Every stage of your supply chain is interconnected. Any issues that occur in your packaging line cause problems for the rest of your supply chain, too. That’s why an optimized packaging workflow is crucial for your business. By improving efficiency in your packaging processes, you help streamline your entire shipping operation and deliver products quickly, safely, and reliably to your customers.
How exactly do you improve your processes, though? The answer is different for every business, but there are a few things you can do to start making changes and find more specific solutions. Check out these top tips for enhancing packaging line efficiency and find greater success with your company’s supply chain.
Find Your Bottlenecks
You can’t fix something if you don’t know what’s wrong. Before you start making changes in your facility, take the time to thoroughly review your existing workflow. Work your way from the beginning to the end and look for areas that you can improve.
Where are delays most common in your packaging line? What kind of mistakes are occurring? The more specific information you can gather about your workflow, the easier it is to find a solution. For example, if you know that bottlenecks occur at your weighing station, you can come up with a tailored solution—such as implementing a turntable stretch wrapper and built-in scale.
Offer Robust, Ongoing Training
When you evaluate your packaging line, there’s a good chance you’re going to find areas where your employees are holding up your workflow. Whether it’s new workers still learning the ropes or outdated practices slowing your teams down, employee errors aren’t unusual.
Fortunately, you can correct employee issues by correcting your training processes. Start with your onboarding; make sure new employee training is comprehensive enough to give workers everything they need to perform their best. It’s crucial to create a workforce that knows the ins and outs of your packaging line and follows best practices every step of the way.
In addition to onboarding, you need to provide ongoing training for all staff members. This added training will help keep your entire workforce up to date on best practices, industry standards, and any new equipment or procedures you adopt in your facility.
Choose Your Equipment Wisely
Unoptimized equipment is the other thing you’ll commonly find when reviewing your workflow for areas to improve. That doesn’t mean the solution is to just replace everything with the newest model, though. There is a plethora of automatic and semi-automatic solutions that can help improve efficiency in your facility, but that doesn’t mean there’s room in your facility for every option. It’s crucial to review your options and figure out which one will benefit you the most.
Consider the parts of your workflow that need the most help and prioritize solutions for those areas. What would be most beneficial for your facility? If you’re experiencing bottlenecks at the end of your workflow, automatic palletizer machines can speed up the palletizing process while also ensuring your product loads are safe and stable. You can also use automatic or semi-automatic stretch wrappers to speed up end-of-line packaging and create more efficient, stable pallets.
If your case packing workflow is slow because you’re handling multiple products with different packaging requirements, a multi-format case packer with easy changeover processes could be a worthwhile investment. Alternatively, you might face problems earlier in the packaging line. Laser-guided vehicles can help move products more quickly through your facility while avoiding mishandling, accidents, and other errors.
Make Your Packaging Line Flexible
Another surefire way to enhance packaging line efficiency is to improve the flexibility and adaptability of your workflow. If you can accommodate multiple product types on a single packaging line, then you can maximize productivity and keep products moving through your facility. This measure also helps you minimize downtime because you don’t have to switch equipment or move to different parts of your facility to package different products.
Opt for flexible equipment that can adjust to handle different packaging types, carton sizes, pallet weights, and other factors. Investing in adaptable solutions helps you save both time and money in the long run as you move a wider variety of products through your packaging line in less time.
Avoid Excessive Waste
Unnecessary waste is a sign that your workflow is using unnecessary time, materials, and money. When you reduce waste, you improve efficiency.
There are two major sources of waste in a packaging line: excessive packaging materials and damaged products. You can eliminate wasted packaging by implementing more precise equipment that makes the most out of your materials. For example, a semi-automatic pallet wrapper that offers powerful pre-stretch helps your stretch film go farther for each product load. Advanced stretch wrappers and palletizers also create safer, more secure product loads that are less likely to tip or collapse. As a result, you experience fewer damaged loads and fewer wasted products in your supply chain.
Limit Machine Downtime
Equipment downtime is another way to ruin your workflow and bring your entire packaging line to a halt. Thankfully, you can minimize downtime by prioritizing routine maintenance. Inspections, cleaning, and other regular maintenance tasks help you stay on top of potential issues and ensure your equipment continues to operate to the best of its ability.
It also helps to invest in high-quality machinery from a reliable supplier. Expert installation helps ensure your equipment offers superior performance from day one. Furthermore, innovations like Robopac USA’s R-Connect system help monitor machine performance to notify you of any changes in condition or productivity. This level of visibility and insight helps you act quickly to preserve your equipment’s performance and avoid problems that could cause downtime down the line.
Work With Robopac USA
Enhance your packaging line with automatic and semi-automatic solutions from Robopac USA. Our team will work with you to implement a solution that meets the unique needs of your products and facilities so that you can create a smarter, more productive workflow. Discover the different ways our technology can help your business when you work with the experts at Robopac USA today.