The AICC AI Xperience Conference, held from May 14-16 in Chicago, Illinois, concluded with resounding success. The event brought together industry leaders, experts, and enthusiasts to explore the transformative potential of artificial intelligence in the packaging industry. Over 120 AICC members came together to walk into the future. Many were first-time attendees and part of the technical side of box plants. Overall, the audience was curious and engaged about the possibilities that AI can bring.

The conference kicked off during a joint reception with the Chicago TAPPI Trade Fair. The subsequent days were packed with informative sessions, dynamic panel discussions, and key presentations from industry experts.
The second day began with panel discussion on the importance of AI to AICC members, featuring insights from prominent figures such as Jeff Putt of DeLine Box & Display, Greg Tucker of Bay Cities, Jim Hawton of Bay Cities, Gokul Gopakumar of SUN Automation Group, and David Wiens of BPS AI Software, moderated by AICC President Mike D’Angelo. The session answered questions about why AI is of interest to box makers and suppliers; the barriers to entry; and data generation and ownership.

The sessions throughout the day covered a wide range of topics, including AI’s role in industry innovation and technology, the importance of data management and system integration, and the application of AI in reducing unplanned downtime during sessions led by Gokul Gopakumar, SUN Automation Group; Jan Geuens, OMP; and Erin Hollandsworth, Motionalysis, Inc. Attendees also learned about the concept of digital twins and how they can be used to optimize operations from Mohamed Azzouz of Royal Containers Ltd.

The final day delved into AI’s role in, and need for, cybersecurity, emphasizing the balance between human and machine intelligence. Jim Hawton, Bay Cities, discussed cybersecurity and how to keep your data safe. Since AI demands huge amounts of data to be shared, this was a necessary component of the Xperience.

Discussions covered the critical need for robust data management and integration to ensure successful AI implementation. Sean Arney, Motionalysis, Inc.; Peter Dobell, OMP; Colin Riggs, Rigorous Technology; Aleks Zlatic, eProductivity Software; and Danna Nelson, Amtech Software with Tucker and D’Angelo moderating, came together for a panel discussion that helped attendees understand how to care for data.

Sessions with David Wiens, BPS AI Software, also highlighted the potential of Specialized Language Models (SLMs) in manufacturing and stressed the importance of continuous education and strong cybersecurity measures. Wiens helped attendees create custom AI personas and agents during the conference.

The key takeaways from the conference underscored the significant growth and investment in AI across various industries. It was evident that AI can revolutionize design processes, predictive maintenance, and quality inspection in manufacturing. However, the importance of data security and protection was a recurring theme, highlighting the need for continuous education and adaptability to keep pace with technological advancements.

The success of the AI Xperience marks a significant step towards harnessing the power of AI to drive industry growth and efficiency. AICC remains committed to supporting its members through education, innovation, and collaboration, ensuring they stay at the forefront of technological advancements.

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