Automated packing equipment is designed to save your business money, but some very basic mistakes can result in it costing you money instead. These relate, across the board, to the type of packaging equipment purchased, installation followed, to the consumables used, and to ongoing maintenance of the packaging equipment chosen.
These are four common automated packing equipment mistakes that all businesses should avoid:
- Over specifying and opting for more features than are actually needed.
- Skipping proper installation processes, particularly the Factory Authorized Test (FAT) for the equipment purchased.
- Using consumables that unnecessarily increase costs and/or slow down production.
- Ignoring the need for regular preventive maintenance.
A common mistake many business owners make when buying new automated packing equipment is to opt for a machine that can do as much as possible. Instead of buying equipment with all the bells and whistles available, it’s important to first analyze exactly what capabilities your business requires from the equipment. Make sure the packing equipment can do what you need it to do, but don’t get caught buying one with additional features you think you might need in the future.
Ultimately, it’s never a good idea to opt either for the cheapest machine available, or the most expensive one. Buy what will work for your business.
Skipping Professional Installation and FATs
When buying automated packing equipment there will usually be an option that provides installation by a technician who has been factory-trained by the manufacturer. This person will undertake the Factory Authorized Test to ensure that the equipment is working the way it should.
Avoiding the costs involved in optional installation and the FAT can result in the machine not being set up correctly, and may affect how it works. It can also result in problems later on. Rather be safe than sorry by paying a little more and following recommended procedures.
Using Incorrect Consumables
Packaging films are the most important consumable required to operate automated packing equipment. But it’s vital that the right size and gauge is used. Presuming heavy-gauge film is best because it’s strong is a common mistake business owners with their own equipment make. Nowadays there are incredibly strong, relatively low-gauge, multi-layer films that provide sufficient strength with a lot less material.
In reality, using film that has a higher gauge than you need is going to increase the cost of materials and is likely to slow down production because the sealing process will be slower. Higher-gauge film can also affect the shrink process negatively. So don’t let salespeople talk you into buying higher-gauge film just because it is stronger!
Skimping on Maintenance
Skimping on the preventive maintenance services of automated packing equipment is a very common mistake. It’s no different to missing oil changes and services required by your vehicles, though it can have even more serious implications. If the moving parts of packing equipment aren’t maintained, repaired and replaced when necessary, you are putting the business at risk of experiencing costly downtime.
It’s worth checking whether the manufacturer of the equipment purchased offers equipment maintenance that is incentivized with, for instance, a program that provides seal jaw inspections, repairs and testing, but doesn’t include a labor cost.
Another proven way to ensure that automated packing equipment doesn’t cost your business money unnecessarily is to outsource the packaging process. Technik Packaging Services can fulfil the full spectrum of packaging needs including:
- Manual packaging
- Automated packaging
- Product assembly
- Sourcing solutions
- Shipping fulfilment
- E-commerce support
If you’d like to discuss how we can meet your packing needs, call us now or send an email and we’ll get in touch with you.