The era of manual labor is gone. Now, companies rely on robots and other automatic machines to do the muscle work. Employees perform jobs where they need to use their intelligence, abilities, creativity and skills – things which robots are not capable of. In this context, we believe that automation in palletizing, using plastic pallets and robots, should be the standard in all warehouses.
We base this claim on our experience in working with clients and noting the improvements in operations and cost control. We also base it on our firm belief that technology can help companies work smarter, not harder, in achieving their goals. But, of course, you cannot take our word for it. This is why we prepared a list of the most relevant benefits of automation in palletizing.
The Basic Prerequisite: Replacing Wooden Pallets with Plastic Pallets
Any kind of automation in logistics and supply chain involves transitioning from older packaging materials to new and reliable ones. Thus, before you start looking for robots to do the palletizing work, start phasing out wooden pallets and replacing them with plastic pallets.
Pallets made of wood are notoriously unreliable, even with great care. They splinter and absorb liquids. They change their weight and color. Also, they retain odors, fats and other contaminants, being nearly impossible to properly sanitize them. When handled by robotic arms and in automated system, they tend to break down and cause damage to the high-end and expensive automated machines. For this reason alone, you need to have a new batch of reliable plastic pallets before your company decides on implementing automation in palletizing.
How Does Automation in Palletizing Help Businesses?
There are several ways in which any company can benefit from choosing automated palletizing systems. These are:
1. Increased Productivity
Two employees working together efficiently can palletize 7 maybe 8 shipping units per hour. An automated palletizing machine has the capacity of palletizing up to 13 units per hour.
This means that your products get to the clients on time or even faster than they were expecting them. In turn, this means that your clients are happier and will continue to place orders with you for the foreseeable future.
2. No Risk of Injury and Other Labor Accidents
Labor accidents cost companies a lot. It is not just the money you pay in compensation to an injured employee. You lose workforce and productivity is reduced until they can return to work. Several incidents of this kind will give your company a bad reputation as an unsafe employer and you may be unable to hire and retain experienced and talented workers.
After you implement automation in palletizing, this risk disappears. Employees only have to push a button to start the machine and monitor its performance from a safe distance. Only one person can do this job, meaning that you can assign workers in other areas where they are needed.
3. You Gain Flexibility in Operations
Manual palletizing machines are usually designated for one type of product. You cannot change the pallet size or the items you prepare for shipping. This lack of flexibility is a major issue in the current economic environment. Successful companies are lean and agile – they can quickly adapt to new demands and serve all clients without delays.
Choosing automation in palletizing bring forth the benefit of being able to adapt your production and distribution models. You can pack and ship various types of products without making significant changes to your palletizing system.
4. You Reduce Loss from Damaged Products
Manual work does not carry only the risk of injury (which is the most serious, of course), but also that of damaging products. Accidents happen, stacks of products topple and some items get so damaged that they cannot be repackaged and sold. This translates into losses for companies – and mitigating losses is one of the key strategies for survival.
Automated palletizing does not pose this risk. The machines operate smoothly, at a steady speed. They also have sensors indicating any issue with a pallet and its load and will stop at any sign of problems.
5. You Achieve Full ROI on the Entire System
Return on investment is one of the factors that plague logistics and procurement managers. When you spend a lot of money on packaging materials and automated palletizing systems, you want to make sure that you recoup this investment.
The answer is yes – you can rest assured that the continuous effective operation of these modern systems will generate revenues that cover the full investment and start showing up as profits in a reasonable period of time.
The team of logistics experts at Logistic Packaging is ready to discuss with you what is involved in implementing automation in palletizing. We can help you find the plastic pallets models that fit your needs and assist you with post-sale implementation. Send us an email to start discussing your business needs!