There is absolutely no doubt that automated packaging machinery reduces labor costs for many manufacturers. But the question is how to work out how much you are spending on labor and how much you can save by switching to an automated system.
The answer lies in how many packages per minute (PPM) you use and how much you spend paying employees when you have a manual operation.
The easiest way to do this assessment is to first consider the factors that relate to manual packaging equipment versus automatic packaging equipment, and then assess your needs in terms of the PPM you need.
Benefits of Manual Packaging
Many if not most new small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses consider manual packaging equipment the best option, primarily because it demands a lower capital investment.
Manual packing is also a good option if the products to be packaged are strangely shaped or unusual in type. It may also be difficult to use automated packaging equipment to pack very large items.
If the products you are planning to produce fit the specifications of the manual packing equipment available, packaging by hand could be the best option.
Benefits of Automated Packaging
Generally it is agreed that automated packaging equipment will reduce labor costs, contributing to larger profits. This means that a new business can start off with fewer employees, while an established business can utilize their staff more profitably.
When weighing up the pros and cons of automated packaging, it’s important to take long-term benefits into account. While investing in automatic equipment can be costly, this initial spend can often be recouped very quickly. And for businesses that don’t want to make the investment, but want to use automated packaging equipment, there is also the option of outsourcing the job to a company like Technik Packaging Services.
Establish Packaging Speed
It is important to establish what your packaging speed needs are. This will enable you to determine whether manual or automated packaging machinery is best for the business.
To determine how many PPM you need packaged, you need to know how production speeds are set. This, in turn, will be determined by whether:
- the speed relies on upstream production, with goods being packaged as they are completed, or
- if they are accumulated during the production process and transported to the packaging facility in bulk.
If PPM relies on upstream production, packaging will be continuous and will literally depend on speed of production. If products are accumulated prior to packaging, automation could cut down on costs dramatically, with the packaging process time reduced potentially by days at a time.
Establish Labor Costs
The million dollar question is whether, and by how much, you can reduce labor costs by running a packaging line faster and/or by replacing a manual system with automated packaging machinery.
Technik Packaging Machinery supplies cost-effective automated packaging equipment to speed up your operation and reduce costs. We also partner with companies that choose to outsource fulfillment, logistics, product assembly, and/or packaging. Contact us for more information and pricing.