7 min read
How to Improve Your Folder-Gluer Productivity [A Complete Guide]
Written by: Hani Hallal, 11 March 2022
Are you searching for ways to increase your folder-gluer output and improve your folder-gluer productivity?
Looking for tips to help you process more carton boxes at a higher speed?
Hi! My name is Hani. As a Marketing Project Manager at IMPACK, I work very closely with experts in the packaging industry.
After almost two years of researching, writing, and sitting down with the top minds in the packaging industry, I collected the top tips to improve a folder-gluer's productivity and reach top packing speeds.
This article summarizes these top tips that I heard over and over again from some of the most sophisticated experts in the packaging industry.
By the end of this article, you'll know exactly how to improve your folder-gluer productivity, cut down on costs, and produce more output at a higher packing speed.
Let's get right into it!
Is Buying a New Folder-Gluer the Solution to Your Problem?
A graphical depiction of some of the most widely present folder-gluers on the market in alphabetical order (Ace Machinery, Bahmüller. Bobst, DGM, Eterna, Heidelberg-MK, KBA Duran, SBL, Vega).
Yes and no.
Many box manufacturers believe that buying a new folder-gluer is the solution to increase their folder-gluer output and improve their folder-gluer productivity, and if you thought that too, you are not alone.
In some cases, buying a new folder-gluer is the best solution, and in other cases, it simply isn’t.
The first step to answering this question is to identify why the capacity of your current folder-gluer is limited.
In other words, where are you facing bottlenecks?
Is it at the gluing, packing, or feeding stage?
Or, are you facing bottlenecks in more than one of those stages?
Once identified, the second step is to collect data on your production and work methods.
Analyzing this data will give you an accurate picture of where your production is today, where you want to go, and how you will get there.
Sometimes we see clients that prefer to have another folder-gluer over adding a night shift on their gluer because of rising labor wages, operator job scarcity, or other reasons that are related to productivity and are specific to the client. In those types of situations, adding a new folder-gluer could make sense.
Another very common scenario that we see all the time is when a client wants to produce a unique box that cannot be produced on their existing gluer. Here, adding a new folder-gluer would be a perfect fit.
For example, if your folder-gluer cannot produce 4-corner boxes but you recently acquired big orders for 4-corners, then you could utilize your existing folder-gluer for straight-line boxes and acquire a new folder-gluer for 4-corner boxes.
The reason this solution is quite common is that a lot of those older folder-gluer machines were so robustly built from heavy metal that won’t break. The electronics might fail, but the hardware is very solid. Thus, clients are reluctant to get rid of their older gluers, and rightfully so, they deploy them for more dedicated lines and purchase a newer folder-gluer for more complex box types.
It is also important to acknowledge that getting a new gluer does not mean a simple hands-down investment in a gluer, period.
You need space, which is a privilege in this industry.
You need another operator — another privilege.
You need to train those operators, which is time-consuming.
You need other workers around the packing stations where job turnovers are very high.
You need the equipment to manage the output/palletization — which can become expensive, and bulky, fairly quickly.
So, adding a new folder-gluer is not an overnight decision where you call your folder-gluer manufacturer and excitedly welcome the arrival of your new gluer to only then realize that you have limited space, unproductive operations, or worse: A wrong fit.
No one enjoys regretting a purchase, especially with high-ticket items that require a substantial investment from your hard-earned money.
🔎 Recommended: If you're still conflicted on whether you should buy a new folder-gluer or invest in folder-gluer packaging equipment, the article "Should I Buy a New Folder-Gluer or Invest in Packaging Equipment to Improve my Productivity?" will guide you through how to make the best decision for your company.
Improving Your Folder-Gluer Productivity - Here's How
Source: SBL Machinery's website. Choosing and Safely using a folder-gluer - Blog.
There are several ways to improve your folder-gluer productivity and reach higher packing speeds. And those ways do not necessarily require you to invest any money.
In fact, most box manufacturers that are looking to invest in folder-gluer packaging equipment are not yet ready to invest because they have not maximized their folder-gluer's productivity.
So, here is how to improve your folder-gluer productivity with investing and without investing:
“I can actually increase my folder-gluer's output with zero investment?!”
I know...it sounds too good to be true. But, it is possible if understood and capitalized on wisely.
Let’s take an example: You are currently producing 10 pallets per day and you want to produce more of the same boxes per day (hence increase your folder-gluer productivity). Let’s also assume that your purpose is to bring down the cost per box or to acquire more orders.
