Streamlining Your Business

7 Questions To Consider Before Buying Carton Packaging Machines

If you need packaging machinery for food, medications, or anything else that you plan to put in a carton, there are a range of processing equipment choices that can work. To ensure you get the right specs for your business, you need to be armed with the right information as you are shopping. Here are seven questions you should consider when looking at carton packaging machines:

1. Do you use special carton shapes?

In many cases, you may be fine with packaging machinery that just works with cartons in rectangular or cubic shapes. However, in other cases, you may need machinery that can work with multiple shapes such as cones or spheres.

In still other cases, you may need double walled cartons, waved cartons, or other unique features. Make sure that you understand which types of cartons you need so you can find machinery that accommodates them.

2. How are you going to load your packaging machinery?

Once you’ve made sure that the packaging machinery can handle the cartons you plan to use, you need to think about loading the machine. Some packaging equipment requires a constant supply of boxes being fed into it. Other machinery, however, can handle intermittent feeding, and it can respond accordingly. You need a machine that works with the production flow in your facility.

3. What are your volume, weight, and piece count requirements?

You should also assess how much you need to pack into your cartons. Do you organize your packages by weight, volume, or piece count? That answer should guide you toward the right machine, and in some cases, you may need a machine that can juggle different types of measurements.

You also have to ensure your machine can accommodate the quantities you need to work with. Ideally, you should think about the quantities and volumes you use currently, but you should also keep an eye to the future and ensure that your packaging machinery can support your business as its needs change.

4. What speed does the machine need to accommodate?

If you’ve found a machine that can meet your volume, size, piece count, and carton specifics, you then need to think about your proposed volume of production. Most machines are labeled with a speed. Typically, this is measured in cartons per hour or cartons per minute. To ensure you’re buying the right packaging equipment, you should estimate your production needs and make sure the machine can keep up.

5. How long does changeover take?

In most cases, when you switch to a different type of carton, you have to go through a changeover process with your machine. This process can happen with the tap of a button on machines that allow you to pre-program specifications. However, in other cases, changeovers can take several minutes. Ultimately, you have to consider how the changeover time will affect your productivity, and look for a machine that offers the right balance between affordability and fast changeovers. 

6. What are your labeling requirements?

In addition to thinking about how the equipment handles the packaging, you also have to think about labeling requirements. If you need to add labels, you need to check out the customization options offered by the packaging machinery. Similarly, if you need the machinery to read labels and sort the merchandise, you need software that can read and respond to a variety of SKUs or barcodes.

7. Do you have an on-site technology team?

You also need to assess your internal capabilities in terms of taking care of the machine. Do you have an on-site crew who can install software, deal with programming issues, and troubleshoot the machine? If not, you may need to look for packaging equipment that comes with remote support and troubleshooting. That way, you have the peace of mind that you have help at the ready if something goes wrong with the machine.

Finally, once you’ve narrowed in on a machine that meets your specifics, you should look at what types of attachments can work with that machine. You should also look for additional helpful features such as safeguards that deal with incomplete boxes or other issues that may cause packaging mistakes.

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Upgrading To Manufacturing Production Software: 3 Additional Extensions That Can Be Enjoyed

The manufacturing industry in the U.S. is huge. Manufacturers in the U.S. have been crowned as the most productive manufacturers in the entire world, known to far surpass the capabilities of other countries and have contributed $2.09 trillion to the economy. This has led to higher wages and living standards; however, for the manufacturing industry to continue to grow and stay as a top competitor, manufacturers must rely on special software programs to run the entire operation. Most manufacturers rely on simple manufacturing resource planning software (MRP); however, it may be time to upgrade to manufacturing production software.

Ideal Candidates For An Upgrade

A MRP is perfect for manufacturers that operate large runs or few products; however, as manufacturing companies expand, their needs change. If your manufacturing company specializes in make-to-order (MTO) or assemble-to-order (ATO) operations, produce customized products or take on orders that change frequently, your company requires software that is more flexible and can handle more versatile projects. The upgrade will boost the overall productivity and efficiency within your company to help you further expand, reduce costs and gain more profit. 

