Are you looking to minimize the impact of your operations on the environment? Looking to lead from a place of sustainability?
The journey towards sustainability has become a necessary one for many businesses, especially those with global ties. Shifting consumer preferences and government regulations play a large role in why many businesses are adopting sustainable practices. Many leaders are also realizing sustainability is a key differentiator in their go-to-market strategy.
As companies become more keenly aware of the carbon footprint their businesses have on the world, many are also realizing their current operations are costly, inefficient and outdated. Automating packaging processes not only helps manufacturers with labor shortage issues, it addresses sustainability issues by reducing waste.
Signs it’s time to automate your packaging line:
- Excess waste
- High error and rework rates
- Inconsistent packaging
- Lack of predictability in order fulfillment
- Lack of repeatability in processes
- Supply chain inefficiency
The results are in.
A 2019 McKinsey report states that companies with a sustainability strategy that includes an environmental, social and governance (ESG) proposition are better positioned to make long-term investments in their businesses and create deeper value in the marketplace.
However, MIT Sloan Management Review says only about 60% of companies actually have a strategy in place.
There’s a reason for this. It’s one thing to understand the impact your operations have on the environment, the economy and society as a whole. It’s much more difficult to identify the ways an organization can fix it.
We understand many business leaders find themselves overwhelmed when trying to implement sustainable solutions. LINC Systems is here to help with custom packaging solutions and support to help meet your financial and sustainability goals.
5 Ways Packaging Automation Can Improve Sustainability on Your Production Lines
By switching from manual packaging to automation, you can experience better load containment, improved productivity and better profitability. But the benefits go beyond dollars and cents. Automated improvements to your packaging line can:
1. Increase production and efficiency
Packaging line automation systems are dialed in to your production requirements and keep your operations running at peak capacity with less equipment downtime. Plus, as more manual tasks are switched over to automated systems, your key employees can be re-positioned in operational roles better suited to their skills.
2. Reduce waste
Production bottlenecks and chokepoints kill productivity and often lead to unnecessary rework. Automated packaging systems optimize machine speed rates and improve the consistency of product loads while detecting errors more reliably, resulting in less waste and less material usage. LINC Systems can help design solutions to use less packing material resulting in lower material and labor costs, lower freight costs, and higher sustainability metrics.
To the right is an example of a cut and weigh analysis performed for a customer looking to improve the sustainability of their stretch film operations.
3. Attain better data
Automated packaging equipment can routinely track information like production cycles, date codes, preventative maintenance schedules, and more. With improved access to information, you can make data-driven decisions regarding your production lines and processes.
A key difference between manual and automated packaging operations is the ability to record and track data. By collecting data on material usage, production throughput and labor hours, businesses can establish benchmarks and identify where bottlenecks or inefficiencies lay and fix them before they become a drain on the business. Learn more.
4. Improve the well-being of your staff
Inefficient packaging lines put added stress on workers and deplete the human energy your business relies on. By reducing the number of manual and arduous tasks required of your employees, your team will experience fewer injuries and musculoskeletal disorders over time. An added bonus, is that happier, safer employees are less likely to look for employment elsewhere and improves your company’s reputation among job seekers.
5. Consolidate suppliers
When you work with a supplier with the capability to not only supply and support your packaging needs, but also your industrial, MRO and fastener needs, you’re able to consolidate orders and shipments. This means fewer purchase orders, fewer invoices to manage, less work on the administrative end, fewer purchasing errors and better forecasting. Not only that, but when you consolidate your fastener, industrial supply and packaging needs, you’ll receive one order instead of five.
How does that impact sustainability? Consolidating your vendors results in fewer trucks on the road, lower fuel consumption, minimized diesel emission and transportation charges, less packing material and less waste — which is a major benefit for you and the environment.
Not only that, but when you automate your packaging lines with LINC Systems, you can improve worker safety and ergonomics, reduce labor costs and lower your total cost of packaging.
Automated Packaging Solutions for Improved Sustainability in Manufacturing
Packaging automation is an efficient way to streamline packaging processes such as primary packaging and end-of-line packaging activities. Not only can automation help achieve faster and more reliable handling, but it can also help achieve your sustainability goals.
Examples of packaging automation can include:
- Automatic palletizing
- Stretch wrappers
- Bundling and packing
- Strapping equipment
- Bagging systems
- Shrink wrapping
- Conveyor systems
Some businesses may be hesitant to embark on more sustainable packaging initiatives as it can take time to fine-tune packaging materials and manufacturing processes for optimum production line run rates. However, those times are significantly reduced when working with experts like LINC Systems who take the time to evaluate materials and applications, perform equipment analysis, identify bottlenecks and recommend innovative packaging solutions to fast track those improvements.
How Companies like yours support sustainability on and off the shop floor
Sustainable manufacturing has become mainstream amid climate concerns, spiking energy costs and limited resources. Want to put sustainability on your agenda but not sure how? Take a look at how LINC customer, Newell Brands, took incremental steps and turned them into bold, systemic business models that are creating a better world through sustainability.
Newell Brands recently announced a strategic plan to achieve carbon neutrality (Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions), create pathways for efficiency and reduce waste by the year 2040. This plan will apply to all manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, storage and office sites.
Newell Brands plans to:
- Reduce emissions by 30%
- Reduce landfill waste by 90%
- Use of approved SmartWay® transporters (90%)
- Replace 30% of global electricity with renewable energy sources
“When we're looking to upgrade equipment or if we need to add something on the line, we'll just call our rep at LINC Systems and see what they can work up for us – he's our go-to resource. He and the LINC team are very familiar with our business – not only our core, high-volume lines but also with our lower-volume specialty products. And they understand what we're doing here or looking to do at the facility in the future. ”
- Mike Dobson, Senior Process Engineer, Newell Brands
Interested in automating your production and packaging lines? We can help.
Contact us to schedule an on-site evaluation with a knowledgeable LINC Systems representative who will arrive on-site to assess your state of operations, identify bottlenecks and provide detailed recommendations to help you cut costs on labor, freight and materials, reduce rejects, and improve plant processes for better sustainability.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an on-site consultation for automating your production line, please click here to contact us. Or give us a call at 800.252.5894.