Industrial packaging is a complex process, and there are dozens of factors that are taken into consideration when designing and running an industrial packaging line, many of which may not be obvious to the casual observer. Here are some tips on what you need to know if you or your business is considering using or investing in packaging, according to the experts.
1. Invest In Technology
Technology plays a major role in the way that companies produce and distribute their goods, and technology must be considered when creating a packaging operation. Even if you use outsourced manufacturing, having a better understanding of how technology can be used to improve packaging processes will help lead to more success down the road.
If your employees need to handle a lot of heavy packages on a daily, expecting them to do it manually has become a thing of the past. Investing in an automatic case erector can save your business time, as well as money – since it makes the job a lot safer, which means fewer injuries.
This can, in turn, boost productivity and reduce your overall overhead. Apart from this, investing in other machines and even programs that can help make your business as automated as possible will make it easier for you to handle more orders, save time and boost efficiency.
Since today’s market is turning more and more to e-commerce, packaging and delivery options must be able to adapt accordingly. When choosing a machine or a technology for your packaging line, make sure you research all the different options you have available before making a decision.
2. Make It Fast But Accurate
Speed is one of the main selling points for a lot of businesses today, as consumer expectations are rapidly changing. However, it’s important to keep accuracy in mind as well when trying to speed up your production process with any machinery or new technology.
When you choose machinery and equipment for your packaging line, it must be able to adapt and change with the times. This is especially important with automatic or semi-automatic equipment, as they are likely to become obsolete fairly quickly if you don’t take this into consideration.
Not only that, but your employees must also feel like their jobs are secure enough for them at any given point in time. When they know you are considering their safety, you are investing in an employee engagement boost, which is always good for the bottom line. Putting pressure on your staff to export the products quicker could lead to mistakes being made, which can be costly for your business. Even if no damages occur to the products, sending out the wrong thing can influence your customer’s view of your business.
Your workers must be able to operate machinery or technology fast, but also accurately. It’s important that they are both quick and careful at the same time. By creating a realistic timetable for your staff, you will be able to know how long it should take for them to load boxes or unload others. This allows you to plan the rest of your day and come up with a schedule that works well and keeps everyone productive and satisfied.
3. Consider Your Packaging Type
Choosing the right type of packaging can really make or break your business. If you don’t do it correctly, it can lead to unnecessary expenses.
There are many different types of packaging available on the market these days – each with its own set of benefits and things to consider. One aspect of it is how you are going to protect the product before putting it in some sort of box or casing.
Another is how the package looks like when it arrives at your customer. Since, as mentioned before, there are so many packaging options available, package design is becoming more important than ever. This is one of the reasons why a lot of new businesses today hire creative agencies to design their packaging in the best possible way, instead of doing it themselves.
For instance, if your product is usually exposed to little or no damage when being shipped, you can always consider using recycled materials in order to save a significant amount of cash.
On the other hand, if your business is a lot riskier and you run a high risk of breaking or damaging your products, investing in sturdier materials might be a better option for you. Whichever way you go, it’s important that the package looks nice and presentable from the outside, which can give you that wow factor you need to get your customers buying from you more.
4. Integrate Equipment
Buying all sorts of different equipment won’t do you much good if you don’t consider how they work together. It’s an absolute must to choose equipment and machinery that work well with each other.
There are techniques to increase efficiency and minimize expenses by linking all elements of your packaging line together for a more smooth production process, requiring fewer people to operate on the product throughout manufacture. Having a well-thought-out plan that includes equipment and machinery that work well with each other will help you design a packaging line that is truly efficient, saving you time and money in the process.
This will also make your workflow far less stressful for everyone involved as it can be very confusing when different elements of a packaging line aren’t compatible.
The industrial equipment should be chosen based on technical requirements, price, and how it fits into your production schedule. There is no point in investing in something you won’t need or use regularly, simply because it looks nice. It’s good to take a risk once in a while, but it needs to make sense at the same time.
5. Maintain Your Equipment
Upkeeping, or maintaining if it’s too late, is important to keep your equipment at peak performance levels. If you invest in quality machinery that you expect to last for a long time, it should come as no surprise that you will want it to continue functioning properly for as long as possible.
There are entire companies specializing in equipment maintenance, so the first step would be to contact them and let them know what kind of equipment you have and if they have worked with it before. Making sure that you service your machines regularly according to the manufacturer’s guidelines is another way you can extend their lifespan. Depending on how much your equipment is used, it would also be a good idea to repair anything that shows signs of damage.
That way you’ll be able to get the highest quality products and the biggest payoff on your investment.
When you run a business that has a lot to do with packaging – or if that’s the main service you provide – you should really think about how you can make your packaging better. Even small things such as using recycled materials or avoiding materials that could harm the environment in some other way, like printing excessive amounts of oil-based ink on your packages – are all things to take into consideration while planning out your packaging design.
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