Ready to integrate your packaging line to improve efficiency, output and uptime? Get started with these top 5 tips.
It’s no secret that integrating your packaging line delivers tangible advantages — a more streamlined operation, real-time reporting and visibility, added security, and eliminating coding and labelling errors, to name but a few.
So once you’ve worked out the ROI and decided to integrate your packaging line, what next?
Like any business initiative, the success of your packaging line integration comes down to how you tackle the project from the outset.
- Do your homework
Integrating a packaging line requires not only a holistic view of the system, you need an understanding of each piece of equipment involved, as well as the controls needed to make the line function seamlessly.
So start by doing your homework. Read whitepapers, articles and case studies on how other manufacturers have approached the task. Research the latest integration software solutions and compare their pros and cons. The more informed you are, the easier your integration journey will be.
- Engage third-party experts
Ideally, you should partner with third party experts, such as secondary packaging OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) or integration specialists. We can’t stress enough how valuable this will prove.
For cost reasons, smaller companies may choose to do the integration themselves, and even larger manufacturers might assign an internal engineer to the task. However, the benefits of engaging external experts can far outweigh the cost barrier: it gives you access to solid project-management skills and unparalleled understanding of equipment and systems.
Working with external experts, such as our team at Matthews, will ensure you have the correct coding, labelling, inspection equipment layout and the right technology for your line. They can assist with cost-effective solutions and help you avoid costly mistakes. All of this will save you valuable time and money down the road by ensuring your packaging line is as efficient as possible right from the start.
- Define your project requirements
A detailed and accurate site survey will give you a good understanding of what your project requirements are so that you can set a realistic project plan and timescale. If you choose to engage a third party, they will lead you through this process. It’s critical at this point that you look at the overall business needs and processes to get the best possible outcome for your entire operation.
- Plan for future innovation
Don’t fall into the trap of only buying integration systems to suit your existing product lines. Look to the future and consider how you can build future innovations into your packaging line today. Investing in a solution that allows for future change and growth just makes good business sense. For example, Matthews iDSnet is a scalable, next-generation software solution that can integrate all of your coding, labelling and other end-of-line packaging equipment, such as vision systems, checkweighers and scanners. You can start with line integration for quick changeovers, data validation and error detection, and then integrate with other systems as your business grows. (See here for a quick run down on what checkweighers do and their benefits to your business.)
- Document what you learn
Take time to learn everything you can about your packaging line and the integration system. Capture information using video and photos so you can share it with your current and future operations team.
Ready to talk about packaging line integration? Speak to Matthews Australasia. Our team has nearly 40 years’ experience in the business, so we know how to help drive efficiency, accuracy and cost-effectiveness in your line.
You may find this brochure on software integration helpful. You will also find some interesting material in our resource library, among our whitepapers, articles from our thought leaders, presentations, infographics, YouTube channel and so on. All material from our resource library is free to download.
And while you’re thinking about business improvement, this blog on how to calculate the ROI of your checkweigher may also be of value.
Image credit / StockFinland