Semi vs Fully Automated Packaging Lines
The spectrum of automation in end-of-line packaging solutions ranges from manual operations to lines that can run continuously with very little human interaction. When it comes to picking the right fit for your operations, bigger isn’t always better. When we help clients find the optimal equipment for their needs, we start with some of the following questions.
What’s the nature of the product being packaged? (liquid, powder, irregular, wet, dry, frozen…)
Knowing the type of product and what primary packaging is used play a significant role in the selection process. These factors can impact how you choose to orient the product in the case and can limit or significantly increases the cost of your options for fully automated solutions.
Will this line be used for multiple products?
How many different products are being packed? If the equipment is intended for single product dedicated use or long production runs before changeover, fully automated solutions are a great option. For smaller manufactures or if you are introducing a new product and don’t have the volumes to justify a dedicated line of equipment to a single product or are looking for an intermediate step as growth or demand warrant full automation, a semi-automated solution can provide that flexibility at a lower capital investment
What are the operational demands and projected future volumes?
This part of the evaluations goes beyond your packaging operations. Finding the right equipment requires an assessment of the rest of your production line. If you have a bottle neck upstream that limits your output, buying a fully automated case packer that can handle twice that volume may not be a wise use of capital. On the other hand, if the equipment creating the bottle neck upstream is slated to be replaced in the next few years, it may be a good decision to have the extra capacity in packaging operations, so that you do not need to get new equipment as your operations grow.
A good intermediate solution to handle a situation with uncertain demand maybe to add a semi-automatic system with a smaller capital investment. A semi-automated solution can enable you to pack off excess capacity as needed until full automation is justified. Many times theses semi-automatic solution can then be redeployed elsewhere in the production line.
Need help with a full line assessment?
These are just some of the considerations when selecting the right sized solution for your facility. If you would like to know more about our process you can find it here: About Precision PMI
If you have specific questions or are looking for packaging automation solutions, please contact us: Contact Precision PMI