Optimise your production line – Automate all the boring jobs!
Automating your production line is all about efficiencies, it’s about savings, and it’s all about reliability. Make your employees happier and your ROIs healthier with packaging automation tools.
Why should you automate your production line?
- Machines don’t need to go to the toilet.
- Machines don’t want to stop for a cigarette.
- Machines don’t mind if they’re filling thousands of bottles an hour.
You might argue that automation is putting people out of work. However, I would argue we are keeping more people in work because if you automate all the repetitive, boring jobs, you can then employ people to do far more meaningful things than pour 10 mil worth of liquid into a bottle and apply a label. You can divert your workforce into more enriching activities, allowing your people and your business to become more successful.
Manual production line example
Let’s look at a typical liquid filling production line.
Basically, in a hand driven filling production line, you have somebody at one end digging out a bottle and hand filling it… you have someone in the middle taking that bottle and putting a cap on… and somebody on the other putting a label on and then putting it into a box.
In basic terms, you’ve got three distinct processes that are happening: filling, capping, and labelling, and each person is only able to handle one bottle at a time.
Automated production line example
However, when you put in a fully automatic filling line, all your workers need to do is get a box of bottles, chuck them in a hopper… get a box of caps, chuck them in a hopper…. and get a reel of labels, put them on a labelling machine. And then you just press ‘Go’!
What then happens is that the machine sorts the bottles automatically.
They all go around a conveyor and the filling machine with two heads, for example, fills two bottles at the same time…
…then they go around the star wheel, which puts a cap in place on each bottle…
…another machine then tightens them…
…they go off, onto another conveyor, which applies the label…
…then they either drop into a box, or if you want, you can buy a cartoner to put it into a carton and then close the carton – automatically packaging it at the end without any human interaction.
What comes out at the end of the automated production line is a completely shelf-ready product.
Less people needed in an automated line
In an automated production line, you need less people to manage and oversee production than in a manual or semi-manual line. In one of our FL 800D lines, for example, you only need two people: one person filling the hoppers, and the other monitoring the process and making sure the products are coming off at the end okay.
It’s all one single flow of activity
So, instead of lots of separate processes involving lots of people, you have everything organised into one continuous flow. Whilst you’re sorting these bottles, you’re also filling the bottles that have just gone down the conveyor… you’re putting caps on at the same time… and you’re putting labels on at the same time. All these processes are happening concurrently: they’re all happening at the same time. So literally at the end of the production line you’ve got…
Bottle… Bottle… Bottle… Bottle… Bottle…
And this is happening continuously.
It’s integrated all the processes into one, that can produce product at a much faster and at a more continuous rate than ever before, whilst your human staff are doing something a lot more fun and rewarding.
Businesses are more efficient; people are used more effectively, and product is produced with less contamination from human hands. You then have a very quick return on investment, a happier workforce and a better-quality product for your customers.
Why automate your production line?? – Why not!