Boxing with giants: Italy's packing robots are not just cardboard cutouts

Jul 16, 2019 292

Amazon’s new recruit comes from a medieval walled town in central Italy and can box and seal at least 600 items of different shapes and sizes every hour. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. That recruit is the CartonWrap, brainchild of CMC, a small firm that is just one of 630 Italian companies making automated packaging machines - one of Italy’s fastest growing industries, raking in nearly 8 billion euros in 2018, or about a quarter of the world market.

Machinery is Italy’s top export, worth almost 50 billion euros ($57 billion) last year and a rare bright spot for a stagnant economy plagued by low productivity and high unemployment. And leading the pack is - automated packaging - growing nine times faster than the economy as a whole, according to the trade association UCIMA.

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