Automated packaging processes can play a huge roll in increasing efficiency along the supply chain, saving both money and time, while ensuring quality.

There are a number of improvements that can be made along the supply chain. While a great deal of attention is directed toward the manufacturing and production of a product, there are numerous improvements that can be made within its packaging as well. In this article, we're going to be focusing on the automation of stretch film in comparison to wrapping pallets by hand.

Automated packaging

The safety and savings of an item can both be addressed through automated packaging. Investments in machines such as stretch wrappers, case erectors and strapping machines can pay for themselves in a matter of months, while material consumption can be dramatically reduced when using precise automated measurements. Consider the information below.

  • Tape machines use approximately 30 percent less material than manual dispensers.
  • Using stretch machines vs hand wrapping can reduce film costs by 75%
  • A single case erector can make 9 times as many cases as a single person assembling them by hand.
  • You can cost justify a semi auto machine if you are wrapping 20 pallets per day, you can cost justify an automatic wrapper if you are wrapping 100 pallets per day. Your savings will come from stretching the film vs. hand wrapping. As well as the labor savings.•

The packaging automation process is a great way to save both time and money while increasing your output; and quite frankly, that is the biggest reason to switch to automation. Not only will you save on labor costs, you could also save money on consumables. Let’s take a 5,000 foot roll of stretch film for example: you could hand wrap that and only have 5,000 feet of stretch film. You could take that same 5,000 foot roll of stretch film and by using a machine, you could turn that 5,000 foot roll into a 17,250 foot roll by using a pre-stretch feature on the machine. Don’t worry, just because the stretch film is pre-stretched, it does not lose it’s integrity.

Ultimately, the time and money that is saved in these processes can prove to be quite lucrative for companies and create a better atmosphere for overall quality, accuracy and proficiency.

As indicated, companies investing in equipment toward the final quarter of the year look to lower their spend on consumables, gain sustainability through use of less product and reduce their maintenance costs while increasing productivity. Which leads to the question...Why not automate?