The Silicon Review
Factories and assembly plants are integral parts of our economy. All of the products that we buy from supermarkets or e-commerce websites (with the exception of vegetables and fruits) are made or packaged in a factory and shipped everywhere to be sold in stores. It would not be an exaggeration to say that we are almost entirely dependent on the efficiency of factories for nearly everything that we use on a daily basis. One of the leading companies that provides innovative solutions for packaging the finished products is BW Integrated Systems.
BW Integrated Systems has established itself as a market leader in the design and development of packaging equipment at the end of the production line. Additionally, the company also provides best-in-class robotic automation solutions and packaging systems integration services for entire packaging lines. With a services portfolio that spans a wide array of industries that includes beverages, paper, automotive, beer, wine & spirits, dairy, food, pharmaceuticals, etc. BW Integration Systems has cultivated a faithful base of customers in over 50 countries. It operates seven manufacturing facilities and employs over 800 highly skilled professionals.
The company has over 40 years and thousands of man-hours of experience and has emerged as one of the most trusted names in the business. It provides solutions for packaging systems for every segment of the packaged goods industry.
In Conversation with Scott Smith, Global VP of Strategic Marketing, BW Integrated Systems
Q. What is the company’s core technology?
We are a provider of systems integration and packaging equipment for the consumer packaged goods industry. We understand how to build and integrate fixed automation equipment, and design large scale packaging lines. This enhances our ability to design and build robust robotic solutions, creative end of arm tooling and execute a full solution, not just sell a robot.
Q. How was your first project implementation?
Our first project implementation was over 500 installations ago, but the short answer is that it was certainly memorable, and our first robotic project went well. But, when you move into a new market or introduce new technology, your first few projects are often ones that no one else wants. It could be that the project carries extra risk, or, in our case, the project could be in a geographic location that is difficult to reach. Our first robotic project was on a small island in the Bering Sea called Akutan. We provided a robotic palletizer for a large frozen fish company. Fortunately, the project went well, and we’ve done others with that client.
Q. How has your company contributed to the robotics industry?
One of the biggest contributions that BW Integrated Systems has made toward the progress of robotics in the consumer packaged goods industry is the amount of investment that we have made in our robotics team. That investment helps ensure that our projects execute well and that our clients are well trained and comfortable with the technology, so that next time a project comes around, robotics is the preferred solution.
Q. How do you differentiate from your peers?
There are really three points of differentiation for us. There is no doubt that “conceptual creativity” is the biggest one. Secondly, we very much take a “systems approach” to our projects. We are not just interested in selling a robot. We have a very experienced team that looks at the entire flow of an operation, not just the robot cell. How does the robotic system interface mechanically and electrically with the rest of the line? Lastly, “application experience” is the major factor that probably differentiates us the most. We have done over 500 robotic installations in 13 countries, and with that amount of volume, comes vast experience.
Q. Do you have any products ready to be launched?
We developed a new rotary robotic palletizer that is being used to palletize up to 7 different SKUs on one palletizer in a very small space. We have placed 8 of these over a couple of market segments, and it seems to be gaining steam as flexibility becomes more important to our clients.
Q. Where do you see your company a few years from now?
There is no doubt that robotics is here to stay in the packaging goods industry, and we expect to grow with it, and hopefully outpace the industry. We have been actively looking for opportunities to augment the motion control of our fixed automation machinery in order to improve accuracy, repeatability, and flexibility, and I expect that will continue in coming years.
Q. What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs in the robotics industry?
Get practical experience as soon as you can, whether it is volunteering or internship. I would tell you that there are many positions available in robotics, and because it is a relatively new field, there are great opportunities for youngsters as career designers and engineers.
Meet the driving force behind BW Integrated Systems, Pete Carlson, President, of BW Integrated Systems
Creating a better future for BW Integrated Systems team members is Pete Carlson’s primary goal. As President of BW Integrated Systems, Pete leads the development and implementation of the company’s Vision that balances organizational needs with team member development. “I am passionate about building and growing effective teams and providing growth for our team members.” Pete’s diverse background prepared him to effectively lead the BW Integrated Systems Global organization. With an extensive background in procurement, supply chain, sales, customer service, and aftermarket, Pete has held numerous leadership roles both inside as well as outside of the Barry-Wehmiller organization. His diverse background includes stints in several industries including telecom, food service, and HVAC.
Pete attributes much of the company’s success to one of the best executive leadership teams in the packaging industry. He says, “I am blessed to be supported by an accomplished leadership team with rich experience and who fully embrace our people-centric culture.”