Remember that scene from I Love Lucy where the chocolates are coming too fast for Lucy and Ethel to wrap? Their solution was to shove some candies in their mouths, others in their hats, and a very small amount actually made it into the wrappers.
This hilarious clip can hit close to home for employees at the end of packaging lines. If the line has a high expected throughput, product may be flying through at too high a rate for the case formers and packers. Just like in I Love Lucy, this can result in rushed, low quality packaging or completely unpackaged goods.
With staffing shortages continuing to make reliable labor difficult to find, the support these workers need can often be found in a fully automatic case erector. This machine assembles boxes to match the rate of the items coming through to be packaged.
A fully automatic case erector has a high return on investment while increasing both reliability and throughput, but how do you know if your facility would benefit from one of these machines?
This checklist of conditions is a great place to start:
- Three or more people packing eight or more hours per day
- If your setup demands this level of staffing, automation can be a huge support. A fully automated case erector frees up the time they would spend making boxes for other, more meaningful tasks. It is also a reliable member of the team no matter what the job market looks like.
- 1,500 or more cases packed per day
- A high enough throughput produces a quick return on the investment on the machine purchase.
- Pre-erected boxes stacked on the floor
- Space is money. If your employees have to pre-assemble massive amounts of boxes to keep nearby for packing, that takes up space you can’t use for other goods. Fully automatic case erectors have a low footprint, and the boxes themselves take up a fraction of the space.
- New packaging lines
- New lines are a great indication of growth. Sustaining that growth and ensuring your line can seamlessly take on new business is a strength of automation.
- Large corrugated accounts
- When customers require a lot of boxes, case forming manually is a massive time suck and can cost business.
- Need to increase production
- No matter why production is increasing, higher expected throughput means an upgrade to the packaging system. In these situations, the reasons above make automation a terrific option to consider.
If your company fits into any of these boxes, consider adding a fully automatic case erector to the end of your line.