Many manufacturers in 2021 saw increased demand, supply chain shortages, labor shortages, and let’s not forget the ever-present threat Coronavirus had on keeping your doors open. Whether you’ve jumped one or all of these hurdles, one thing is for sure… 2021 has left us all saying, ‘oh brother, what’s next!?’ 2022 as yet remains shrouded in mystery, so to quell your anticipatory anxiety, here are two DO’s and two DON’Ts that the experts at Best Packaging recommend to help you ‘baton the hatches’ to your end of line and prepare for whatever comes next.
Fall behind on Preventative Maintenance
When you’re constantly adapting to new circumstances, everyday maintenance tends to fall by the wayside. But that’s precisely when it is needed most! Failure to regularly clean, lube and exchange worn parts can escalate a minor breakdown to a total catastrophe. Consider boosting your PM plan with performance monitoring technology. By combining line counter data with hands-on technician experience, you’ll get the clearest insight to predict wear and tear issues.
Overspend on Disposables
Disposables like stretch film, tape, and corrugate are called such because they are intended to be used once and thrown away. When you spend more than you need on single-use materials, you are essentially just throwing your money away! This happens when case tapers require more than one pass, when stretch film is so thin that it requires additional wraps, or when your cases are thicker than necessary for your application. Getting the right thickness or tension is a delicate science best left to an expert. Find out where you could be saving money by having our team of production line designers (and an ASTM contributor!) audit your plant for inefficiencies.
Integration doesn’t JUST mean robots. Advancements in manufacturing technology have steadily been picking up steam over the past few years. The infrastructure is finally available to make Industry 4.0 technology not only feasible for the average manufacturer, but affordable too. Take a few baby steps into the vast realm of IIOT (Industrial Internet Of Things) by implementing sensor automation with PLC integration to your existing equipment.
Take Care of Your Team
At a time when labor is scarce and employee welfare is ever the subject of public scrutiny, consider what you could be doing to improve plant safety or reduce the strain on your machine operators and material handlers. For example, graduating to a semi-automatic packing system, like a Wexxar Bel 507 & 150 combo that features a tilted packing station for better ergonomics could increase your packages per minute and still keep your valued workforce comfortable while performing repetitive motions.
If you are interested in exploring any of the solutions we suggested above, we’d love to get in touch! Or, if you need something more specific, Best Packaging is happy to assess your current production line to create a more personalized recommendation for improvements to your system. Contact us for more info!