Reducing your packaging facility’s changeover time could be the key to improving operational efficiency and reducing waste. Having a lengthy changeover time means you’re wasting anywhere from a hundred to a thousand hours per year. If you had that time back, you could use it to make other, vital improvements to your facility. Reducing your facility’s changeover time has a direct time-saving benefit, but it also allows for faster and more reliable production cycles. You can package individual products and/or pallets and ship them out at a faster and more predictable rate. But what are the most effective methods for standardizing and reducing changeover time? In this guide, we’ll highlight some tips on how to reduce changeover time in your packaging line.

SMED and Standardized Work

SMED (Single-Minute Exchange of Dies) is a method designed to reduce the amount of time it takes to complete equipment changeovers to less than 10 minutes. The method involves performing as many changeover steps as possible while the equipment is still running, and then simplifying and streamlining the remaining steps. SMED is about standardizing and finding ways to improve your existing processes. A successful SMED program comes with a whole host of benefits, including:

  • lower cost
  • less equipment downtime
  • flexible scheduling
  • improved responsiveness to customer demand
  • improved consistency and quality

The Benefits of EWI

Another way to reduce changeover time in your packaging line is to digitize your documents. You can use electronic work instructions (EWI) to quickly document changeover procedures. EWIs are easier to use, more accessible, and encourage your employees to strive for constant improvement. They’re better than traditional methods of collaboration—such as PowerPoint and emails—because they make it easier to write and revise documentation, automate approval processes, and more. You can access EWIs from your laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Instead of rummaging through paper binders, you can access your instructions with the click of a button. Digitizing your documents makes it easier to ensure the changeover process goes smoothly. By digitizing your instructions, you can ensure your operators aren’t referencing and using outdated practices for your changeover procedures.

Choosing Efficient Machinery

Using old, inefficient machinery can slow your operators down. By replacing it with flexible machinery, you can dramatically reduce your facility’s changeover time. For industry-leading changeover times, multi-functional packaging equipment is a must. Your equipment should be capable of fulfilling a variety of useful functions, be easy for your operators to use, have a safe and hygienic design, and be able to deliver the increased reliability and efficiency that you’re looking for.

Using machines that are quick, efficient, and tool-free can reduce changeover time and make your facility more efficient. Robopac USA is dedicated to providing you with machines that streamline your packaging process and provide quick changeover times, like our TCS Combination case packers. Depending on the machine model, the type of packaging and characteristics of the product, the packaging speed of the TC and TCS series ranges from 30 to 85 packages/min. The main features of this series are ergonomics, modularity, flexibility, and extremely compact dimensions, allowing easy adaptation to the most diverse layout requirements. The automatic format change, managed through electronic movements, is performed in a very short time. This allows you to quickly switch between product sizes and format types includes film only, tray and film, a high tray or wrap around carton.

Come check out our combination case packers, wrap around case packers and other packaging equipment today!