For many companies, meeting increased customer demand amidst the Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging. Labor, speed, and productivity issues are forcing facilities to consider automation as a way to streamline their packaging processes. However, determining when it’s time to automate can also prove to be challenging.
Here are a few indications you may be ready to automate your packaging line:
Do you anticipate growth in the markets you serve? Will you be adding new products in the coming year? If you are already struggling to meet demand and are projecting more growth, automation is a smart investment. A pre-configured packaging system designed for your unique environment can maximize your entire workflow and potentially increase output by 20-30%.
Shipping Multiple Products
If you are shipping several different types of orders in varying shapes and sizes, this can take up large amounts of time on the warehouse floor. Automation drastically cuts down labor spent on packaging products and timely change overs. By designing right-sized boxes in any shape or size, an integrated packaging system reduces the number of packing stations, resulting in increased line efficiency and overall productivity.
The labor force is often the first area to show signs of strain in a fast-paced warehouse environment. If your packaging team is not able to keep up, you are experiencing increases in work-related injuries, a high labor turn-over rate, or find your labor force doubling in size during peak seasons, it’s time to review options in automation. Packaging automation can handle everyday demands and seasonal surges, while significantly reducing labor costs. Within months of implementing On Demand Packaging® systems, Packsize customers reported a significant savings in labor costs, and a 20-30% reduction in employee training. A leading retailer and Packsize customer reduced its workforce by 11 full-time employees during the holiday season after streamlining their packaging operations through automation.
Labor costs consume more than 50% of a warehouse’s total operating budget.
International Logistics and Manufacturing
Too Much Waste
When manual labor is used in packaging lines, it’s hard to avoid excessive amounts of material waste. If your overall operation costs are being directly impacted by what you are paying to box, wrap, ship, and store, packaging automation can help. Right-sizing eliminates inefficient packaging methods by requiring less corrugated fiberboard, removing or reducing the need for void filler, and improving less-than-full-case average cube utilization.
If you’re getting packages out the door as quickly as possible, you may be experiencing increased customer complaints. Nothing puts a damper on your customers’ experience quite like receiving a damaged product. On Demand Packaging® solutions can create a right-sized box for every product shipped, in just three seconds, that protect your products from damage in transit.
On average, a shipped box is 40-60% empty space.
An automated packaging specialist can assist you in taking a comprehensive look at the entire process flow of your packaging operation, from picking to shipping, so you can scale to the level of automation you require. You may be surprised at the levels of efficiency and cost savings you can achieve by implementing automation into your packaging environment.
Packaging Line Before Automation
- High labor demand
- High level of box management
- Poor use of warehouse space
- Manual packaging
- Packaging not right-sized
- Low throughput
- Lack of integration and data visibility
- All these inefficiencies equate to higher costs and lower sustainability
Packaging Line After Automation
- Low labor demand
- No box management
- Efficient use of warehouse space
- Little to no manual packaging
- Packaging is right-sized
- High throughput
- Full integration and high data visibility
- Improved sustainability
- Higher profitability with reduced inefficiencies
Across all industries, companies are recognizing that it is now necessary to adopt new packaging optimization tools, materials, and handling technologies that will boost efficiency, productivity, and sustainability. Packsize On Demand Packaging® machines are equipped for use across a wide variety of industries and can be integrated into your existing production line or stand alone, depending on your unique packaging requirements. Once you make the switch to automated packaging, you will notice the difference instantaneously.