In any economic environment, businesses are looking to better manage the costs of their day-to-day operations. With today’s twin challenges of increased labor costs and labor shortages, many consumer goods companies are closely examining the possibility of automating their packaging processes. The widespread implementation of automated packaging machines has enabled the costs of automating to go down and the value of integration to go up.
However, it is never wise to incorporate a new process just because some other company is benefiting from it. While many companies are benefiting from automation, it isn’t the right solution for every business in every instance. Automation can be a good solution, but it may not be the right time to pursue it.
Here are a few things to help you determine if now is the right time to switch from manual to automated packaging.
Three Matters to Consider When Switching from Manual to Automatic Machinery
1. Reduced Operating Costs (Labor)
Slashing labor costs predictably tops the list of benefits from automation. The cost to acquire, train, and maintain a skilled workforce is considerable. Reducing the necessary number of workers and the time to train them can have an immediate positive impact on the cost of operations.
It’s also important to note that as efficiency increases, the opportunity for expansion also increases, and so too does the need for more workers. As a result, while it’s a fact that automation is replacing some jobs, companies are also reporting an increase in hiring after automation due to the company’s increased ability to produce and deliver more products.
2. Reduced Operating Costs (Materials)
In addition to increased labor costs, the cost of acquiring materials for packaging is also rising. Supply chain issues are impacting businesses all over the world. It is becoming essential to have the ability to control packaging accurately and recalibrate precisely on a regular basis. Companies must account for each ounce of raw material to weather a stormy economic environment. Automated packaging machines have a clear advantage over manual packaging systems in reducing waste and improving efficiency.
3. Reduced Downtime & Improved Scalability
Sometimes the major obstacle a company faces isn’t developing a new product, but simply delivering enough supply to meet the demand. Many may see that as a good problem, but companies need to consistently deliver for their customers to maintain a stable business. Automation can increase output, allowing your business to take advantage of booms in demand, and increasing your profits.
If you are confident in the quality of your product but are struggling to fulfill orders, this is exactly the time to look into switching from manual to automatic machinery for your end-of-line packaging equipment. Getting your products to your customers as quickly and efficiently as possible strengthens your relationship with them and encourages them to increase their orders because they know you are reliable.
Some Advantages of Staying Manual
While automated packaging has many distinct advantages over manual, manual packaging systems will always have one significant advantage that automation doesn’t: individualized customization. That’s not to say a company with individualized packaging should write off automation out of hand—Wayne Automation does offer a number of packaging solutions that offer fully automatic changeovers to accommodate different case sizes.
However, there is a limit to how many kinds of packaging a single machine can assemble. Depending on the variety or the look and feel your company is trying to accomplish with your packaging, manual assembly may be the most cost effective way to achieve a special effect for each unit that ships out your door.
Additionally, manual packaging is an ideal solution for products with usual shape. In general automated packaging machines are not as adaptable when packaging oddly-shaped products. If your particular product requires more advanced packaging for safe shipping, then manual packaging may be more appropriate.
We’re Here If You Need Help Deciding
Regardless of what industrial packaging solution you may need, we welcome you to look at our products and see how our products can help you achieve your goals. Whether you know you’re ready to move into automation, or if you are still thinking about it, we will gladly take the time to answer your questions, arrange a plant tour, or set up a product demonstration so you can make the right decision for your company.
Contact us today and talk with one of our experts.