Automation And Innovation: Shrink Wrapping Technology For Modern Times
Shrink wrapping is an extremely versatile packaging method that serves a wide variety of industries well. In the last few years we have noted in all of these industries an increasing demand for automated machinery solutions to which we have responded – and in many cases anteceded. If our current range of machines were to be compared with our pre-2014 catalogue, it would evident that our product range has ‘climbed up’ considerably in the automation stakes in a mere half-decade. Due to technological advancements, what was once a high-end shrink wrapping machine is now more entry-level, making way for faster, smarter and more efficient models. Increasingly we are supplying fully automatic machines to all industries, which run at higher speeds and boast more flexibility for configuration; all without the need for an operator at the infeed. Due to hi-tech advancements it is now possible for us to automate more applications than ever before.
The Drivers Of Automation
Where did the trend towards increased automation come from? Sure, every aspect of our modern lives are now touched by automation. From our mobile phones, to cars, to smart homes, we rely on more automated gadgets and items than ever before. But why is it important for packaging?
Automation improvements appear to correlate with the rising cost of labour in the UK. The national minimum wage climbed fractionally between 2010 and 2015, before steep increases in the years that followed. This has been coupled with a clamp down on zero hour contracts and enforced pension schemes. Accordingly, some warehouses and factories are now feeling the pinch more than ever. Many businesses that we engage with at YPS have concluded that an investment in automated wrapping machinery represents a short payback and good return on investment when compared with the equivalent labour costs – as well as providing total reliability and requiring no holidays!
Although you may expect increased technical sophistication to push the prices of wrapping equipment up, in fact the opposite is true. As advancements are made, over time our products become more affordable and features that were once expensive optional extras become standard pieces of kit. This is significant because as a result it has now become feasible for small companies or even cottage industries to purchase the fully automated shrink wrapping lines that were once reserved only for blue-chip budgets. This in turn makes the demand for automation even greater. At YPS we have seen that as smaller companies return to us to replace their older equipment, most are choosing to upgrade to more automated models for the purposes of efficiency and cost-cutting.
Servo X: Serves Up Speed & Stability With Automation Software
The very best of automated shrink wrapping solutions is represented in our Hugo Beck Servo X continuous motion high speed side sealer, which can achieve impressive speeds of 8,000 packs per hour without any need for an operator. The equipment is software driven, with an HMI screen as standard for adjusting settings and interacting with the machine. It boasts remotely controlled diagnostic capabilities, which allows our engineers to dial into the machine and solve any issues in live time with minimal disruption to our customers. The Servo X also collects and reports on production data, linking into any existing warehouse system if required. In terms of efficiency, which is critical for operations wrapping thousands of products every day, there is no match for our Hugo Beck Servo X.
Automation in E-Commerce
Another key industry propelling the increased automation for wrapping requirements is the growing e-commerce sector. It’s no secret that it is changing the face of consumer purchasing, and so retailers have had to respond to the new considerations that this entails for their packaging – durability, enhanced protection for transportation and data security and accuracy. This trend to e-commerce has meant an evolution in some of our machinery at YPS, from just wrapping to multi-functional models that automate other steps in the packaging process.
Our Flexo E-COM is a turnkey e-commerce solution that uses automation software at its very best. The machine couples the bagging process with an integrated label application system to provide full data management for products. Our solution takes away the manual handling aspect of pick and collection, reducing labour costs by replacing in some cases up to 8 people per line and negating the room for human error. It’s brilliant one-in, one-out, automated process eliminates errors in data dispensing and ensures absolute reliability and security as well as 100% compliance with data laws.
As the burgeoning trend for automation continues, YPS will continue to be the go-to supplier for the latest offers in shrink wrapping technology. For more information, call our friendly team today on 01924 441355.