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The phrase packaging automation can make a company accountant break out in a cold sweat. It’s often viewed as a big investment that will take months, if not years, to see payback. And how long will automated packing systems take to install?

Well, not all automation projects are the same. There are entry levels of packaging automation that will help you manage costs, increase throughput, and support accelerated growth. With minimal investment and required set-up, you can “plug and play” to reduce packing time in minutes.

These three automated packing systems will make a real difference to your ecommerce business. They are quick to install and require minimal investment.

cardboard box packaging automation

 Cardboard box automation

If you are packing in cardboard boxes, then the chances are you are laboriously spending your time assembling them! Cardboard box automation is an ideal option if you want to to save time doing this, as it quickly erects your box ready for packing. Our recent Peak Survey results showed us that 42% of respondents said their packaging times increased during seasonal demand, with 30% saying their pack time increased by a minute or more. Using automated packing systems will help increase the speed of your packaging operation so you’re able to dispatch goods efficiently year round.

Automated packing systems can be easy to install and use

 Automatic tape dispensers

Manually taping of boxes can take up to 60% of the overall packing time. This time can be dramatically reduced automating your sealing process. Automated tape systems will free up your operators to complete other tasks or dispatch more packs per hour.

There are dispensers available that dispense pre-set lengths of tape ready to use at the touch of a button—no more wrestling with hand tape guns and applying more tape than is required.

A fully automatic taping machine goes a step further and physically applies the tape for you. Used in conjunction with a cardboard box erector, this combination of systems reduces the number of operator touches to the box considerably. This will enhance your ecommerce packaging as it will reduce the amount of excess material use, cut waste and control pack appearance.

Automated packing systems include these void fill dispensers

Void fill automation

Are you are continually tearing material off a roll to fill voids or pouring loose fill into boxes? Then, maybe it’s time to look at a dispenser to help with your packaging solutions.

Protective packaging automation like paper void fill dispensers managed by foot pedals will free up your hands to complete the packing process. They can also be programmed to dispense the appropriate length of material for each of your pack options. This reduces the amount of overall material you use.

Airbag systems can inflate bags on demand or, in conjunction with a hopper, to ensure stock is on hand to use quickly. When fitted with sensors, hoppers automatically refill as the stock is depleting, providing a constant supply of airbags. Making these changes to your ecommerce packaging materials can make a big difference to your costs and the environment. As a result, your operators will literally have an endless supply!


Macfarlane Packaging can help revolutionise your ecommerce packaging and packing efficienct. To find out more about the benefits of packaging automation, contact us today. 

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