Our customers often ask us about the likely lifetime of their investment: expressing concerns about potential product changes, operational reliability and support. There is an abundance of literature on new product development, recent installations and current trends but it seems to us there is less of a focus on reviewing the effectiveness of established installations. Consequently, we were extremely pleased to read the Project Profile of Synergy Health by Lynda Searby in Packaging News which looked back at an investment, made in 2007, to eliminate waste and inconsistency by automating a manual case packing operation with a robotic case packer from Quin Systems. This was part of a wider investment in their production capabilities.
Packaging News talked to Garry Wilson, manufacturing director at Synergy Health, about why he initiated the project, the implementation and the long term impact. He explained that the equipment replaced a manual task that had required half a dozen operators in physically demanding jobs that involved lots of bending. Case packing has now become an automated operation manned by two people, allowing Synergy Health to redeploy operators onto more varied tasks.
Packaging News reported that the equipment has proved to be robust and reliable and has reduced waste by improving the consistency of case packing. In addition, Wilson says the factory has seen considerable improvements in productivity.
“The line is capable of 120 packs per minute and it has been demonstrated that it can achieve 90% of that figure.” – Garry Wilson, manufacturing director at Synergy Health
Reliability of the case packer has been demonstrated by the fact that the line has been in constant operation for eight years.
“We are running this case packing line six, sometimes seven days a week, and it has given good performance, which says a lot about the robustness of the equipment.” – Garry Wilson, manufacturing director at Synergy Health
If you are embarking on an end of line automation project, we are happy to talk about the experience that we have gained from implementations such as the one at Synergy Health.