When your facility decides to make the switch to automation, integration is a challenge you will most likely face. There are many difficulties many operations often find when taking the first steps to becoming a more efficient automated facility. There are many steps and plenty of planning that takes place before investing in machines for the most successful integration possible. Explore the best practices for integrating warehouse automation in your facility.
Choose the Right Equipment for Your Facility
Every facility is unique and has particular needs. The first step to investing in the right equipment is evaluating your facility’s needs. Most facilities find a need for secondary packaging equipment. This is a broad category with many product lines. With so many features and applications to choose from, it can get overwhelming to find the right product for your operation. Here are a few tips:
- Understand the best fit for your application
Pay attention to special “application” factors that come into play. Prioritize the features that are most useful to your specific facility.
Example: If a person sets out to buy a vehicle, a father may choose one with four doors, extra room, and built-in screens for better kid-friendly features, while a person who lives in a place with harsh winters may prioritize maneuverability in the snow and four-wheel drive. This is the same for automation in warehouses—you need to prioritize what features apply most to your operation.
- Decide on the machines you need
There are multiple different machines that make up a secondary packaging equipment line. Learn a bit about each machine you could invest in to identify which are beneficial to your needs.
Understand the Machine Options
As mentioned above, there are countless options for machinery when it comes to automating your secondary packaging operation. Below is a quick and easy breakdown of the machine line options for stretch wrapping machines as an example of the vast number of machine options there are out there as options for your operation.
Stretch Wrapping Machines
There are two different classifications of stretch wrapping machines: automatic and semi-automatic.
Automatic Stretch Wrapping Machines
There are a few unique types of automatic stretch wrappers.
Turntable Stretch Wrappers
Turntable stretch wrappers are most ideal for wrapping stable loads that have a regular weight of under 4,400 pounds.
Rotary Arm Stretch Wrappers
These are best used for heavy loads, which are any loads over 4,400 pounds. These are also great for light or unstable loads because these machines load on a stationary, solid surface instead of spinning on a turntable.
Rotating Ring Stretch Wrappers
Automatic rotating ring-style stretch wrappers are perfect for high-speed applications. They are fast and allow for reduced cycle time.
There are also a few different varieties of semi-automatic stretch wrap machines.
Robot Stretch Wrappers
These stretch wrappers give your facility the gift of portability, providing up to a 25 percent increase in productivity. This machine comes to the loads instead of forcing the loads to come to the machine. They’re also extremely versatile and can wrap loads of nearly any weight, length, or width.
Turntable Stretch Wrappers
Turntable stretch wrappers are ideal for stable loads under 4,400 pounds. They are smaller stretch wrap machines, providing your facility with coveted saved space.
Rotary Arm Stretch Wrappers
These semi-automatic stretch wrap machines are designed to wrap loads that are stationary. This makes them perfect for irregular loads and loads that tend to vary in size, weight, and shape.
Horizontal Rotating Ring Stretch Wrappers
A horizontal rotating ring stretch wrapper is best for long products such as lumber, doors, windows, carpets, piping, and more.
When choosing between an automatic and a semi-automatic stretch wrapper, keep in mind that a more demanding, higher-speed application may need the full automation of an automatic stretch wrapper. Automatics can include conveyor systems to stage and run multiple loads and increase productivity.
Weigh the Benefits of Different Features
The marketplace is moving towards an environment where remote connectivity to stretch wrapper operations will be necessary. As another best practice for integrating warehouse automation, this allows managers to monitor and improve the performance of the machine anytime and from anywhere.
At Robopac USA, we exclusively offer our superior R-connect technology. R-connect allows for remote monitoring and performance-improving measures. It minimizes machine downtime and allows for better maintenance management. It even communicates immediate troubleshooting procedures and fully remote machine management software updates. One of the best things about investing in Robopac USA equipment is that we are the largest secondary packaging equipment company in the world. We manufacture our secondary packaging machine lines to integrate together seamlessly. With this in mind, our customers can enjoy the value of a one-stop-shop for all of their secondary packaging automation needs.
Recognize the Difference a Manufacturer Can Make
Whatever manufacturer you decide to invest in for your machinery needs will be your partner on the journey to integrating automation. Facilities often find themselves shopping around, only to discover that some manufacturers make one product that doesn’t work well with their other products. For a proper and seamless transition when integrating warehouse automation, going with one company that manufactures all the items you need could be the most beneficial decision of all.
At Robopac USA, we offer stretch wrappers, automatic palletizers, case packers, case equipment, and LGV’s. Our state-of-the-art technology is designed to work together seamlessly. Machines that work as a team allow your workers, managers, and you to become more efficient and productive with less downtime. Over time, your operation will continue to grow, and your secondary packaging will need to become more diverse. Investing in a company that is your partner and makes machines that are adaptable to grow with your facility is the best choice in the long run. Sourcing through one single provider builds consistency, quality, trust, and efficiency.
Contact Robopac USA today to learn more about our machine offerings, technology, and our specific recommendations for your operation. Every facility is different, and your warehouse deserves technology and automation that works for your unique operation. Discover what a quality manufacturer that provides all the automation you need for your secondary packaging operation can do for the efficiency, productivity, and profitability of your company.