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 proposition, especially because it takes time to properly position cases. Having them perfectly square ensures that your boxes are more durable, helping to withstand the rigors of shipping.
Without ready cartons, your production line grinds to a halt. And, while installing a case erector will definitely increase your packaging and production speed, it can also help with other money saving efforts.
Automating this system can increase productivity up to 9 times having 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 the propensity for injuries from repetitive motion.
According to major shippers, 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 damages: you don't and your customers certainly don't. But, like it or not, the average estimate is that 1 in 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 is a higher chance for damage. That person will do a decent job at first, but after a while they will begin to produce inconsistent and substandard work. Machines have the ability to perform to the same levels for hours at a time without jeopardizing 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 goes without saying: 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.
Anytime that you can reduce the percentage of material used, but keep
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 yield only 110 boxes, equating to 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 be need to be replaced far less than a 220 yard roll, potentially 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 going up at an annual rate of 2%. Many companies estimate that up to 60% of their total packaging costs can be traced back to labor costs.
Despite the rise in labor costs, it’s possible to trim some costs in ways you may have never imagined. Ask yourself: will a machine cost more over its expected life than the labor you’d be replacing would cost? Can labor costs be saved elsewhere by freeing up expensive manpower for more valuable positions 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, refocusing on other more necessary tasks.
Did you know that musculoskeletal injuries are the leading cause of employees missing 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 costs and from $30,000 to $100,000 in indirect costs. And warehouse workers are 8x more likely to sustain an on-the-job back injury than other workers.
The use of automated equipment is an effective way to prevent worker injuries. People may be needed to operate and program the equipment, but the actual hands-on work is left to the machine, protecting the health and safety of staff.
It's been proven that converting to an automated packaging system can save you time and money. Automation is the key to productivity.