Such is How Packaging Machines can Drag your Business
A common stereotype, probably, about packaging machines is that some companies are fanatical about the concept that they are all capable of improving their productivity. That is partially true, however, implementing a packaging machine in a hasty way without sufficient assessment and investigation will damage your business, waste your money, and finally still without your productivity or profitability being actually improved.
Another probability that packaging machines can drag your business happens during the later period of their life span when they are no longer capable of keeping abreast of your needs.
In this blog, we talk about the signs and situations where your packaging machine can damage your business instead of boosting your production rates.
1. A Packaging Machine Bought for Being Cheap
- “Can your machine automate my needs?”
- “What’s the price? We need an affordable budget”
- “It’s cheap (literally)“
It is reasonable that you want to buy a packaging machine that is capable of automating your needs, of powerful functions and efficiency, and last but not least, it is competitive in price. A result of such contradictory expectations is that you may bump into cheap packaging machines that are inferior.
A cheap machine bought is usually like your money poured like milk. You should never buy a packaging machine just for the reason that it is “cheap”, no matter if it refers to the price, or it is what it literally means.
Our Advice for you
- Don’t look only at the price: While a renowned packaging machine manufacturer sells their machine at an expensive budget, and an unknown or small company offers it at a lower price, you should try to investigate further into their service, eager to work for a long-term partnership, their past references, etc.
- Delivery Term: While many manufacturers and suppliers in China claim that they are able to deliver their machine, for example, a cartoner, within 15 days, the packaging manufacturer within Europe will say their lead time is up to 10 months. Bear in mind this is due to the difference in complexity, level of automation, quality, and many other factors that make their lead time so different.
- Avoid buying from untrustworthy suppliers: The packaging machinery market is in chaos with a lot of intermediaries and trading companies that pretend to be the manufacturers. They are sales-oriented and would outsource a cheap machine to resell and achieve a deal with you. Avoid such companies that have no control over their offers.
2. You Misestimated your ROI of the Packaging Machine
Machines are more eligible for repetitive and precise work than people.
This is the consensus we all have. However, automation can also be redundant in some cases. Misestimating your needs for automated packaging and buying a packaging machine in a hurry will result in a long ROI or even never having your investment paid off.
Imagine that you are just a small business that is doing packaging manually at present to fulfill small orders. Implementing a packaging machine at a price of USD 200,000 to replace the few people would be alluring at first moment, yet you will soon find out that it will take years to have your investment paid back.
Our Advice for you
- Reflex on whether you truly need to automate your packaging: Packaging automation is aimed to improve production rates at large scales. If you are just a small local store or local business with few packaging needs, manual work may be your choice.
- Estimate your ROI and PBP before the decision-making: The ultimate goal of automating your packaging is not only to boost your production but also to have your money paid off. Check through how many benefits you will get by replacing people with machines, and estimate the Return on Investment and Pay-back Period by taking into account the cost to buy the machine.
3. Your Failure to Committing Predictive and Preventive Maintenance
As Industrial Packaging suggests in their article:
“Predictive maintenance is essential in keeping your packaging machinery and, by extension, your packaging lines up and running. This is because predictive maintenance allows you to replace parts or make repairs before they become a problem.”
So what is predictive maintenance anyway with a packaging machine?
According to Pack World:
“Predictive maintenance is the ability to monitor a machine, or machine component, and avoid unplanned downtime by foreseeing machine failure and allowing the opportunity to take preventative action.”
Conducting predictive maintenance to your packaging machine can reduce the cases where your machine is down and you have to contact your packaging machine manufacturer to send technicians to your site to get the problem fixed, the extra costs here are:
- The travel and accommodation cost you have to pay the technicians
- The salary you have to pay during their service on your site
- The downtime of the machine will drag your productivity and cause considerable loss
- You have to temporarily count on manual packaging during the downtime
4. Your Packaging Machine is Out-of-Date
One who bought a cartoner machine in 1956 such as the PR Model Cartoner by CAM Packaging might think this was the cutting-edge packaging machine they could ever have come across. Yet nowadays, cartoning machine are capable of reaching an incredible speed of hundreds of cartons per minute, and even up to 1000 cartons per minute.
While all your competitors in your niche are with the most advanced packaging machines and you are still relying on a machine made in the last century, you are falling behind of the competition and this is damaging your business, especially if you are a contract packager or co-packer company.
Our Advice for you
- Look further beyond when buying your packaging machine: Try to acquire something as advanced as possible at the beginning so the machine you buy will not be outdated so quickly such as during its early life span.
- Consider selling your used machine and buying another one: Sell your used machine to the market to recover a least some of your investment, and replace it with another machine with technologies of nowadays.
5. You’re Production has been Expanded
Business always keeps on growing. While you have reached success with your previously installed packaging machines, you may be thinking about expanding or have already expanded your business’s production.
Though you can configure your current machines with a higher speed with just a click on the HMI, each model of packaging machine has a limited maximum speed. In this case, your current machines would hinder your steps forward and toward a larger business blueprint.
Our Advice for you
- Discuss with your manufacturer for an upgrading project: In the case that you have only expanded your productivity plan without extra production lines and facilities built, it is recommended to check with your packaging machine manufacturer for an upgrading project to revise the current machine at your site.
- Buy extra sets of machines: For your new lines set up in new facilities, look for new machines to keep abreast of your expanded production plan.
6. You are not Taking Full Avail of your Packaging Machines’ Capability
Production is also about management and measurement. Those who merely look to have their production improved with the equipment landed at their facility and simply leave them there for operation may be able to see a boost-up in production but will soon find problems and gradually witness a degrading efficiency.
Few people know how to exploit the full capability of their packaging machines and only make complain to manufacturers when problems happen. Apart from maintenance and preventive check with the machine, it is also suggested to implement modern management methodologies to achieve constant improvement and process excellence, for eample,
You may apply OEE analysis to your packaging process
OEE stands for Overall Equipment Effectiveness. It is a metric that measures the efficiency and effectiveness of a manufacturing process, including the packaging process. It provides insights into how well an equipment/machine is utilized and how efficiently it produces the desired output.
OEE is calculated by multiplying three factors: Availability, Performance, and Quality.
- Availability: This factor measures the actual production time compared to the planned production time. It takes into account equipment downtime, maintenance, and other factors that lead to production stoppages.
- Performance: It measures the speed at which the equipment is operating compared to its optimal capacity. Factors like machine speed, minor stoppages, and production rate contribute to the performance factor.
- Quality: This factor measures the production output’s quality compared to the desired standard. It takes into account rejections, defects, and the need for rework.
Analyze your packaging machine’s capability
Process capability indices (PCIs) are statistical measurements used to assess the ability of a process to consistently produce output within specification limits. They provide a quantitative measure of how well a process is performing in terms of meeting customer requirements.
PCI analysis involves a relatively more complex procedure compared to OEE and we have provided a full guide to how to apply the process capability index to your packaging machine.
At the End
The success of your production depends on how you treat well your packaging machines and make sure that these unexpected and pitfalls do not happen.
Despite the fact we are a packaging machine manufacturer, we would never hesitate to discuss with you the issues with your business and offer helpful tips and advice to you. And for product inquiries, please feel free to contact us at any time by email: email@example.com