Building an Automatic Line One Machine at a Time
Packaging a product is, obviously, a process, the goal being to prepare as much product as is needed in a specific amount of time. This can be accomplished with by hand packaging, by using labor combined with semi-automatic packaging machines or by completely automating the process, using labor only to set up and maintain the process. However, packagers can also combine all three concepts on the way to building a fully automatic system.
For start up or smaller companies, a complete, automated packaging line just may not make financial sense. The number of products a start up company has to get out the door may not warrant automatic equipment from day one either. However, the growth of the company may lead to the need for full automation to meet demand in the future. The key to building automation one machine at a time is to analyze the process and figure out which steps will save the most time by adding automation.
For example, if filling a slow flowing or highly viscous product, doing so by hand, and accurately, may take excessive time. Purchasing a turntable and an automatic filling machine to consistently and quickly fill containers may save a significant amount of labor. The bottles can still be capped by hand and labels can still be applied manually, but the entire process is more efficient by removing the large amount of time necessary to pour products in to the bottles.
As demand increases, the company may find that most of their time is being used sealing bottles, and the next step would be adding an automatic capping machine to the process. The order in which machines are automated to get the most efficiency out of a system or the process will depend on the product, the containers, the caps, labels, labor available and other factors, so that each automatic line may be built in a different order.
Most automatic packaging machinery will also be manufactured on a portable frame, which means that once a conveyor system is in place, the equipment can simply roll up to the line and begin to fill, cap, label or otherwise prepare product. Of course, complete automated packaging lines are also available for those packagers that immediately have high production demands. For packagers looking to automate their process, LPS Packaging Specialists are always available to answer questions or assist in finding the best solution for the project at hand.