Taking the leap to automate your packaging processes might seem complicated, but if you make sure that the machine’s specifications match your product and your needs, you will have a higher return on investment.
Here are a few signs that you are ready to automate your processes:
1. The supply and demand in your target market
Understanding your target market and growth potential beforehand will help justify an investment in automated packaging machines. Will you add new products in the coming years? Do you expect much growth?
Sometimes even when the demand is expected to decrease, in certain cases, automatization can help you lower your overall operation costs.
2. Your team is overwhelmed by the number of orders you have.
The workforce is often the first thing to evaluate when you think about automating your production processes. If your orders are increasing and your production team is struggling to reach its goals, it might be time to automate. Packaging processes that take too long can cause delivery delays, eventually causing lost opportunities due to unhappy clients.
When teams aren’t able to deliver, the first reaction is often to think about adding more teams, but make sure to take a look at the impact your current processes and manual machines are having. A lot more work also means your machines will need preventative maintenance more often. This also means that rest time will have to be considered when making your daily, weekly, and monthly schedules.
An increase in demand might also be too much for your employees and can lead to more injuries and higher turnover. If you run into these problems, it is probably time to think about automating.
3. “Workforce cost” versus “Automatization cost”
Another reason to automate your packaging processes is to save money on your workforce. If you pay an employee to work with a manual machine, the workforce cost includes their hourly pay, insurance, benefits, employment insurance, etc. Often times, if you add up all the money saved on the workforce, an automated machine will be profitable in less than a year.
4. Number of containers per minute (Products Per Minute)
Determine what your current Product Per Minute (PPM) needs are and what you expect your needs to be in the next 12 to 24 months. Is your product loosely transported to the packaging machine or does it go directly from production to packaging? If it’s loosely transported, your processing machine will determine your PPM. Automating your equipment can speed up the processing process and allow you to save time.
5. Reduce losses
No matter how well trained your team is, there will always be more losses with manual labor than there is with automated machines. Automated packaging lines are much more precise than human labor. For example, when an employee manually wraps a pallet with plastic film, the film is often stretched unequally, which results in a waste of the film. However, a semi-automatic banding machine can pre-stretch the film and use a consistent quantity, which allows you to save up to 80 feet of plastic per pallet. The same phenomenon can be seen with product loss; with an automated packaging line, since machines are much more precise than humans, the operation costs are considerably reduced. For example, if an accurate volumetric depositor can save you only 5 gr of products every time you fill a 500 hundred grams container, you get an extra container available for sale for every 100 containers you fill. If you sell 5.000.000 containers per years at let say, 2 dollars each the potential saving is $100,000.00. ( 5.000.000 / 100 x $2.00 = $100,000.00 )
6. Repetitive and simple operations
Do your employees do a lot of repetitive work that machines would be able to do faster? If the answer is yes, find a machine that can do it. This will allow you to save on workforce costs and will allow your employees to work more efficiently and focus on other tasks.
7. Multiple products and change times
Container changes for companies that produce multiple different products throughout the week often causes a considerable loss of time. This pause in production is expensive, not only because it lowers production, but also because it costs man power. Versatile packaging lines allow you to not only easily switch between different container formats, but also eliminates the need for multiple packaging lines. Choosing a packaging line that allows you to package different container types with only one machine also saves money on pieces and optimizes your factory space.
The expert team at Control GMC can help you find what machines can best help you, for more information, visit www.controlgmc.com or call us at 1-800-664-5264.