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Beyond Efficiency: Ergonomics in Carton Converting Facilities

Beyond Efficiency: Ergonomics in Carton Converting Facilities

Introducing ergonomics to folder-gluer finishing lines helps carton converters address labor shortages and increase production. Let me explain how.

Hello, I'm Ed, IMPACK Area Sales Representative for the United States.

I started in the packaging industry in 1989 as a finishing manager with 10 gluers and 75 employees of a GPI facility.  I was fortunate to work with good people.  They were patient with me, I was 27, they taught me a lot.    

The challenges were immense, and success was hard-earned. Operating machines at high speeds was a necessity for efficiency, but it took a toll on my dedicated employees, many of whom suffered from repetitive strain injuries. Looking back, I can't help but wonder how different things might have been with access to the equipment and solutions that IMPACK provides.  

hand-packing-repetitive-stress-injury-03

What was the cost of sick time and leaves of absence related to repetitive strain injuries at your facility over the past 5 years? Where did you experience the biggest turnover? Think about the cost of replacing, and training new employees.

Many carton converters experience the highest turn over rates in the packing area of the folder-gluer line. Over the course of an 8 hour shift this woman will scoop, lift, turn and pack over 9 tons of boxes. On a traditional manual packing station these movements cause serious repetitive strain injuries especially in the wrist and upper back. How long will she stay in a job that's damaging her body? The real business case for ergonomics in the packing area is in employee retention.

woman packing boxes overlay of an xray on her arm reveals repetitive stress injury

 

I have stayed connected on social media with my former employees Betty Wall and Marlene Goudy, who have now retired. It saddened me to learn that they are dealing with arthritis, perhaps a result of the physical strains they endured during their time in the packaging industry. Their stories made me appreciate the importance of automation and technology that prioritizes both efficiency and the well-being of people. 

I joined Impack because I believe our products make a difference in peoples lives. Having researched the evolution of IMPACK since its humble beginnings in a garage, I am impressed by the strides this company has made in creating equipment that not only meets industry demands but also addresses the health and safety concerns of people. It's a testament to the positive impact IMPACK innovation can have on the lives of those who dedicate themselves to the packaging industry. 

Ed_Client_Ergosa-carton-packaging-packer-9-800Back in 2001, IMPACK founder Dominic Theriault saw the strain manual packing puts on finishing line staff and was inspired to design a solution to make their job more ergonomic and efficient. Since then IMPACK has installed over 700 machines in carton converting facilities in 28 countries. In addition to addressing labor shortages IMPACK solutions have allowed carton converters to dramatically increase productivity. Physically demanding packing and stacking tasks for many box types can be fully automated with the Virtuo and Everio solutions. The Ergosa Universal Packing solution was specifically designed to introduce ergonomics to finishing lines that need the flexibility to do many different box types.

IMPACK’s solutions offer health and safety benefits beyond the dollar and cents efficiency improvements. I look forward to helping our customers integrate solutions that might have transformed my experiences in 1989. I'm looking forward to seeing how IMPACK solutions can continue to make a difference in the lives of individuals like Betty and Marlene. 

Find out more about Ed by visiting his bio page.

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