Do you truly need automation on your packaging line?

When determining whether to employ semi-automated or completely automated packaging machines on your production line, consider the needs of your packaging operation in terms of workforce engagement and skill, quality, safety, productivity, and profitability.

Various manufacturing industries are able to cut costs, produce even more consistent quality goods, and boost profit margins thanks to the rising integration of robotics and automation into production lines. But, in your packaging line, how much automation do you truly need?

Simply removing employees and oversight from the production line does not always result in increased efficiency. To choose the correct level of automation, manufacturers must first understand the needs of their lines. Will semi-automated or completely automated packaging equipment suffice?

The distinctions between semi-automated and completely automated lines:

Full or partial automation, depending on its use, can considerably aid manufacturers in accomplishing their business objectives. The distinctions between the two are based on one significant factor: employee contact. Fully automated lines require minimal to no human intervention, but semi-automated lines require some human interaction to keep running.

Depending on the conditions, there are benefits and drawbacks. The product quality improves and manufacturing costs decrease.. Improved with semi-automated and fully automated operations.

Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each one separately.

Semi-automation considerations:

Semi-automated manufacturing lines are being phased out in favour of a collaborative model that allows robots and equipment to work alongside humans on the factory floor. While human error and safety must be addressed. Then working with packing line staff. It can assist manufacturers increase line flexibility.

Fully automatic packinging line systems are not required for all applications due to their high speeds and placement accuracy. A semi-automatic approach might sometimes provide the ideal balance of flexibility and price. Piab’s photo is used with permission.

Employees can think critically about challenges that arise on the factory floor that are beyond the capabilities of any machine. Rather than waiting for feedback from machines, a skilled crew can engage with them to guarantee that any machine stoppages are addressed immediately, rather than depending on machines to rectify faults on their own.

This concept allows for ongoing modifications along the line, resulting in smoother output and increased efficiency. However, attracting, developing, and maintaining talented people is a huge difficulty for manufacturers across numerous industries in the United States today, which may entail taking larger steps toward a completely automatic packaging line.

Full automation is being considered:

Manufacturers can eliminate considerable amounts of labour on the manufacturing line by employing a completely automated system. These methods are particularly well suited to the pharmaceutical, meat, and poultry sectors. Human error accounts for almost 80% of variations in the pharmaceutical and related manufacturing industries, according to FDAnews. Pharmaceutical producers can continue to improve such aberrations and maintain customer satisfaction by fully automating product lines and decreasing employee engagement.

In the meat and poultry industry, manufacturers focus mainly on quality and sanitation. By removing the human element, food processors can help decrease the risk of product contamination. Fully automated lines can help ensure that manufacturers are complying with the latest Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations and help improve product quality and safety.

Furthermore, fully automated lines can aid in ensuring the safety of the production floor’s employees. The workforce may increasingly interact with automation equipment without sacrificing safety, and experienced workers can interact with automation equipment remotely as automation equipment design improves to allow for safer employee interfaces. Fully automated equipment can increase employee safety on the line without losing product quality.

Scope out solutions:

Packaging engineers must keep up with the latest technologies as automation breakthroughs revolutionise manufacturing. Many options exist for manufacturers wishing to automate their packaging lines with semi- and fully automated equipment.

Exhibitors at Pack Expo East are implementing large automation initiatives across product lines with the goal of assisting end users in meeting the most recent regulatory and safety standards while enhancing efficiency and product quality. The Innovation Stage, a series of 30-minute presentations where subject matter experts will share a variety of solutions and case studies addressing automation, regulatory compliance, workforce development, and best practises, will also help participants learn more. The Innovation Stage is open to all participants and is located on the show floor.

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