You can’t do everything by hand, and if you try, it will only cost you more in the long run. That’s why automation is something that many people are turning to. There are several benefits of automating your packaging process – including cost savings, increased efficiency, and reduced downtime. However, there are a few key steps that should be considered before taking the plunge into this often complicated world of automation. Here are some things you ought to know about automating your packaging process.
1. Cost Savings
One key factor in determining whether or not to automate is the rate at which your orders come in. If you have a relatively consistent flow of orders coming in, you can spend the extra dollars on case sealing equipment for example, in order to automate your packaging process. However, if you are in a growth stage company that is still trying to refine its product and customer base, it may be better to hold off on automating until you know more about the market. Automation also offers long-term cost savings, it will take much less time for you to maintain your equipment, so there will be fewer unexpected maintenance fees. Automation typically costs less than the labor and equipment required to do things by hand. Many people find that they can recoup their initial investment in as few as three months. Since this type of machinery will likely last for many years with little maintenance required, it is a smart choice from any angle.
2. Increased Efficiency
There are many benefits to automating your packaging process, one of the main benefits being increased efficiency. An automated system will only take a few minutes each day to produce and package all orders that come in. This means less labor costs for you and more time to focus on other aspects of running your business. Besides saving money, automation also allows you to keep up with rapid growth in demand without hiring or training new employees. Not only will your packaging process be faster, but it will also typically be more accurate. Machines can do their job with little-to-no mistakes while people are far more likely to make errors. This is particularly important in the world of pharmaceuticals, where even one tiny particle can negate an entire pill’s worth of ingredients.
3. Reduced Downtime
One of the main ways automating your packaging process will reduce loss is by reducing downtime. When machinery breaks down in a packaging plant, it affects all aspects of production. This can shut the whole line down until the problem has been fixed, which usually entails hours (or sometimes days) of downtime. Automated machines are more durable and won’t break as often, meaning your line will be up and running much more quickly when you need it. Fewer breakdowns also equate to fewer production delays.
4. Flexible Capabilities
If you’ve been thinking about modifying your packaging process or changing up the materials you use, automation allows you to do so with little disruption. This is important for organic growth and staying on top of new trends in your industry. When outsourcing manufacturing it’s critical that your supplier is able to handle even the smallest modifications to your packaging process. If not, that can lead down a road of frustration and extra expense as you try to find another supplier who will accommodate your needs.
5. Loss Prevention
Although automation might not be the answer for every company, it is an important step for any company looking to reduce loss. Loss prevention is a term that encompasses several different aspects of business, but it can be boiled down to one simple goal, increasing efficiency so that more products make it out the door. All of the factors mentioned above can add up to a reduced loss rate, meaning more product is making it out the door and onto store shelves for your customers. You’ll also notice an increased response time when problems occur with automated machinery, which will reduce downtime and losses even further.
6. Quality Assurance
Another major advantage of automating your packaging is the ability to provide customers with safer and higher-quality products. This is especially important in the pharmaceuticals industry, where strict guidelines and regulations govern your processes. Automation can help you maintain these high standards because everything happens faster, which means there is less chance for human error to become a factor.
Additionally, automated systems will typically perform more physical checks on products than humans would which means you can be confident that your packaging process is safeguarding against any problems before they become larger issues. Quality assurance is just as important when it comes to automation. To ensure machines are running at peak performance, you need tried and true parts at every turn. This means making sure all of the replacement parts you use are made specifically for your machinery (rather than getting by with cheaper off-brand or generic options).
7. Production Ability
Increased efficiency and reduced downtime mean you can increase production. In fact, many manufacturers find that they are able to produce at least 25% more products after automating their packaging processes, turning a small initial investment into a huge return over time. Automation also allows you to produce products in smaller batches, so no matter your output level, it will be consistent.
8. Upgrade Existing Machinery
If your equipment isn’t ready to go fully automated yet, you can always upgrade. This will bring it to the point where you can use certain automation features, which will offer cost savings and increased efficiency over time (similar to getting new machinery altogether). Upgraded machinery will still require an operator, but it will be able to communicate with the rest of your automated system as well as lower overall costs.
Packaging is a critical part of any manufacturing process. But with all the different types and options out there, it can be difficult to know where to start when automating your packaging process. This article will help you make an informed decision about which type of automation would best suit your needs, whether that’s machinery upgrades or purchasing new equipment altogether. There are many factors involved in choosing a machine for packing products, but don’t let them overwhelm you! Automation is within your reach, you just have to know where to look.