If you know that your folder-gluer can produce more than what it’s currently producing, then you can add an additional packing person to push your folder-gluer to its maximum potential.
If, however, you see that you are already at maximum potential — and your packing person(s) can no longer follow — then adding another packing person won’t help you as your folder-gluer has reached its top speed.
If you are running at a speed X on your folder-gluer but you know that you could run faster, and the production run — as a whole — should be shorter, then this is where minimizing your setup times should be your next step to improving your folder-gluer productivity.
To truly be able to capitalize on improving your folder-gluer productivity with zero investment, you must master your folding-gluing process.
"And how do I do so?"
Focus on tuning your gluer until you have a steady production outflow at a consistent level with a packing person(s) that can follow.
This means that they are able to re-adjust the guides and belts on your folder-gluer, the glue application system, and transfer of boxes to the compression belt so that all your boxes are well-glued even at a higher speed.
You should know though that the higher the speed is, the greater the likelihood a small misalignment could happen, and the greater the speed at which they happen — if they happen.
This increases the possibility of a jam and eventually a folder-gluer stop: Something you, and your operator, do not want happening.
The article "Top 5 Ways to Improving Your Folder-Gluer Productivity with Zero Investment" outlines the top 5 ways to increase your folder-gluer output and improve your folder-gluer productivity without investing a dime. A must-read!
“Hey, hey, hey! Slow down; We are not following anymore!!!”
Did you hear that?
That is the loud shouts of your packing staff suddenly yelling because they cannot keep up with the speed.
At some point, you became good at tuning your folder-gluer with $0 investment and you ramped up your speed but the personnel just cannot keep up anymore.
So now, you have to deliberately slow down your folder-gluer and purposefully reduce your folder-gluer productivity.
After all, every single machine has its limitations, and those limitations will eventually happen.
There will come a point where your folder-gluer will hit its maximum potential and there is nothing you can do to make your gluer run faster (or better) without additional solutions.
This is the real tipping point where you know that it’s time to explore options that require investing.
Here's where folder-gluer packaging equipment come into play.
But “folder-gluer packaging equipment” is an overarching term for a wide range of packing solutions and peripherals around a folder-gluer.
And each of those solutions varies in scope, degree, and levels of automation.
Taking it a step further, the integration of the right packaging solution depends on your product mix, type of production, box packing configuration, individual needs and a set of intertwined factors.
Hence, knowing that you need to invest in packaging equipment is not “the” ultimate answer to all your folder-gluer problems.
It is a great first step, but there’s a whole world to folder-gluer packaging equipment.
To make life much easier for you, we have compiled the Top 7 Ways to Maximize Your Folder-Gluer Productivity & Reach Top Packing Speeds that are recommended by our top engineers and production specialists from their observations of over 1000 companies around the world.
Yes, those 7 tips can make a serious difference to your company’s productivity, speed, and, ultimately, your revenues.
Ready to Improve Your Folder-Gluer Productivity & Reach Top Speeds?
Alright. We talked about whether, and when, buying a new folder-gluer is the solution and when investing in packaging equipment is a smarter decision.
If you're still conflicted about whether you should buy a new folder-gluer or invest in packaging equipment, the article "Should I Buy a New Folder-Gluer or Invest in Packaging Equipment?" will guide you through how to make the right decision for your company.
We also talked about the main ways to improve your folder-gluer productivity with investing and without investing.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to improve your folder-gluer productivity and reach higher speeds, here are your next steps:
Your Next Steps
Want to learn how to master your folding gluing process but still not ready to invest?
Already applied the top 5 ways and ready to take your folder-gluer productivity to the next level?
Considering packaging equipment but not sure if it’s the right decision for you?
👉 Find out whether your company is ready to invest in packaging equipment by reading “Do I Really Need to Invest In Packaging Equipment to Reach Higher Packing Speeds?”
Still looking for answers?
If you still can’t find what you’re looking for or have questions that are specific to your company, contact us today! — IMPACK’s experts would love to help, and maybe even show you one of our machines LIVE in action 😉.
How to Maximize Your Folder-Gluer Productivity
✋ Attention packaging producers ✋!
Top 5 Ways to Improving Folder-Gluer Productivity with Zero Investment
Are you a small-sized business owner with 1 or 2 folder-gluers?
Should I Buy a New Folder-Gluer or Invest in Packaging Equipment to Improve my Productivity?
Your folder-gluer has been running well, but it has reached its maximum potential.