Bryan Boatner, Managing Director of Automation at Ranpak, recently sat down with Packaging Strategies to discuss the crucial role of end-of-line automation in boosting the efficiency of packaging operations.
Here are some highlights from the interview …
Removing the Kinks
BB: “When you start with the end in mind, when you look at the end of the packaging automation process … if you can optimize that, you basically unblock the final link in the chain of a given facility. There are all of these upstream efficiencies that result from focusing on the last step in the process.
“Ultimately, when you link packaging automation to picking automation – which is where a lot of money has been invested in the last decade – that’s where I feel like warehouse facilities can really achieve that next level of efficiency and performance.”
BB: “Ranpak’s automation solutions are a key part of our strategy because they allow us to present a total solution for ecommerce packaging. From the materials in the box to the box itself, we’re leveraging paper-based curbside recyclable packaging. This allows customers to scale their business without the need to rely on plastic films or foam. Also, using paper as the material of choice for single-use packaging allows the consumer to recycle easily and without confusion.”
What does the factory/warehouse of the future look like?
BB: “Interconnected systems that are all capturing data and are calibrated based on these master product dimensions will give us the ability to identify where processes can be improved and will help guide the next generation of our end-of-line solutions.
“I think it’s also important to look at the tasks that can be automated and the tasks that will still require human intervention. There will always be areas within the warehouse where the tasks are just too challenging to be effectively automated. You have to have that human judgment to effectively process things through the facility.
“It’s my opinion that those facilities that combine the latest technology in picking automation with packaging automation are the ones that will achieve the most desirable cost footprint as well as the highest throughput.”
Be sure to check out the entire podcast interview.