What is the best packaging solution for your business? Is semi-automation or automation right for you? What are their advantages?
What are the existing solutions for your packaging processes?
The packaging of a parcel can be done in several different ways: to help you choose the right solution for your business, here is a list of the different methods, their advantages and their disadvantages.
1. The manual solution
Of course, it is possible to package without the need for automation or machines. The process is slowed down but the craftsmanship of your employee is highlighted.
However, it should not be forgotten that man is not a machine, and that the repetitiveness of tasks can lead to errors in the design of packages.
What are the disadvantages of the manual solution?
- Physical pain of your employees ;
- Errors in the production of your packaging;
- Repetitive work.
Errors due to fatigue, the slowness of the manual process and the physical pain of your employees have a hidden cost that we do not assess and which can prove to be significant.
What is the advantage of all manual ? You are not dependent on potential failures. Although the incident is rare, it remains a possibility.
A work stoppage (due to Musculoskeletal Disorders in 87% of cases) leads to slowdowns but potentially less than a machine failure when your team is used to using machines in order preparation.
2. The semi-automatic solution
What are the advantages of a semi-automatic solution?
- Improves the efficiency of your employees in their work;
- Strongly reduces the risk of MSDs;
- Improves the final quality of your packaging.
The semi-automatic solution is to opt for machines that need human hands and their control of operations to start the packaging process.
This is for example the case of a semi-automatic wrapping machine (manual brake stretch wrapper):you limit the risk of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) at your employees and gain in speed of order preparation.
The recommendation of a semi-automatic solution depends on the operation and your pace.
So for palletizing, an expert recommends a wrapping machine (stretch wrapper) from 10 to 12 pallets / day.
3. The automatic solution
- It reduces stress for your employees : the machine rarely makes mistakes, which relieves them of the burden of responsibility.
- It improves the productivity of your employees, who can take care of other useful tasks.
- It improves well-being in the workplace.
By choosing the automatic solution, you decide to automate parts of the packaging process, which ranges from product picking to closing or strapping your boxes.
This requires the installation of machines which are often expensive to purchase, but which become profitable for companies having to manage large daily flows of orders.
- Having a quality workspace improves the productivity of your employees.
- Difficulty at work is one of the first risk factors for physical and psychological injuries: the repetition of tasks does not help the accomplishment of employees. By removing these painful aspects from their daily lives, you make your employees happier.
What are the advantages of mechanizing the packaging of your goods in the warehouse?
Despite the investment cost, the mechanization of packaging in your warehouse can bring you benefits on various levels, such as the quality of your packages, well-being at work, etc. :
- You make quality packages : thanks to the machines, the packages are uniform and well packaged.
- You ensure the safety of your employees: the machines reduce the risk of injuries and MSDs related to the handling of heavy loads, repetitive movements, but also fatigue which can lead your employees to perform dangerous actions.
- Stress is also seen to be reduced.
- You save space in your warehouse: some machines produce wedging on demand and thus eliminate the need to store large quantities of wedging means.
The Air Cushion Machine, for example, require little space since the film to be inflated is delivered flat.
- You save wedging (or adhesive) and standardize the quantity of packaging used per package : the machine delivers the quantity strictly necessary for the packaging of your products, when humans will sometimes have a tendency to make mistakes and have to start over several times, wasting the materials.
- You improve the output / efficiency of your employees : the machine does not tire! This makes it possible to have efficient production rates and to anticipate production peaks.
On the other hand, the machine frees your employees who can thus carry out other tasks: you thus reduce the necessary personnel and improve their output.
Automating your packaging processes becomes necessary from a certain order threshold. The benefits are numerous, from the safety of your employees and the reduction of waste to saving storage space.
- There are 3 possible solutions for your packaging processes, which depend on your needs in terms of volume and speed: the manual solution, the semi-automatic solution, the 100% automatic solution.
- Mechanization prevents the risks of MSDs and occupational accidents for your employees. It also removes the arduousness of their tasks, thus helping to improve well-being and fulfillment at work.
- With machines, your packaging is uniform and of better quality. You reduce the amount of packaging used.