A Packaging Cross-Country Race…
Atomic packs long and cubic-shaped goods on the same automated packaging line.
A packaging cross-country race…
Until 2010, Atomic packed primarily manually. As the variety of products with their different features and requirements steadily grew, it was time to think about more flexible packaging solutions. The company has been using On Demand Packaging® since 2013. Two EM7-25 machines have significantly helped to reduce packaging material and increase product protection for the very heavy long items (skis). This was the start of a long-standing and mutually beneficial partnership between Packsize and Atomic.
The future of packaging
Following changes to distribution and delivery structures along with the increase in overall volume across almost all product lines, Atomic’s shipping volume has grown from 500,000 to nearly 900,000 packages in 2019. Which means that the expected volume significantly exceeded the capacity of the existing solution going forward. In view of the existing trust between Atomic and Packsize, the two companies agreed on a joint project to optimise the packaging processes. One thing quickly became clear – the expected increase in order volume plus the combination of skis (long products) and accessory items (cube-shaped packages) would require an automated, tailor-made solution for Atomic: a perfect task for PackLeap. „This project was born out of our long-standing partnership with Packsize. When we analysed our current processes and challenges, the PackLeap team came in. We are delighted to have both the expertise for On Demand Packaging solutions and a specialist for special machine construction and automation on board with Becker“, says Kristel Verreth, Atomic project manager.
The goal was to double Atomic’s productivity. While the previous solution used 10 FTEs to pack 125 packages per hour, the new solution uses 8 FTEs to pack 220 packages per hour. The new packaging solution improves package stability and simultaneously reduces the amount of packaging material used. It also improves ergonomics and process flow for the employees, significantly – all this for both ski and accessory items on the same line.
Atomic was planning to merge two existing warehouses into one main one in Altenmarkt, and expand with a new building. An automated packaging system – completely tailored to Atomic’s requirements – has been integrated into this enviroment. This brand new solution consists of a BZ2 cardboard cutting machine from Becker as well as two parallel operating packaging lines, each consisting of a product preparation and positioning station, a semi-automatic cardboard box erector and a sealing machine with a label applicator. Atomic was additionally equipped with two stand-alone Packsize M1 machines to accommodate order volumes at peak times.
“The whole team did an outstanding job – both tests passed with 97% availability. The next ski season can now come!”
Gabriele Meilinger, Atomic D&T/Warehouse Manager