Converting to an automated packaging system can save you time and money.
British Automation & Robot Association
“Automating [aspects of the] manufacturing process [such as packaging] not only drives costs down, it improves quality, reduces waste and optimizes energy use. […The] application of automation is an essential ingredient in the sustainability of manufacturing businesses; automation will consequently increase a manufacturer’s competitive edge.”
Case erecting is a very time consuming and highly intensive manual process, especially because it takes time to properly position cases. Creating perfect squares ensures that your boxes are more durable, helping to withstand the rigors of shipping.
If your cartons aren't ready on time, your production line grinds to a halt. Installing a case erector will definitely increase your packaging and production speed, and it can also help with other money saving efforts.
Automating this system can increase productivity up to 9 times over someone doing it by hand.
There are two ways to seal your boxes: by hand or by machine. Hand sealing is slow, messy, and may require multiple strips which could possibly still not effectively hold because the pressure by which they were applied was not right. And with more workers on the floor comes additional labor costs and a higher likelihood of injuries from repetitive motion.
According to major shipping companies, improper tape application is the leading cause of closure failure on a shipped box. Inconsistently sealed boxes create weak seals, leading to potential theft, damage, or product contamination.
No matter what type of void fill you use, be it styrofoam, paper, air, or a foam-in-place system, it's critical to remember these main points:
Consider the following when you start the process of determining if automating is right:
Nobody likes damage. Not you, not your customers, not anyone. But, like it or not, estimates say that, on average, 1 of every 10 packages is damaged in transit.
Let automation fix your damage woes, once and for all.
When a person is responsible for erecting, packing, sealing, and wrapping cases, there's a much higher chance for damage. That person will do a decent job at first, but after a while they'll begin to produce inconsistent and substandard work. On the other hand, machines can and will perform at consistent levels for hours at a time without jeopardizing high quality.
Using automation also removes the human error aspect of packaging that typically leads to damage. Prevention starts with the right evaluation of your process, followed by the proper automation to reduce damage.
It should go without saying, but the key to successful warehouse operations is smooth, efficient product flow.
Machines can work long hours, as well as at night and on weekends, providing an overall increase in productivity. A cost comparison is the best analysis to determine if increased productivity can offset the incurred staff-related costs.
Any time you can reduce the total amount of material used, but maintain
the same production levels or even increase your output quantity,
you’re automatically saving money.
Consider this simple example: an automated sealer uses a single 1,500-yard roll of tape to yield an output of 3,176 boxes. By comparison, a person would utilize a 220-yard roll and produce only 110 boxes, which means they use 6,352 yards of tape to achieve the same result as the machine. A 1,500-yard roll of tape will cost less per inch and will need to be swapped out far less often than a 220-yard roll, saving hundreds of dollars per year.
Additionally, you're ensuring consistency — consistency in the number of wraps, the number of straps, the amount of tape, and the amount of internal protection.
The cost of labor is steadily climbing at an annual rate of 2%. Many companies estimate that up to 60% of their total packaging costs can be traced back to labor.
Despite the rise in labor expenses, it’s possible to trim some spending in ways you may have never imagined. Ask yourself — will a machine cost more during its anticipated lifespan than the labor you’d be replacing? Can labor costs be reduced elsewhere when you free up manpower to perform more valuable jobs in your facility? And does it remove workers from safety risks that could cause accidents or injuries?
You can actually avoid some of these tedious steps when you automate your packaging process. When you eliminate unnecessary steps, you eliminate labor inefficiencies and allow your team the ability to focus on other, more necessary tasks.
Did you know that musculoskeletal injuries are the leading reason why employees miss work? And that non-fatal workplace injuries related to musculoskeletal disorders cost businesses more than $21 billion every year, accounting for over 40% of total cost burdens to business?
The average back injury can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 in direct expenses and between $30,000 to $100,000 in indirect costs. And warehouse workers are eight times more likely to sustain an on-the-job back injury than other employees.
The use of automated equipment is an effective way to prevent worker injuries. People may need to operate and program the equipment, but the actual hands-on work is left to the machine, protecting the health and safety of your staff.
It's been proven that converting to an automated packaging system can save you time and money. Automation is the key to productivity.