End-of-Line Packaging Automation
Many businesses around the globe are fortunate to reach a point when there comes too much work for manual labor alone to be able to handle. At this stage of the business lifecycle, you have to make some important decisions about how to best manage the workload. You’ve likely considered adding more staff to package your goods, but labor costs are constantly on the rise and you’d rather focus your trusted team on tasks that require more critical thought than sealing boxes or applying labels. Thankfully, this is where packaging automation shines. Adding automated packaging machines to your line can improve your output, reduce worker injury, provide high quality results, and save you money. As you begin to add packaging equipment to your line, keep in mind that end-of-line packaging automation is one of the best places to start.
What is End-of-Line Packaging Automation?
End-of-line packaging automation is the equipment that, as you may have guessed, operates at the final steps of your packaging line. Examples include a case sealer that tightly tapes your cartons shut without assistance from a human operator or an automatic label printer that places your logos or barcodes directly onto your corrugated boxes. End-of-line packaging equipment is an excellent introduction into the world of packaging automation, as it is capable of performing the tasks that need to be done perfectly, but don’t require the critical eye of one of your team members. These machines work efficiently and produce high-quality results that you’ll be amazed you ever managed to go without.
Different Types of End-of-Line Packaging Equipment
In the examples above, we specifically discussed case sealers and label applicators as two prominent types of end-of-line packaging automation. These machines perform two very important tasks that just about every package will need before it heads out the door. After your product has been inserted into its corrugated box and your team has placed the ideal amount of void fill around that item, a case sealer can take over to tape up the carton. You can also utilize an automatic label printer to directly place your labels onto the box, rather than wasting time sticking the adhesive material on by hand. Each of these types of end-of-line packaging automation offers incredible benefits with little effort from your team and you won’t regret adding them to your packaging process.
The Benefits of End-of-Line Packaging Automation
The advantages to implementing end-of-line packaging automation machinery are seemingly endless. Carton sealers and label applicators help you expedite your production line, eliminate bottlenecks, reduce worker fatigue and injury, produce superb quality, and save you money over the long term. These benefits are tangible, common sense choices for your business.
Just think about it – your team members get tired and slow down as a shift progresses. They may strain their back or neck due to the repetitive motion required to tape a box shut or place a label, and are likely to use more tape or adhesives than strictly necessary in order to ensure a proper closure. This is a simple fact of being human, but it won’t happen with a machine. End-of-line packaging automation equipment doesn’t grow tired and won’t become injured after repeating the same motions over and over again during an eight-hour shift.
On top of all this, automated packaging machinery offers myriad other benefits. When you install automatic equipment at the end of your line, you’ll quickly see a reduction in material use. For example, an automatic case sealer uses a much longer roll of tape than is available for hand taping. These longer rolls tend to cost less per inch and the machine will apply them with precision, meaning you won’t waste a few inches with every box you send out the door. Additionally, machine tape tends to cost about 30% less on average than comparable hand tape.
End-of-line packaging automation increases your overall output by working faster than a single employee can when taping boxes or applying labels. In fact, in just five minutes, a fully automatic carton sealer can accomplish what would take one person a full 30 minutes to complete. They also provide high-quality seals that are much less likely to break or burst during transit, which comes in handy when considering the fact that carton damage rates during shipment hover at around 10% overall.
End-of-Line Packaging Automation Leads to Savings
Each and every benefit that comes along with including end-of-line packaging automation in your workflow adds up to one incredibly important advantage – cost savings. Higher quality work means less product damage, happier customers, and less reships and replacements. Fewer incidences of worker injury and fatigue means you’ll have happier and healthier employees contributing to the work environment, as well as a reduced risk of paying out of pocket for worker’s compensation. A larger output means that you get more products out the door and on their way to satisfied customers who continue patronizing your business. As a whole, end-of-line packaging automation is a straightforward and effective way to enhance your operation and protect your bottom line.