With the e-commerce industry experiencing relentless double-digit growth year after year, modern demands for online order fulfilment have skyrocketed.
Forecasted at a CAGR of 7.81% predicted for the period between 2022-2027, the packaging automation industry continues to thrive due to the e-commerce explosion and labour cost reduction, among other factors.
But what makes automating the packaging process that much more superior? And is it a worthwhile investment for your business needs?
The packaging automation industry is notoriously versatile, with various processes applied to numerous applications and environments. Thanks to technological advances, automated packaging systems are customisable to suit all types of production environments and applications.
For example, your automated packaging system may involve boxing food in containers or binding together sheets of materials. With such diversity required, you will see a stark contrast between the different types of packaging automation systems.
Companies can get products to market faster when they upgrade the functionality of their operations with automated systems, such as conveyors, robotics, and PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) programming.
Conveyors help send items from one stage of the packaging process to the next, while robotics can handle certain items with specific packaging requirements. All the while, your PLC works behind the scenes as the brains of the operation, maintaining the automation capabilities and directing each component to work simultaneously.
Boost Production Speed
One guarantee with automation is the ability to speed up your packaging process. For example, automated bagging machines will package items several times faster than your average employee. This speed and efficiency apply to all stages of your packaging processes, from the initial to the final package and delivery.
With 50% of online consumers cancelling orders from stores that do not provide fast delivery, the need to package and send products quickly has never been so pressing for e-commerce brands.
Enhanced Quality Control
Due to AI capabilities within automated packaging systems, errors are now identifiable with near-100% accuracy and reliability, according to Industry Week.
Known as “machine vision”, this capability demonstrates flawless quality control using a sophisticated camera system and software. Famous Dutch beer provider Heineken used machine vision at a beer-bottling facility in France. Machine vision inspected over 80,000 bottles per hour to deliver a next-to-0% failure rating.
Naturally, such advances in quality control will improve customer service and consistency in your product quality and overall presentation.
Reduced Human Error
Even with manual packaging processes, it’s only human to make mistakes. But while it’s an inevitable reality for manual packaging processes, human error creates bottlenecks in production processes and will negatively impact your flow rate (through rate).
Intended to maintain the flow of your packaging production lines, automated capabilities remove human error and its consequent bottlenecks, helping your operations run smoother while reducing downtime.
Despite the initial expense required to establish and maintain an automated packaging system, the long-term costs you save by removing human error and reducing labour costs, improving flow rate and overall production speed translate to greater savings in the future and a healthy ROI for your company.
As a general marker across industries, the average ROI for investing in automated capabilities is an impressive 250%.
Automated packaging systems also protect staff and help avoid accidents at work. Without the need for your workforce to package items, you have a guarantee that they can remain safer on the job.
The first few questions you should ask are:
Normally automating your packaging processes will require implementing these five key stages:
New packaging optimisation tools allow you to analyse your processes and track performance. Automated packaging systems can also enable companies to become as proficient and sustainable as possible.
Conveyor packaging systems play a vital role in package automation. By moving items from one stage of the process to the next with sortation capabilities, conveyor systems can provide an essential component of your automated packaging system regardless of your industry.
Packaging conveyor systems can integrate with various robotics, control panels and PLC programming to ensure automation capabilities exist across every stage of your packaging process.
Hills Electrical is a proud provider of electrical installation solutions in the West Midlands, including state-of-the-art automated packaging systems.
No matter your industry or the scale of your operation, our expert team can design, deliver, and install a custom packaging system to meet your manufacturing and production needs.
From conveyors to robotics and PLC programming, we have the knowledge, resources and experience to enhance your packaging processes to the next level of automation capabilities.
Feel free to fill out our form below and a member of our team will be in touch.