The words ‘packaging automation’ can make a company accountant break out in a cold sweat. Surely, it’s a massive investment that will take months, if not years, to see a payback? And how long will it 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 set-up required, you can “plug and play” to reduce packing time in minutes.
Here are 4 packaging automation systems that are quick to install. They require minimal investment and can make a real difference to your business.
Automatic tape dispensers
The assembly and manual taping of boxes can take up to 60% of the overall packing time. Automated tape systems can dramatically reduced this time, freeing up your operators to complete other tasks, or manage more packs per hour.
There are dispensers available that, at the touch of a button, dispense pre-set lengths of tape ready to use. So you’ll never apply more tape than required. And you’ll never have to wrestle with a hand tape gun again!
An automatic taping machine goes a step further and physically applies the tape for you. Used in conjunction with a box erector this combination of systems reduces the number of operator touches to the box considerably.
Void fill automation
Are you continually tearing material off a roll to fill voids, or pouring loose fill into boxes? Then it’s time to look at a dispenser solution.
Paper void fill dispensers, managed by foot pedals, fill packs automatically. They also free up your hands to complete the packing process. They can be programmed to dispense the appropriate length of material for each of your pack options, reducing the amount of overall material you use.
Airbag systems inflate bags on demand. They can also used 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 depleted, ensuring a constant supply of airbags is available. Your operators literally have an endless supply!
Stretch wrap automation
If you are manually wrapping between 10-15 pallets per day (or more), it’s time to consider a pallet wrapper. Not only are they more economical with material application, they also free up your operators to complete other tasks. While the initial outlay may seem chunky, they can typically reduce the cost to wrap each pallet by a third, as much as two thirds if you use a core-break machine. So you can expect a return on investment within months.
Semi or fully automated strapping systems
Hand applying strapping can take a while. There is lots of manoeuvring to line up the strapping, feed it into the tensioner tool and apply the seal. There are opportunities to speed up this process.
A friction welder still involves manually applying the strapping, but this handheld battery-operated tool quickly tensions, cuts and seals at the touch of a button.
A semi-automatic system applies the strapping for you but only after you feed the strapping around the parcel. Whilst a fully automatic system takes care of everything – just feed the item into the machine and it completes the application process for you.
If you are interested in finding out more about the benefits of packaging automation, why not contact us today?