In the last few years the demand for packaged goods has skyrocketed. This demand has been driven partly by the phenomenal acceleration in internet shopping and partly by the global increased taste for the speed and convenience of packaged foods.
Combined with the requirement from consumers to bring product to the market in rapid time, there has been a significant knock-on effect for product distribution channels. In this rapidly changing world, slow, manual packaging processes are no longer a viable option.
Today’s high speed automated inline packing systems brings together sophisticated software with technologically advanced machinery. The resulting solutions process goods substantially faster than manual methods. This enables businesses to not only satisfy their customers but also increase both productivity and efficiency. A further important benefit is a decrease in labour costs.
To maximise productivity, each inline packing system is individually designed to meet the specific needs of a processing line whilst occupying the least possible floor space. From printing invoices and delivery notes that automatically insert into cartons, to bagging and applying labels ready for shipping – the sky’s the limit when it comes to available inline packing options.
Twin level conveyors can be used to cleverly merge the correct documentation with the right product, and cameras and barcode readers constantly check the entire system for accuracy.
With the shift towards more environmentally friendly solutions it’s vital that, wherever possible, packaging is kept to the absolute minimum. Fit to size technology is becoming more frequently used in carton packaging machinery, designed to use the minimum amount of packaging for a less costly and greener solution. Gone are the days of receiving big boxes for a small product, full of wasted space, large amounts of infill material and expensive shipping costs.
Modern bagging machines also use only a set amount of material to wrap a product safely for despatch, cutting the bag to size and therefore reducing waste. In the future the development of bio based plastics will result in a more natural plastic packaging which will be much easier to recycle.
Provided a specialist automation partner is involved, a high speed automated packing system is a smart investment which will result in considerable cost savings and quickly show a return on investment.
Tamworth based Axiom GB has installed two automated solutions into Kuehne + Nagel’s facility for the company’s BT contract with the mobile network operator, EE.
The two automated lines, a B2B weigh on the way tote system code named ‘Vera’ and a B2C packing line code named ‘Jack’ have enabled Kuehne + Nagel to significantly increase the productivity of both of these operations.
Nigel Henman is the Operations Manager for Kuehne + Nagel’s facility, he comments on the B2B tote system, “When we were manually weighing and packing for the retail operation each individual could complete 15 to 20 totes per hour. As a comparison ‘Vera’ can achieve 600 totes in an hour. It would take one person 30 hours to manually weigh and process 600 totes – so that has given us a saving of 29 hours.”
The B2C packing solution ‘Jack’ is used for the inline packing of EE mobile phones and associated equipment. Henman notes, “Manually packing we were achieving 65 units per person per hour, with the Axiom automated solution we can push through 1200 units hourly with just four people, it’s made a big difference to our productivity.”
Matthew Nickson, director of Axiom GB concludes, “One of the strengths of our business is our ability to work with customers to create unique inline packing solutions for their facilities. We welcome interesting challenges, so please give us a call.”
For expert advice on automated inline packing solutions please contact the Axiom team on +44 1827 61212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org