Faced with the rapid evolution of the economy and the pressing need to find eco-sustainable solutions, the objective of reducing plastic materials in the packaging chain is a hot topic.

Robopac, which was founded with the mission of reducing packaging consumption by guaranteeing the maximum stability of pallets (through which 90% of the products in circulation are transported) and the complete safety of the materials transported, has joined a research project based on the digital twin.

This project is in line with the European Union's Plastics Strategy and, in particular, is part of the European Green Deal, which aims to eliminate or significantly reduce the use of plastics for unnecessary packaging.

The innovative methodology of the digital twin consists in simulating the behaviour of a wrapped pallet when subjected to a unidirectional acceleration field, made possible by the technology available to Robopac's research laboratory - the only one of its kind in the world: the TechLab.

The application of this methodology to real cases (be it road, rail or air transport) has made it possible to accurately replicate by means of simulations the behaviour of wrapped pallets and to design new wrapping strategies with a significant reduction in the amount of plastic film used, which will find application in future realisations of machines and solutions proposed by the entire Aetna Group, of which Robopac is a part.

This project was carried out in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Engineering and CIRI-MAM, the Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Research operating in the fields of Advanced Mechanics and Materials, both at the University of Bologna. The results are currently being published in various scientific journals and the official presentation is scheduled to take place at the 52nd Congress of AIAS, the Italian Scientific Society for Mechanical Design and Machine Construction, from 6 to 9 September 2023 in Genoa (Italy).
M. Leopaldi1, D. Cocchi2, T. M. Brugo1,2, G. Pisaneschi1, D. Nagni1, G. Canini3, A. Renzini3, S. Fabbri3, A. Zucchelli1,2
1 University of Bologna - School of Engineering - Department of Industrial Engineering
2 Interdepartmental Centre for Industrial Research in Advanced Mechanics and Materials – CIRI MAM
3 Robopac – Aetna Group spa
The study was conducted with the support and financial contribution of the project Change2Twin – “Create and Harvest Offerings to support Manufacturing SMEs to become Digital Twin Champions” - H2020 EU Project 951956.
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