5 key points to consider when changing the packaging system for pallets
Is the new packaging system compatible with my product and installation? What protection is best for my product? Will it really save time and packaging costs? When changing the final packaging system, it is normal for the Technical Manager to consider many decisive questions. It is important to take into account not only the advantages of the new system, but also the technical requirements for your product and company. In today’s article we review the key technical aspects to consider when changing packaging systems.
Why switch to a different packaging system?
First of all, if we are reading this article it is possibly clear that we want to change the packaging system to automate and/or renew the technical installation. However it is important to have a clear final objective on which the project of a new packaging system should focus.
From our experience advising many industrial automation projects, we find several goals depending on the type of product and situation of the company:
- Avoiding stoppages due to technical failures: if we incur in major repairs, maintenance and technical stoppages with our current machinery.
- Solving problems caused by the current packaging: if the packaging we use does not offer total protection to the product we may have product losses and deterioration, which not only affect our balance but also the image of the company.
- Improve logistics management: it is important to improve security in storage and transport with a better grip and protection, but also a new packaging technology offers us greater connectivity and logistical traceability.
- Consumable saving objective: one of the main objectives is usually a new system that allows us to reduce energy and consumable costs.
- Safety goal: Another aim is to maximize the safety and hygiene of production with a fully automated packaging technology, compared to previous semi-automatic and even manual systems in which there is manipulation by the staff.
- Corporate objectives: Finally, other indirect objectives for the company must be taken into account, such as improving its corporate image through packaging or its sustainable commitment to a system that is more efficient and respectful to the environment, among others.
5 important technical aspects when changing the packaging system:
Once we have clear the main goals of the change of system is important to resolve all technical questions that may occur to us. In this article we have grouped them into 5 main technical areas:
1. Characteristics of my product:
The first to be taken into account are the characteristics of the product and its palletization: pallet measurements, load dimensions, weights, etc. In this point it is also important to communicate all the conditions of the product so that the new system is as respectful as possible with the producto, regarding the pressure allowed on the product or the application of heat, etc.
At Innova, we not only advise the customer on this aspect, but also carry out tests on our InnovaLab to determine the type of wrapping and film that adapts best to the dimensions and characteristics of the product.
2. Current vs. new system consumption:
The new system may have the objective of reducing consumables consumption and costs (film, strap, energy, etc.), so it is important to already know all our consumptions, from the use of gas in thermo-shrinkable systems, to the kg of film used per pallet. In situations of non-automated or semi-automated plants, we also recommend taking into account labor costs, as it also affects the total costs of our packaging.
At Innova we offer a Cost Study in all our projects where we analyze the savings and even the ROI of the investment of the renovation to a packaging system such as Stretch Hood.
3. Current production level:
The current production is decisive for choosing an automated packaging system with greater power or speed. In cases of low production, it is advisable to consider whether there is a forecast for an increase to address the short- to medium-term requirements for a faster packaging system.
In this area it is important to know not only the production (pallets/hour), but also the formats of pallets that need different packaging specifications.
4. Technical requirements of the production plant:
One of the key aspects for a new final packaging project is to list all the technical requirements of our production plant: from the dimensions and height of the plant itself, through the environment in which the installation is carried out (for example in the case of chemical industries), to connectivity details such as compatibility with the current PLC system.
It is also important to ensure with the packaging system manufacturer that all integrations and connections with the existing line and warehouse run smoothly. In this sense, in our Engineering department we carry out packaging line projects that are fully adapted and integrated into the customer’s facilities.
5. Other extra requirements:
Finally, it is very important not to miss anything and to see all the possibilities of the new packaging project. Once we have started to define the project, we may find extra requirements beyond the initial objectives: do I need an extra fastening or compacting of my load, additional robotic or labelling solutions?
In the projects with Innova, we usually review all the basic requirements of the client and detect if he has extra needs that have not been covered. In addition, the Innova Lab Testing Laboratory can determine which final packaging is the most suitable for the customer and recommend the necessary complements.
In short, there are many important technical aspects to consider when performing a system change, but even more important is to rely on an expert in this type of packaging projects. The key to making a successful system change is in the good accompaniment by the technical team that is advising you. At Innova we have an experienced Engineering team with a high level of packaging expertise that takes care of every project. Contact us and we will advise you with no commitment!