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Endoline: The less costly journey of automation

Author : Alan Yates

13 July 2011

A packaging line doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. Alan Yates, CEO of Endoline Machinery explains, how you can take the simple, less costly journey of automation….

‘Don’t run before you can walk’ is a saying we are all familiar with so why is it often forgotten within business? When a company makes the decision to automate they often feel that unless they have thousands of £££’s to spend fully automating their packaging line then they might as well not bother. However as a company we often find ourselves reminding customers that they can build up automation slowly.

While automation can undoubtedly improve productivity and quality there are also other questions to be asked when automating a line for the first time – such as if your packing machine breaks down can you cope with the added workload until the machine is fixed?

Don’t be afraid to automate, instead take a stepping stones approach to automation – get into bed with a packaging supplier who can see you through the process over time. Look at a way of automation which brings flexibility to suit you - while lowering the risk level. Rather than replacing your workforce with a fully automated line ease your company into the concept – while keeping labour involved to work on the new, more productive packaging line.

One example of this would be to invest in a packing station. These stations are ergonomically designed to reduce the effort required to hand pack a wide variety of products by ensuring that products, people and packaging are arranged in the most efficient way possible.

Investing in a hand packing station can provide significant short-term savings and future developments can be accommodated as each system can be upgraded by integrating with any erecting, forming or sealing machine.

Many of the larger companies such as Tesco and Amazon don’t have fully automated lines preferring to utilise the hand packaging station for flexibility when dealing with a range of differing products on a single line.

Ultimately the decision to automate is down to the individual customer, however end of line packaging companies need to work with the customer throughout the automation journey - however long it may take.

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