Benefits That Can Be Reaped From The Upgrade

If you’re happy with the MRP software, you may be wondering why you should take the initiative of upgrading your network’s software, especially when you factor in the added costs involved with the initial installation and the amount of time and effort that you will have to put into training your workers to become familiarized with the new system. MRP software are considered as basic tools that all manufacturers require. As your company expands, upgrading from MRP software to manufacturing production software will allow you to reap the following 3 benefits:

Prioritization Of All Jobs

MRP software do not take into account the profitability or value of each job and task. Everything is weighted equally. In comparison, manufacturing production software will be able to factor in many different issues and considerations in order to determine which jobs are more profitable, and which tasks are more important. The software can then help your company prioritize which jobs are more important, and need to be completed first. This helps boost overall productivity, and can also help you determine which jobs to take on in order to make the most profit possible out of the time and energy that is put in.

More Realistic Simulations

Manufacturers that rely on the MRP software often come up with unrealistic expectations. The MRP software uses total capacity as a baseline when planning and calculating, but manufacturing production software will calculate and plan all activities and operations based on available capacity instead. This means that the manufacturing production software will consider constraints that may result from jobs that are already scheduled. 

Calculation Of Several Production Scenarios

When overseeing an entire operation, it may be difficult to determine which operations and production scenarios are most beneficial. Manufacturing production software will utilize complex algorithms to model multiple possible production and operation scenarios.

In short, manufacturing production software is capable of finite capacity scheduling, production planning and workflow visualization since adjustments can be easily made to the calculations. 

Conclusion

Depending on the size of the operation that you are running, manufacturing production software can help significantly boost overall workplace productivity and efficiency, as it can help you determine which production scenarios are most productive and will yield the most profit. By being able to dynamically plan production, you may also find that your company may be able to take on more projects in the future and make better decisions regarding which projects to take on by looking how much effort, time and resources need to be distributed to each project in comparison to the operational capacity. For more information, contact a company like JobPack.

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Do You Manage A Business? 2 Problems Stretch Wrapping Machines Solve

As a business manager, you might be faced with responsibilities like reviewing department budgets and talking with potential investors on a daily basis. When business is booming, it can be hard to find time to deal with surprise issues. However, you might be able to fend off trouble by investing in a new piece of equipment for your warehouse. Here are two problems full-pallet stretch wrapping machines solve, and why you should invest in one for your company:

1: Damaged Product

After developing products and packaging them carefully, it can be frustrating to hear from customers complaining about damaged items. Unfortunately, shipping can be hard on products, which can be bad for business. However, pallet wrapping machines can help you to protect your merchandise, which can reduce your costs and keep your customers happy.

To use a pallet wrapping machine, all your backroom employees will need to do is set a pallet on a turntable or under a rotary arm. After turning the system on, the wrapper will automatically stretch layers of strong plastic around the top and sides of each load. These plastic layers might not seem like much, but here are a few ways that they can keep items safe:

  • Moisture and Grime: As your packed pallets ship off to their destination, you never know what they will face. The back of that delivery truck might be filthy, or it might start raining during the product transfer. However, pallets that are wrapped with plastic will be protected from the elements.
  • Pallet Stability: Stretch wrap is incredibly flexible and strong. In fact, some varieties are capable of stretching to 500% their original size without breaking. As layers of plastic film are stretched tightly around each pallet, they hold product in place so that things don’t fall and become damaged.

Although a stretch wrapper might seem like an added expense, the amount of money you save in damaged products might pay for the system in no time.

2: Injured Employees

If your warehouse employees have been wrapping pallets by hand, you might wonder why you would need to invest in a separate piece of equipment. After all, why supplement a system that seems to be working fine? However, hand-wrapping pallets can be dangerous, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Stoop and Circle: As employees struggle to wrap the bottom of pallets, they might find themselves in a stooped stance, circling the load, carrying wrap that weighs between 8-10 pounds. Unfortunately, this body position and repeated motion has been found to cause musculoskeletal disorders and back pain.
  • Lacerations: When employees use hand stretch-wrapping devices, they might be tempted to stick their fingers into the open ends of wrapping tubes to help the plastic to run off of the roll. Unfortunately, this action can actually cause serious cuts.
  • Falling Product: As your warehouse employees hurry to wrap pallets and load up trucks, they might not work as carefully as they should. Unfortunately, unless plastic wrap is applied securely and evenly, products could fall and hit your workers.  

Fortunately, by investing in a stretch wrapper, you might not have to worry about filling out as many accident report forms. Because stretch wrappers are automated, reliable, and contain safety guards, your employees can stay safe while getting the job done. Believe it or not, the addition of a pallet wrapping machine can also improve employee morale. While that pallet is being wrapped, your employees might have time to chat, take a break, or grab a bite to eat.  

Stretch wrapping machines might help you to speed up shipping, without sacrificing safety or quality.  

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