Is it time for a packaging equipment upgrade?

Converyer system winding through a warehouse

Your equipment can make or break your packaging—and even your product. So how do you know when it’s time for an upgrade? “There are key signs that indicate it’s time to evaluate the situation,” says Julius Little, Former Director, Equipment and Load Containment Solutions with Veritiv.

  1. Your equipment is antiquated and challenging to maintain and may even pose a safety risk.

  2. Your business is rapidly growing, and your equipment can’t keep up with demand or production.

  3. Seasonal demands and labor shortage cause strain on your operation. 

Do you struggle to keep up with demand due to frequent equipment issues?

Bottlenecks in your packaging process can make it difficult to meet customer expectations and could hurt your bottom line. Taking time to track downtime is important, as the information helps evaluate how reliable it is and when it’s time for service. “Equipment specialists evaluate the process and the equipment—sometimes the type of packaging material isn’t compatible with certain equipment,” says Little.

Formatted text representing a point made in the contentIs your equipment hard to fix or maintain? Does it lack safety features?

As equipment ages, the cost and availability of parts may be an issue. Keep a record of all maintenance issues and downtime. OSHA-trained technicians assess your equipment’s safety, and install fencing, guarding or photo-sensing. For instance on shrink wrapping systems, if workers get their hands too close to sealing blades, photo-sensing equipment will shut down the system before an injury occurs. Robotic equipment also automates repetitive motion among your workforce, which can help reduce safety issues.

Are your labor costs rising? Or, do you have difficulty finding labor?

Automation helps reduce labor and material costs, and helps boost productivity. For instance, a simple stretch wrapper can reduce film costs by 50%.1 “Automation is helping companies redeploy labor to more critical tasks that contribute to improved operational efficiency,” says Little.

Preventative maintenance and employee training help keep your equipment up and running. Regular maintenance visits, and labeling equipment with service, parts and contact information enable your employees to call a certified technician quickly to reduce downtime.

A packaging partner with a network of certified technicians also ensures consistent service as your company moves or opens new locations. Equipment technology is always evolving—just like your business and customer needs. Use the tips above as you consider improving or deploying new packaging equipment. 

 

“A Plant Manager’s Guide to Stretch Wrap Equipment and Savings.” Lantech. September, 2017.