Countless details go into developing and manufacturing products these days. Attractive design, functionality, quality and availability barely scratch the surface. While all these factors are certainly significant, numerous reports are now circulating about the value of product packaging as well. This often-overlooked aspect can have a significant impact on modern businesses.
Exploring the Importance of Packaging
Packaging plays a key role in a number of business aspects. It serves as a vital link in the marketing and advertising chain. It’s also tasked with protecting products from the time they leave the assembly line until they reach customers’ hands. In many cases, consumers have also come to expect packaging to serve multiple purposes after they purchase certain products.
On top of all this, products are typically placed in additional cartons for shipping and distribution.
These boxes must fulfill multiple roles as well. They protect the products inside from impact and the elements, make for simpler storage and handling and sometimes even safeguard handlers against corrosive substances among other purposes.
At present, conservation and sustainability are also major concerns. Consumers want product packaging to be responsibly manufactured and environmentally friendly. Companies that fail to meet those expectations often inadvertently alienate themselves from their target audiences.
Understanding the Primary Problems with Packaging
Product packaging, shipping cartons and other related items are inarguably vital to businesses on numerous levels, but they also pose certain challenges. Material costs alone consume a considerable portion of most companies’ budgets.
Businesses across North America spent more than $40 billion on corrugated cardboard and solid fiber boxes last year according to a recent report. This figure doesn’t include other types of packaging. Analysts expect spending on packaging and shipping cartons to surge during the years to come.
Research indicates packing negatively affects businesses’ bottom lines in another fundamental way as well. All too often, the process of folding and gluing cartons itself creates a bottleneck. Resulting breakdowns in productivity generate unnecessary expenses in their own rights. SBL, a long-running expert in industrial folding and gluing innovations, has set out to eliminate this issue.
Taking a Look at the Conventional Carton-Folding and Gluing Process
Traditionally, folding and gluing boxes involves a number of steps with the end goal of transforming a flat piece of material into a specially designed container. As alluded to earlier, the finished product must perform several tasks, such as making products stand out on store shelves, keeping food fresh, protecting sensitive electronic components and keeping items intact during shipping to name a few. Each phase in the folding and gluing process plays into those purposes.
Materials must contain branding, product information and other details. Machines need to cut and fold cartons precisely to achieve the desired shape and design. Handlers or packaging equipment apply glue in exact amounts to specific areas in order to keep the package together until it reaches the end user.
All this generally takes quite a bit of time. Automation has entered the picture to help speed up the process and reduce stress on workers. Still, standard machinery continues to present a number of issues.
Workers typically need to load materials into folding and gluing machines by hand. Oftentimes, they must also transfer boxes from one area to the next with each step of the process. In some instances, they have to glue cartons manually and place enough pressure on them to ensure the glue adheres as it should. When transparent windows, foil appliques or other features need to be in place, this is yet another delay in the process.
Setting up machinery for each type of carton used is a different matter entirely especially with so many companies now running smaller batches of products and packaging to meet increasingly diverse consumer demands. Those frequent changeouts involve switching dies, reconfiguring machines for new specifications, loading in new materials and a wide range of other steps depending on various factors.
In the meantime, products and orders begin piling up. Shipments are delayed and customers grow increasingly frustrated with the setbacks. Employees are often required to work overtime to bridge the gap, and all the steps involved place excess physical strain on workers.
All this adds up to considerable expenses. Reduced productivity, lost customers, overtime pay, missed time from work due to injuries and high employee turnover rates are only a few of the costly problems to ensue. Fortunately, there’s a better way.
Stepping Outside the Box
SBL is a frontrunner in the industrial machinery sector. The company has developed an array of equipment designed to meet the die-cutting, folding and gluing needs of its clients. Numerous features have been incorporated into its latest line of folding-gluing machines to help streamline the process and combat unnecessary bottlenecks.
While the number of cartons a folding and gluing machine is able to process in a given amount of time isn’t the be-all and end-all of the packaging process, it’s certainly a major factor. SBL’s folding-gluing equipment is designed to run at top speeds to help businesses better fulfill their customers’ expectations. Users can also alter running speeds as necessary.
Reconfiguring the folding and gluing machine to accommodate the needs at hand takes a significant amount of time and effort with conventional equipment. This is true whether a company runs only a couple types of carton for extended periods of time or several packaging designs in a single day. SBL designs its machines with this in mind. They can be quickly and easily set up and transitioned from one type of carton to the next to further reduce delays.
Some carton processing equipment is only capable of running specific materials. This means each type of packaging requires its own set of machinery. Businesses relying on these limited alternatives stand to lose a great deal of time and money. SBL sought to do away with this issue as well. As a result, the company’s newest folding-gluing equipment is capable of handling a variety of materials, carton sizes and designs all in a single machine.
As mentioned, far too many companies are forced to use a different piece of machinery for each phase of the folding and gluing process. That’s not the case with equipment from SBL. From feeding and pre-folding to top sealing and sending cartons on down the line, SBL’s systems offer all-inclusive functionality. All workers have to do is load the machines, check quality at random intervals and make occasional specification changes as needed.
Most people don’t realize just how heavy even thin cardboard can be unless they’ve handled large quantities of it. The sturdier the packaging, the more weight it tends to carry. Boxes become more awkward to handle with each new fold as well. At the same time, constantly reaching, bending, stretching and lifting heavy loads places ample stress on workers’ joints.
Research shows an estimated 540 work-related injuries take place each day in the United States alone with the most common being sprains, strains and torn tendons and ligaments. SBL took these issues into account when designing its folding-gluing machines, and the company is committed to helping reduce the risk of injury.
Efficiency takes on various forms when it comes to running a business. Low machinery operating costs are essential, but that’s only one factor to consider. Organizational efficiency may well be an even more significant concern. This means each leg of the folding and gluing process needs to flow seamlessly into the next, and machinery should be set up in a manner that’s convenient for users. SBL’s folding-gluing equipment covers each of those aspects.
If a company can’t count on its machinery to run as expected, features and options mean nothing. Constant malfunctions hamper productivity no matter how many bases the equipment covers. Quality is among SBL’s top priorities, so its clients can rest assured their equipment won’t let them down when they need it most. The company also employs a highly skilled and experienced maintenance team to take care of problems if they arise and help prevent them whenever possible.
In addition to those features, SBL offers unlimited customization options. Its machinery is built to the exact specifications of each client. This helps generate optimum productivity from every standpoint. No two companies’ needs are the same, so standard, cookie-cutter equipment just isn’t suitable for all businesses. SBL understands the importance of building its machinery to cover the full range of clients’ expectations as well as those of their customers.
Enhance Your Productivity with SBL Folding-Gluing Machines
Countless companies fall short when it comes to packaging their products and readying them for warehousing and shipping. In most cases, the fault lies more with their carton-folding and gluing equipment more so than their employees or processes. SBL is committed to taking this issue out of the equation.
Folding and gluing machines from SBL offer a long list of features and benefits. Each one is designed to help improve speed and efficiency while taking unnecessary strain off packaging staff members.
Delays and setbacks in the packaging process can create a number of unnecessary expenses for today’s businesses, but you don’t have to accept them. Contact SBL to learn more about the company’s lineup of folding and gluing equipment and how it can help ramp up your productivity.
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