Getting Started with Packaging Automation
The majority of businesses start with a packaging operation that relies primarily on manual processes. But as they grow, start producing more products, and start diversifying the products that they create, depending on manual packaging can seriously hinder the amount of growth they can achieve. Your packaging will then begin to create a bottleneck in the production process, pushing employees, working hours, and budgets to their max.
The solution is to start implementing packaging automation. The question is, how should you go about doing this? What’s the best path forward for automating your operation? In this article, we’re covering the best practices for getting started with packaging automation.
First look at your manual packaging operation
If you start to notice a bottleneck in your packaging process, the first step is to look at how everything works currently. Find out where the specific hold ups are and why they are occurring. Typically, the amount of space in your facility is relatively fixed, so adding more employees and stations in order to increase throughput is not always a plausible option. Instead, it’s going to come down to making your current workers more efficient.
Give your workers tools to make them more productive
Before considering replacing your entire operation with packaging machines, we recommend starting with streamlining highly repetitive tasks. For example, implement handheld tape guns, label and tape dispensers, twist tie machines, and similar types of semi-automatic packaging equipment. These machines still require manual input, but they will greatly speed up the number of bags and boxes that each of your workers can produce or process in a given amount of time.
Slowly move up to higher levels of packaging automation
After starting with handheld tools and equipment to make your current operation more efficient, the next step to further streamline your operation is to move towards more fully automatic types of packaging machines. For example, at Tach-It we manufacture automated labeling systems for bottles and other round containers, bags, and boxes, along with box sealing machines, automated twist tie machines, and more.
The goal with more fully automated types of packaging machines is to remove as much labor as possible from your operation, in order to reduce costs, make it more efficient, and increase throughput.
Create specific goals for each solution you add
As you ramp up your packaging automation and implement handheld, semi-automatic, and fully automatic solutions, it’s important to have targets and plans for each one. Think about what you want to get out of each tool, how it will fit into your current operation, and how you will have to change your layout or process to accommodate them. If you don’t have specific goals and plans for each of your packaging machines or tools, and you aren’t tracking productivity, then you won’t know how effective they are at improving your operation.
Rely on the experts for help
Implementing packaging automation can seem like a daunting task and you might not know where to start. That’s why our team at Tach-It works closely with our customers to determine exactly the type of packaging machines and automation is right for you. We’ll look at your operation, see where the bottlenecks are, analyze where the largest productivity gains can be had, and recommend the best solutions.
If you have any questions about packaging automation, then please reach out to our team today!