The Decision to Automate Liquid Packaging Processes
Every company, and every product, must start somewhere. For some products, the demand may be so high right at the beginning that an automated packaging system is warranted to produce high numbers of filled, capped and labeled product. But more often, a product will reach a local or regional customer base first and grow from there. A number of companies may start packaging manually, by filling, capping and labeling bottled or other containers by hand. As demand for a product grows, when is the right time to move to packaging automation?
The answer to this question is different for every company and the cost of automation will always play a significant role. A company with one employee preparing product may need some type of automation before a company with one hundred employees filling, capping and otherwise preparing product. The cost analysis will always include the cost of labor, but also the cost of machinery, production floor space, maintenance and other factors unique to each individual packager. In most cases, as demand for a product grows, automating the packaging process in some manner will become a cost-efficient solution.
But cutting operation cost is not the only benefit of adding automation to the packaging process. For some small to medium businesses, employing assistance with semi-automatic machinery can add efficiency, consistency and reliability to the packaging process. For example, an employee continuously capping bottles throughout an eight-hour day is likely to slow down as the day progresses. Fatigue may lead not only to slower speeds at the end of the day, but also under-tightened or inconsistently tightened caps. Adding a semi-automatic capper allows the operator of the machine to simply place the cap on the bottle and the cap and bottle combination under the capping head. The machine does the tightening, in the same manner in hour one and hour eight. The same is true of filling, labeling and other packaging functions.
Of course, if demand continues to grow exponentially, there will come a time when the work force necessary to complete projects simply becomes too large. For companies preparing thousands of bottles a day, automatic packaging machinery simply becomes a necessity. Automatic packaging machinery provides the consistency and efficiency of semi-automatic equipment while also removing the need for operator assistance with every cycle and adding substantial speed to the process.
Each packaging company is unique, and automation may not always be necessary for every packaging step. One company may automate one step, such as filling, while continuing to manually cap and label. Another packager may combine semi-automatic and automatic equipment to create a unique packaging system. Growing demand will often tell a packager when automation of some type is necessitated. At Liquid Packaging Solutions, we help packagers find the best solution for their own needs and desires. To learn more about semi-automatic or automatic machinery, simply browse the LPS website or contact a Packaging Specialist today at 1-888-393-3693.