If you take a walk down the laundry aisle of the store, you’re sure to find plenty of variety in each detergent brand, from the size to the scent to the stain-fighting or hypoallergenic properties. You can choose anything from the mini economy bottle to the bulk size, with plenty of options in between. You wouldn’t want to buy a bunch of mini bottles if you needed a large, and you wouldn’t want to buy a large if all you needed was a small.
The variety we expect in household products is driven by companies trying to meet the changing needs of consumers. In packaging these products, whenever there’s a significant change in size, shape, flavor, or material, the packaging system is brought to a standstill so that machine settings can be adjusted.
Traditionally, these changeovers were performed manually, which resulted in increased downtime and operator error. Because of this, packagers had to choose to either:
A. Reduce the variety of products, which leads to a loss in market share,
B. Increase operating costs with lines dedicated to specific SKUs, which reduces profit.
So what’s the right solution?
Today’s Changeover Technology
In recent years, on-demand and customized packaging has increased, leading to new solutions. Automated line changeovers replace hand wheels, mechanical stops, and other manually adjusted components with intelligent sensors, drives, a programmable logic controller, linear unites, and human-machine interface displays.
So, when choosing an automated changeover solution, what should packagers look for? We’ve developed these top 10 key considerations to keep in mind.
Benefits of Automated Changeover (Click to Expand):
Benefits of Automated Changeover
To recap, automated changeover systems provide numerous benefits:
- Less system downtime and material waste
- Increased productivity
- More reliable production quality and traceability
- Fewer personnel resources dedicated to changeovers
- Less risk for accidents — less human interaction with moving parts
With these and other benefits of automated changeover systems, a packager can truly customize their production batch sizes to the customer orders, thus improving their production efficiency. The result is the opportunity to serve a larger customer base while increasing revenue and profitability, and the flexibility necessary to keep up with the ever-changing dynamics of 21st century packaging.
Download the full whitepaper by clicking here.