to optimize production lines, but more often than not it cannot even function for a second without a human operator. What artificial intelligence can do is lighten the load for workers—robots equipped with artificial intelligence can work up to 16 hours a day, saving extended effort from workers.


GCB Solutions is here to guide you through the world of technological advancements across the packaging industry. Using a combination of technical know-how and artificial intelligence assisted analysis, GCB Solutions can improve efficiency at every step of the process and create your packaging for less money in less time.

Call us at (904) 263-2804 or schedule a free consultation, today!


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