If your production flow is expanding, if your current end-of-line process is slow, if you want to reduce sick leave or if you are failing to meet your sustainability targets, the time has come to leave manual processes in the past and automate your end-of-line.
First of all, what does industrial automation mean?
It is about reducing the work people do in production processes within the framework of initiatives in factories. As a rule, workers’ tasks are limited to monitoring operations from a control panel.
Manual? No thanks.
In many companies, a long time ago, few resources were allocated to the end of line, with the consequent decision to choose a team of workers to manually wrap or stretch wrap the palletised loads.
Stretch wrapping is the operation by which loads are secured on the pallet using stretch film.
Stretch wrapping is necessary for handling and transport, especially for those products that require greater protection against external agents such as foodstuffs or the raw materials involved in their transformation.
The plastic film acts as a lateral barrier, reducing the entry of dust and other agents through the gaps in the packaging. The wrapping operation is carried out by unfolding a reel of stretch film and wrapping the load with it. The mechanical procedures by which the load is wrapped are varied, with the current trend being to improve the speed and efficiency of the automatisms.
Main problems of manual processes
Currently, the most advanced automatic models that replace manual processes are ring stretch wrappers, capable of reaching speeds of over 150 pallets/hour, compared to rotating arm equipment that is intended for medium production and rotating base equipment that rotates the pallet, with the risk of shifting the load.
Can you imagine, today, four or five employees wrapping loads by hand for a more and more demanding logistics system? Exactly, it is unthinkable.
Here is a list of some of the frequent problems caused by manual processes:
- Unstable loads with consequent excessive consumption of consumables: any manual wrapping, however professional it may be, will never be able to optimise the relationship between load stability and reduced film consumption.
- High costs, injuries, or accidents at work: The factory workers will have to wrap the loads one by one. The manual method is slower, more costly and can cause more physical discomfort.
- Company image damaged by the final finish: batches of your products may be rejected because of a poor appearance, which may result from unstable manual wrapping that makes handling dangerous, crumbling on the lorry or during loading and/or unloading, leading to customer dissatisfaction and loss of loyalty.
End-of-line automation in industry has many benefits
An automatic stretch wrapper is a very good investment that will optimise your processes and your production and will improve the image of your company and the health of your operators.
Automatic stretch wrapping machines are those that do not require any operator intervention during the stretch wrapping process and are designed to optimise the production process.
It plays a very important role in modern industry: the stretch wrapper contributes, to a greater or lesser extent and depending on the quality of the machine, to:
- Improving efficiency, saving on film consumption: automation increases the speed of production, reducing human errors and increasing process efficiency. Compared to manual wrapping, with automatic wrapping machines there is practically no film waste, as the reels are fully utilised until the film is used up.
- Reduce costs: labour costs are reduced, improving production efficiency, resulting in a significant reduction in costs. Automating processes reduces labour costs by 60% in the use of semi-automatic stretch wrappers or 90% in the use of automatic stretch wrappers. Not to mention the improvement in the physical and working conditions of the operators, as physical effort is reduced, reducing the physical discomfort caused by wrapping a pallet manually and reducing absenteeism due to sick leave. Return costs and repackaging costs are almost completely reduced.
- Improved safety: the risk of occupational injuries is reduced, and workplace safety is improved.
- Improving quality: automation can ensure greater consistency and accuracy in production, improving the quality of the finished product. An automatic wrapping machine enhances the image of your company by improving the finish of the pallet. The stretch wrapper applies a regular and uniform film, leaving the pallet in perfect condition. The best finish is achieved by those stretch wrappers that have a cutting and sealing system that avoids the annoying film tails that cause so many problems in automatic warehouses and forklift wheels.
Automatic rotary ring wrappers, a bet for end-of-line automation
Our associate, Movitec’s automatic rotary ring wrappers can do that and more:
- Manufactured with proven, world-renowned components, quality that will extend the life of the machine.
- Machines designed, built, and programmed for easy maintenance with a global network of technicians to provide the best possible service.
- Significant film savings, thanks to its pre-stretch of up to 400% (i.e., one metre of film stretches up to four metres), combined with its excellent control of film tension on the load, which makes it possible to apply very thin film, without breaks.
- Flexibility of wrapping cycles, choosing a la carte the programme that best suits your load, automatically.
- Small loads, high loads, XL loads, with or without pallets, Movitec’s range of stretch wrappers can handle it all.
In short, end-of-line automation in industry, choosing a good quality stretch wrapper, with a good quality film, has a very positive impact on efficiency, quality, and safety, which can help improve competitiveness and business success.