Packaging automation has exploded over the last decade. Like any other form of technology, innovation grows exponentially over time. We can liken packaging automation to the advent of computers. In it’s early days, it was bulky, expensive, and only available for certain key players. Now, for both packaging and computers, there’s many different options and varieties depending on one’s budget and needs. In this article we’re exploring the current trends in packaging automation.
Making Automation Accessible For Small Companies
Packaging automation has become available for the smallest startups to the largest enterprise companies. As time has gone on, equipment become more accessible due to innovations that decrease costs. Equipment suppliers have also stepped up to manufacture systems that are fit for small companies. For instance, label dispensers and tape dispensers are small equipment options (often available in table-top form) that have a low investment. This makes it possible for start-ups to integrate automation on their small packaging lines. Having this type of speed and efficiency in the packaging line is essential for the business to grow. Many start ups also have to be conscious of budgeting for staffing. Providing small pieces of equipment can help 1 person do the job of 2 or 3 people. This allows a business to grow and expand.
Automation for Enterprise
When it comes to bigger companies, you might think that they have all of the latest and greatest pieces of equipment. Some do – some companies already have smart warehouses with amazing equipment. But many don’t. Many enterprise level companies rely on a big work force to get the job done. This is a problem, especially during the Covid-19 days. Staff shifts have changed and the regulations for how many people can be on the floor and how close in proximity they can be to each other.
Packaging equipment distributors have the task of showing these large companies a better way. It’s fairly easy to show a small company the efficiency of a label applicator. But convincing a large company to switch to a stretch wrap machine instead of hand wrapping is a bigger feat. Our distributors at PDA are experts in equipment and have the track record to show it. They have been able to help some of the largest companies in the world with introducing only the equipment that they need and turning the investment into profit.
Helping People Adapt
Sometimes it can be intimidating to the workforce to think about bringing in automated solutions. Fortunately there is still a need for people even after equipment is being used. Equipment can’t just run on its own. Operators are necessary for making sure that the equipment is running efficiently. Often times equipment is brought in to make jobs safer and easier for the line workers so they can still work on their packaging line and be more productive.
In cases where automation takes over, the workforce also has the flexibility to transition from doing mundane, repetitive tasks, to more value added tasks. This often helps workers to find a better fit in an organization where they are doing less manual work and more strategic work.
After years and years of working on a packaging line (or maybe even sooner) workers can face injuries from long term damage. Repetitive motion is dangerous for many reasons and can cause lasting injuries all over the body. Not only is this terrible for the worker but it is also costly for the company. Companies face having workers on medical leave and also face paying medical expenses. Automated tools can take workers out of compromising roles and put them in a position for success.
Is Automation Right for You?
If you have a business that relies on packaging automation is probably right for your company. There are endless options in automation that make it possible for companies of all sizes and in all industries making their packaging line more efficient and ultimately more profitable. Short term investments in equipment lead to long term profitability. Contact PDA today and we’ll partner with you to bring automation to your company.