A business’s upfront costs and training expenses can cause some businesses to be hesitant to adopt automated solutions. However, automated packing can have significant advantages, and new technology is making the process of automating more and more parts of the process easier than before.
The following list includes advantages for automated packaging plants.
- 1. Increased or Additional Quality Control
- 2. Faster Production Rate.
- 3. Better Ergonomics and Reduced Employee Injury Risk
- 4. A decrease in labour costs
- 5. Better Access to Information.
1. Increased or Additional Quality Control
Because automation solutions weren’t always trustworthy enough, controlling packaging line quality control wasn’t always fully automated. Each item was scrutinized by human workers, whose laborious and repetitive task was laborious and repetitive.
This is altering as a result of the advancement of new technologies, particularly machine vision utilising artificial intelligence (AI), which enables computers to “see” faults like human workers do. Some developers of modern quality control systems go so far as to assert that their
programmes are error-free and capable of spotting almost all issues.
Automated quality assurance (QA) systems are also constantly running, so their ability to find errors won’t change over the course of a shift. This can lead to very consistent packing and longer workdays when combined with other automated packaging equipment.
2. Faster Production Rate.
Businesses that have the right automation technology in place can significantly enhance production flow and speed. An automated bagging machine, for instance, can frequently bag products considerably more safely and quickly than the average employee.
Additionally, automated packaging solutions are able to multitask and combine several packaging process activities, such as labelling and sealing, into a single step. In this manner, these solutions may free up a number of employees in addition to simply one. These technologies therefore have the potential to expedite procedures while also freeing up workers to perform tasks like shipping, receiving, and picking that require or simply benefit from human interaction.
These automated solutions can also improve packing consistency and decrease the frequency of mistakes occurring during the packaging process.
In spite of the fact that speed increases vary depending on the type of packaging and the processes used to make it, all packaging lines can benefit from the continuous output provided by automated systems. As a result, the packaging line has access to more labour, potentially cutting labour costs as well. A continuous pace of the packaging process can also be achieved with automated solutions, which will boost productivity and profitability.
3. Better Ergonomics and Reduced Employee Injury Risk
Employees frequently experience musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), also known as ergonomic injuries, at work because of the repetitive nature of the activities they do in the manufacturing and packing industries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these injuries are among the most frequent in the workplace, making about one-third of all accidents. Furthermore, the recovery period for these patients often exceeds one week.
Employees’ risk of developing MSDs can naturally be reduced by reducing the quantity of repetitive tasks they must perform. Because repetitive or tedious operations frequently benefit from consistency, process automation systems are already a strong fit for these types of tasks. It is possible to boost productivity and lower injury risks for workers by replacing workers with machines in process steps that call for a great deal of repetitive motion.
4. A decrease in labour costs
Packaging businesses are currently feeling the effects of a more competitive labour market due to the US unemployment rate reaching historic lows and rising consumer demand. There are more employment possibilities available to workers, which raises earnings and eventually raises labour expenses.
Automation could be a solution to this issue. Companies may make sure that people are only recruited when they are needed and then removed from the packaging process when they are not needed by automating as much of the packaging line as possible.
5. Better Access to Information.
Human-machine interfaces (HMIs) are becoming increasingly important to automation system designers for packaging lines. Workers and management may find it simpler to get information about specific machines and packaging line operations thanks to these upgraded HMIs.
Better information access is being prioritised at a time when system designers are concentrating more on turnkey and integrated solutions for packing line automation than on individual equipment. Workers may have access to data and analytics from the entire packaging process when they have greater information access via an individual HMI, enabling them to make the best decisions possible.
Standardized HMIs also improve the use of these devices, lowering the amount of training personnel must undergo to utilise them effectively.
Automated packing systems can be quite advantageous for product producers. These technologies can lower the risk of ergonomic injuries by taking on the load of repetitive and tiresome tasks while shifting personnel to higher-value jobs where they are more urgently needed. Aside from increasing quality control standards, these systems are also capable of increasing productivity, which ultimately leads to an increase in profit margins.