Operations professionals put an extraordinary amount of time and thought into workflow. They want to be sure that products come off the line quickly and efficiently. Most important, their goal is to ensure that every item meets or exceeds quality standards, so that satisfied customers become repeat buyers. However, completing the job requires more than just a finished product. Items must be measured and packaged for distribution. Traditionally, this has been a manual process, requiring significant labor to weigh or count pieces into boxes for shipping. Fortunately, advanced solutions are now available to automate the packing process for manufacturers in a variety of industries.
How An Automatic Packaging Machine Works
At one time, automated packaging equipment caused more problems than it solved. Machines were bulky, requiring larger facilities, and they were complicated to set up and trouble-shoot. Moving between different products was quite difficult, as the equipment required manual re-calibration for each change.
Today’s automatic packaging machine has advanced capabilities that often eliminate the need for costly manual labor. Options include counting packaging equipment or measuring and loading product by weight, and the equipment is able to erect boxes prior to loading, and seal them with a case sealer once packing is complete. The packagers are easily integrated with other equipment, and they are controlled through a user-friendly touchscreen. They are compact, taking up less space on the floor than ever before, and they are often capable of moving between jobs without significant reprogramming.
Industry-Specific Applications for Automatic Packaging
Because most automatic packaging equipment can be customized to individual production lines, it can be used in a wide variety of industries. The most frequent adopters of this technology include companies that manufacture food products. The small size of most snack foods, candy bars, and other packaged consumables makes packaging for distribution more cumbersome. Automated equipment is rugged enough to operate continuously, yet gentle enough to count, weigh, and load relatively fragile food items without damaging them.
Other industries that often make use of automatic packaging include home and garden manufacturers and producers of cosmetics and healthcare products. These items are small and often irregular in size, making them difficult to manage in a manual packaging environment. Through automation, they are accurately and efficiently measured into boxes, resulting in long-term cost savings.
The Benefits of Automatic Packaging Solutions
Accuracy is critical whether you are packing by count or by weight. Sending boxes out short of product ruins relationships with customers, and over-filling comes with a hefty price tag for your business. Automatic packaging equipment is carefully calibrated to ensure that orders are filled correctly, preventing customer complaints and excessive costs associated with giving extra product away at no charge.
Many industries turn to automated packaging after considering the cost of the labor required to complete this task. It’s tedious and time-consuming work when done manually, and related payroll has a direct impact on business profits. Payroll isn’t the only cost associated with manual packaging processes. Repetitive motion injuries are the most common work-related health issue, and those who suffer from this condition tend to require more time out of work than other types of workplace injuries. Automated packaging reduces the risk of workers developing repetitive motion injuries.
Designing an effective workflow impacts the overall profitability of your business, but your process map shouldn’t end when the product comes off the line. Packing items securely and in the appropriate quantity for distribution is the critical final step needed for satisfied customers. Whether your product must be counted or weighed during packing, there is an automated packaging systems integration that will complete this task quickly and accurately.