Case Study: Costs Go Down, Throughput Goes Up by Using a Bagging System

*Updated 1-4-18

Bagging System increases productivity

One customer provides kitting and assembly services and parts to the beverage industry; the other supplies custom USB drives to the ad specialties market. Little did they know what the right bagging system would do for them.

Two suppliers – both from wildly different industries – both found themselves hand-loading and hand-sealing bags with their product for end users.

At each station of the first supplier, an operator reached for a flat bag, opened it, put the product in, and sealed it with a bar sealer. The operator also had to hand-peel a label and apply it to the bag. In order to increase productivity, they’d have to hire more operators; but with more operators came additional labor costs, meaning less profits at the end of the day. The supplier was in an endless cycle of racing to make positive revenue, but always being one step behind. 

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The Fix

In order to find a way to make higher production numbers with less workers, the supplier came to install an automatic bagging system. Using the Sharp MAX™ 12-inch Bagger with integrated thermal imprinter and E-Z Feed Conveyor™ provided a great improvement to their operation: increasing throughput while decreasing labor rates.

The E-Z Feed Conveyor™ is a semiautomatic feeding unit for kit packaging. It’s designed for increased accuracy utilizing an optical counter (a standard component) to verify parts quantities.

In addition, the zipper bag has been replaced by a recloseable bag, one closed by tape. This allows retail customers to feel and touch the product; then the bag can be reclosed. The polypropylene material provides high clarity that allows thermal imprinting to “pop.” The film’s stiffness enables it to hang well on a retail shelf. Even with all these improvements, this company realized a decrease in the total cost of consumables. 

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The second supplier found that the Sharp MAX 20-inch Bagger with stand-behind printer was the solution. The process uses a pre-opened bag on a roll, and the finished package includes a recloseable seal using tape.

Thermal printing allows pre-printing of all information directly onto the bag, including variable data, thus eliminating the need for a card-stock insert.

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The first customer saw a 400% increase in productivity. Packaging costs have decreased, and they’ve realized significant savings now that labels are no longer required. Not only have they improved their own operation—they’ve been able to package items for other manufacturers, adding “contract packager” to their capabilities. They also plan to add a bowl feeder to further increase capabilities and capacity.

The second customer also achieved a 400% increase in productivity; the time required to complete 50 packages went from 10 minutes to 2.5 minutes. In addition, material cost decreased by 66%.

Total Packaging Cost Summary:


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*Editors note. This post was originally published on June 9, 2016 and has been updated with the most up to date content.

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