Packaging Line Optimization Best Practices

It takes a long time to optimise a packing line. And the hunt has a lot of variables to consider. If one machine or component fails, it can wreak havoc on your entire line, resulting in higher labour costs, downtime, and, of course, the inability to locate the source of the problem. When you add automation to the equation, there are even more variables to consider.

Optimization can take numerous forms, including improving what you already have or upgrading an operation with more advanced equipment. Floor space, downtime, throughput, energy, total cost of ownership, return on investment, waste, employee training, and other factors may be considered.

Packaging experts give guidance on beginning from scratch, as well as recommendations and best practises for optimising packaging lines.

What suggestions do you have for optimising a packing line?

  • The idea is to have a comprehensive picture of the line rather than focusing on a particular component. First, talk to the operators to get their feedback on the organization. Then chat to the maintenance staff and the operation planning department. Ensure that everyone understands all of the functions. It will be performed and which machine will be in charge of them in the second stage. Not only should the machines be examined. The packing material specification for the machine's early start as well as the design characteristics at the start point should also be considered. Quick wins throughout the optimization process will be supported by a proper data capture method followed by root cause analysis. In which will build confidence between the optimization team and the production personnel.
  • Communication is one of the most important criteria for a Packaging Production Line. The first step toward operational efficiency is line integration, which ensures that each component interacts efficiently with the others. Stand-alone machines from various providers that are simply mechanically connected through conveyors are frequently unable to perform at their maximum efficiency, lowering the line's overall efficiency. Furthermore, many devices use various software, making it difficult to review data and run extensive diagnostics, restricting operators' capacity to efficiently monitor and respond to any unexpected actions.
  • We feel that the only way to properly understand what is and isn't working for an operation is to conduct a comprehensive packing line audit up front. We also look at all ergonomic variables to determine the best workstation design for packers in order to eliminate non-productive movement, increase uptime, and keep packages moving through the fulfilment process at the fastest possible speed.
  • To fully optimise your packing line, you must first have a deep understanding of all of its components. Knowing what's going on before the product arrives, as well as where it's going once it's been packaged, is the key to a successful packaging line that fulfils your production and sales goals.

What about specific factors like speed, cost, downtime, automation, and a small footprint?

  • Soft factors and their influence on OEE must be taken into account during the optimization process. The mindset of those participating in the manufacturing process is also examined. When the proper skill set and training are accessible at the right time and in the right place, production will grow. Due to their decision on which type of packaging material to acquire and how the material will be transported to the line, purchasing departments are frequently an important component of the production process.
  • Products are now processed at record speeds. As production lines become more automated, increasing the risk of damage or breakage. Material waste is a major problem for any plant management, and it can influence the entire production cycle. It is often caused by faulty control equipment or poorly tuned processes. If left unchecked, a single flaw might result in significant bottlenecks, resulting in unnecessary downtime and waste. Control system suppliers can assist in identifying the appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) for a specific manufacturing process using a detailed user requirement specification (URS). Furthermore, energy-saving software with features like'standby time' can dramatically reduce a plant's energy consumption and carbon impact.
  • Before selecting the best packaging solution, we examine all components of the packaging process. Material, equipment, labour, energy, speed, safety, postage, damage rate, and so on are all included.

Is there any further advise you might give to people who are thinking about putting a line in place?

  • Examine the degree of change and format sections on your line more closely. The more standardisation of products and packaging you can achieve, the fewer line changeovers you'll need, the more productive time you'll have, and the higher your OEE will be. Virtual reality training permits the line to produce. People who are taught on the line's virtual counterpart are prepared for reality. Production no longer needs to be halted for training purposes. Therefore production output will continue to be available during training.
  • The following are the top three pieces of advise we would give: 1. Clearly define the difficulties you want to solve when optimising a Automatic Packaging Line. Packaging requirements will change as consumer trends change. Any new packaging line, That is installed must allow producers to effectively and efficiently react to changing consumer needs. Make careful to get equipment that allows you to be as flexible as possible. It's critical to establish clear and measurable KPIs for the new packaging line's performance to be evaluated over time.
  • As early as possible in the process, evaluate the packaging materials and equipment.

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