If you’re looking for a job with great opportunities for advancement, consider a career in manufacturing … because the industry is looking for you.
A sizable skills gap currently exists within the manufacturing industry. According to Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, they are forecasting up to 2.4 million jobs could remain unfilled through 2028.
Not surprising, open jobs in packaging follow this trend as well. As of 2019, The Packaging School estimated there were more than 110,000 unfilled jobs in the packaging industry alone. The main reason cited for this skills gap is an increasing level of retiring workers and the lack of trained workers in the pipeline to replace them. With an increasing number of unfilled jobs in the packaging industry, this heavily impacts packaging lines that solely rely on hand-packing processes. As an end-user company grows, so does their need to maintain or speed up production. However, with the decreasing labor pool, these needs are not being met.
One of the solutions for the labor shortage that these companies are taking is to transition into some form of automation. During this transition, companies are often not ready for a fully automatic line. The purpose here is not to completely eliminate the need for workers, but to make it easier for these workers to perform their jobs more efficiently to make up for the diminishing labor pool.
Recognizing this need from companies, packaging machinery suppliers are taking the lead by designing end-of-line packaging machinery such as case erectors that are more user-friendly and intuitive to operate and maintain. For example, the BEL 505 semi-automatic case erector has a compact design with just a single on-off switch and pictorial guides that make changeover a breeze for a new operator. The flexibility in case sizes makes this machine perfect for those just starting in automation, setting the premise for growth as production processes evolve and change.
The goal of this machine is to reduce the complexity of operation, troubleshooting and maintenance, while allowing the machine to be mobile. The machine’s features optimize the form, pack and seal processes and can be controlled by just one operator. The maximizes the output from a single operator while maintaining the overall physical demand in the packing process that would usually require three operators. All the operator needs to do is put the case blank in, and the machine forms and holds the case, freeing up that person for two-handed ergonomic loading. These are simple design upgrades that do make a difference when operated by a less-experienced workforce. The manufacturing and packaging sectors are constantly evolving and offering tremendous career opportunities for people. By working together and promoting our industry, we can begin to close that skills gap.