You're considering investing in folder gluer packaging equipment to help you increase your folder gluer output and improve your folder gluer productivity.
And you're probably asking yourself:
"Is investing in a packing system the right move for our business?"
"Is this the right time to invest in a packing system?"
You are not alone.
Every single box manufacturer has been in your place once upon a time.
This article will cover these Top 5 Considerations to help you make the most informed decision for your company.
1. Are You Running Your Folder Gluer at Its Maximum Potential?
To get the most out of your production line, you need to understand where the limits of your folder gluer line are, so let’s figure that out together.
Begin by running your folder gluer at maximum speed for an hour or so.
If your workers are struggling to keep up, try adding a packing person and see if they can keep up.
Most often, adding an extra packing person to your folding gluing line helps improve your folder gluer productivity.
That being said, it won't solve all your folder gluer problems.
If adding an extra packing person did not improve your output levels or increase your folder gluer productivity, then you’ll know that a packing system will help you cut down on your staff while maintaining the same speed.
In contrast, if adding an extra packing person improved your output levels or productivity, then you'll know that a packing system will help you cut down on your staff, as well as, increase your speed.
In conclusion, ask yourself if your folder gluer can run at a higher speed than it is right now. This will help you decide whether you need a packing system and what the packing system will help you achieve.
2. How Automated Do You Want Your Folder Glue Line to Be?
The automation level that you have for your folder gluer line will reflect your ideal production performance but it also reflects the capabilities of your production line, the dexterity of your folder gluer operators, and the organization of your workstations.
"What do you want to achieve with your folder gluer production line?"
Are you looking to have 1 operator managing complete folder gluer lines including the feeder, packer, and palletizer? And, Are all of your machines connected to a cockpit to control the speed?
Do you know how many boxes will need special attention during the packing or quality inspection? Note: there must always be 1 person overseeing your production output at all times.
And, do you have the space to automate your packing process?
These questions play an important role when you're considering investing in folder gluer packaging equipment.
3. What Type of Boxes Do You Produce?
You may want to automate to the highest level and you may even have the space, but perhaps your production mix is showing a lot of special boxes that need long, complicated setups and regular job changes.
In this case, full automation can be helpful for extra tasks like case ejecting, taping, or palletizing but the packing process itself might still be Manual or Semi-Automated.
This is why, here at IMPACK, we pay particular attention to collecting as much information as possible about your product mix before recommending solutions to carton and corrugated box manufacturers.
Think to yourself:
What percentage of Straight-line boxes, 4/6 corner boxes, or vs. Crash-Lock boxes do you produce?
Are you planning to run all your boxes on 1 folder gluer or split it into several folder gluer lines?
Would you be able to focus your production of some boxes on 1 dedicated folder gluer?
And more importantly, how do you need to pack them in the case?
Once you have envisioned your ideal production line and then you also organized the box types you’ll be producing, and how you will produce them with your folder gluer(s), the next step is to analyze your current folder gluer line(s).
4. What Are Your Existing Folder-Gluer Lines?
Knowing what current folder gluer equipment you have installed helps us get a good picture of your existing production. More importantly, it allows us to establish a benchmark for you:
Where does your folding gluing line stand today in terms of productivity and automation?
What aspect of folding gluing lines do you want to improve? (speed, packing personnel, etc.)
Ideally, we ask that you collect information like the brand, model, year, what boxes can be produced, quality inspection system, existing peripheral connector, etc., of your folder gluer. The same goes for your current packing or feeding systems.
From this information, we establish a clear benchmark of your folder gluer line and go from there.
Finally, the last question we explore is the why.
5. Why Did You Consider Packaging Equipment In The First Place?
We’ve explored reasons why you may have thought about investing in folder gluer packing equipment, such as speed.
However, there are often also other soft factors that lead people to consider investing in packing equipment.
These might be:
- High turnover
- Workload complaints
- Increase the number of sick days
- Decrease of output with your current workforce (people are getting slower)
The soft factors almost always relate to ergonomics in some way.
Lifting 4 tons of boxes per day while doing repetitive movements will eventually become hard on your workers, meaning your people might not be able to show up at work as often as possible, or even worse, it can lead to injury.
It is important to identify these potential problems early and help your employees with important improvements to their workspace.
Our clients have experienced the following after improving the ergonomics of their workplace:
- Enables people to be faster than before
- Makes them happier on the job
- Reduces their employees' sick and overall injury.
Nevertheless, with each client, we make sure to focus the project based on the client’s particular needs.
What Are My Next Steps?
If you took the time to ask yourself these 5 questions, then investing in a new folder-gluer packer may be the right solution for you.
Read the following articles to learn everything you need to know about increasing your folder-gluer productivity with or without investing in folder gluer packer equipment.