Automated packaging solutions can transform your production stream.
In manufacturing, the focus of automation is often centered on the production and assembly of components into a finished product. However, just as important to manufacturers is the ability to quickly and safely transport those products to their next destination in as cost effective a manner as possible.
In many industries, human operators still play an essential role in this process. However, the work involved is often both laborious and tedious. The strain on workers, both mentally and physically, can lead to greater production errors, delays, and even injury.
Manufacturers can eliminate these risks by turning to automated packaging. With the advanced material handling capabilities provided by cutting edge robotics technology, there are few packaging requirements that can’t be handled by automated processes. Here’s why the investment is worth it.
1. Improved speed and efficiency.
The most obvious benefit from automated packaging is achieving a greater production rate than manual packaging. Advanced robot integration and software can perform the same set of programmed motions faster, consistently, and without risk of injury. And with the high precision of the latest technology means they can safely handle even the most delicate components.
2. Reduced employee injury.
Packaging is hard work, and the job takes its toll on workers in a variety of ways, from those who injure themselves lifting heavy objects, to those who develop repetitive strain injuries from performing the same motion over and over again, to those who struggle to maintain focus after hours on the job. Automating these systems frees employees to take on higher-level tasks, while avoiding the economic impact of injury & lost time
3. Higher quality control and standardization.
When it comes to highly repetitive tasks, humans are more prone to error than automated systems. Manual packaging processes can result in more mishandled or damaged products, or simply a lack of uniformity in the finished packing job. Advanced vision systems, including 3D, also make it easier for robots to spot production anomalies during the packaging process, removing substandard products before they reach consumers.
4. Zero down time.
Automated packaging automation does not need to take a break. Or at least, when maintenance is due, it can be scheduled for a time when it is most effective for the rest of the production stream. With advanced monitoring systems, businesses can also identify when a packaging system may need additional attention, and schedule a maintenance ahead of time instead of being surprised by a malfunction. SmartTrac is an option offered by Eagle that monitors and schedules maintenance schedules, while also providing a path for greater OEE and productivity
5. Fewer bottlenecks.
Manual operators tend to be more or less productive throughout their work shift. A worker may be highly productive when they first come onto a shift or after a lunch break, but slow down toward the end of their shift or when they get distracted. This can lead to situations where the production Is bottlenecked by operators who can’t keep up with the flow of incoming products. Automated packaging systems don’t suffer from fluctuations in productivity, meaning they cause fewer bottlenecks in the production line, & can also handle occasional surges in production which can choke manual processes
In today’s environment, not only is the cost of labor a key factor, often the actual availability & retention of labor can be extremely difficult to manage. High employee turnover adds to inefficiencies, cost, and potentially product integrity. Also, as we all are facing the current health issues, reducing the number of employees who are working in close proximity to each other is a need.
7. Greater sustainability.
For years, consumers have been leading a drive toward greener packaging materials. This means that manufacturers who can demonstrate that their packaging follows sustainable practices can win goodwill from customers. Eco-friendly packaging materials are just one part of an environmentally sustainable packaging solution. Packaging processes that cut down on waste can conserve resources, which also save costs for the manufacturer.
Changes in the packaging processes always exist and include production rates, package profiles, new products & configurations, and quality inspections. The need to provide for efficient change-overs is vital. Robotic automation provides greater flexibility to manage these changes, and may include simple re-programming, modifications to the end effector, and software interfacing to permit execution of multiple recipes or formats.
Despite the up-front costs, manufactures can recoup their investment within months.
While many manufacturers hesitate over the layout of capital expenditure needed to design automated packaging solutions, the savings from reduced labor costs, higher output, and improved efficiency quickly make these expenses a thing of the past. And these are just the direct benefits. Indirectly, manufacturers have a lot to gain from custom packaging that protects their products during transit, presents a more trustworthy appearance to customers, and utilizes environmentally friendly materials.
At Eagle, we have experience creating custom packaging solutions for manufacturers in a broad range of industries. Our packing capabilities include:
· Primary Processing : picking, sorting, placing secondary Packaging : Carton/case packing, bagging, wrappingEnd of Line Packaging : Palletizing, Depalletizing, StretchwrappingCustoms : Kitting, vision inspection, unpack/repack, Conveyors : Product, parcel, pallet. Stainless Steel, washdown. Custom.Systems : Complete line engineering and integration
Contact us today if you would like to learn more about how our packaging automation solutions can help your business.
Eagle Technologies, headquarters in Bridgman, MI
Eagle builds the machines that automate manufacturing. From high-tech robotics to advanced product testing capabilities, Eagle offers end-to-end manufacturing solutions for every industry.