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Illustration of a packaging line

What are your tips to help optimize a packaging line?

Factory-trained technician can analyze, repair and maintain equipment

The Veritiv team, with a nationwide network of factory-trained technicians available locally, can analyze, repair and maintain equipment that is causing issues.

Photo courtesy of Veritiv

Chris Baum, Director of Sales Specialists, Veritiv

Chris Baum

Director of Sales Specialists

Photo courtesy of Veritiv

  1. Leave the packaging to the experts. Partner with someone who understands packaging from design to delivery.
  2. Evaluate material usage. If there is damage, determine the root cause and fix it. A new material or a redesigned package can save money.
  3. With COVID-19, labor shortages are an issue, and automation is one answer. Automation optimizes material demand forecasting and usage to increase consistency, speed and savings, while minimizing waste. This creates a predictable, safer shipping experience as e-commerce continues to grow.
  4. Don’t be afraid to invest. Automation does require an upfront cost, but most companies see greater consistency, longer production hours and less damage and errors, resulting in a return on investment.
  5. Leverage a kitting partner to increase production and regain valuable space in order to add production lines. This also frees up time and energy to focus on the core business.
Craig Souser, President  CEO, JLS Automation

Craig Souser

President & CEO
JLS Automation

Photo courtesy of JLS Automation

If you automate, scrub your potential suppliers thoroughly for experience, overall capability and support infrastructure — and go see some equipment. Upfront cost is only one component and usually not the best measure of value and security for these investments. Changeover, cleaning and maintenance are all major factors to be evaluated.

Joe Luke, VP of Sales  Marketing at Reed Lane

Joe Luke

VP of Sales & Marketing
Reed Lane

Photo courtesy of Reed Lane

The focus on new machinery should be set up and changeover time versus actual run speed or cycle time; invest in new equipment with technologies that streamline processes and comprise a smaller footprint; and rent or lease machinery for one-time or short-duration work to accommodate new projects.

Bob Neagle, Commercial Director, Digital Products and Services, Videojet

Bob Neagle

Commercial Director,
Digital Products and Services

Photo courtesy of Videojet

The one thing we universally recommend is use of code management software to make line changeovers more efficient and reduce code errors that can lead to scrap and rework. Beyond that, it comes down to employing Lean Manufacturing principles, which in turn requires visibility to line performance data. Printers that know if you are running, how fast and how much you’ve produced can often be a gateway to obtain the necessary data.

Spotlight illustration by sorbetto / DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images

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