Right Level of Automation


Right Level of Automation

An increase in productivity, savings, profit margins, and quality can be made by strategic automation of end of line processes. Not all packaging lines need to be fully automated to bring about greater efficiency. The level of automation needed depends greatly on the requirements of the packaging line and the ROI on automating certain processes.


Differences between semi and fully automated lines

Semi-automated lines rely on some level of workforce interface to maintain operations. There's a collaborative effort between equipment and employees along the line.


Pros:

  • • Increase in efficiency
  • • Offers line flexibility
  • • Lower cost of entry
  • • ROI can typically be proven in a shorter amount of time

Cons:

  • • Requires skilled laborers, which are hard to find and retain
  • • Requires increased safety training
  • • Possibility of human error still exists throughout production

Fully automated systems are optimized for high speed production lines. They are the best solution for manufacturers with large production runs and a high number of products being produced daily with lower variation. These lines operate with little human interaction.

Pros:

  • • Increase in efficiency
  • • Improvement of product quality
  • • Reduced risk of human contamination
  • • No safety risk for workforce on the line

Cons:

  • • Higher cost of entry
  • • Lack of flexibility in some cases
  • • Not ideal for environments with high variation

Levels of Automation


Key Considerations

Whether you are starting from scratch, upgrading or adding to an existing system, you need to understand your current goals, requirements and performance level, while also considering your growth trajectory, so you can be sure that your investment will be future-proof.


Related article: 6 Factors to Consider Before Automating


Expert Solutions

As automation continues to transform manufacturing facilities, it’s crucial for packaging engineers to keep up with the latest automation trends and technologies. Manufacturers looking to semi or fully automate their packaging lines can request an Automation Assessment with our engineering team to discuss custom automation solutions.