Changing your palletizing strategy: 6 key considerations
The importance of palletizing in warehouse operations and manufacturing is something that gets overlooked all too often. Inadequate palletizing processes can have a direct impact on the bottom line and they can ultimately jeopardize customer commitments. Poorly organized and not properly designed palletizing processes create a ripple effect throughout the facility’s operations that can lead to significant consequences.
Since we don’t see ourselves as mere packaging machinery manufactures, but as trusted partners, we want to make sure you select the correct palletizing strategy for your operation. That is why we decided to present the following six key palletizing considerations:
- Palletizing and line efficiency
Operating performance and the facility’s overall efficiency can be significantly impacted by palletizer downtime. For example: if the palletizer stops for five seconds each time a load is discharged, without properly designed or controlled infeed system, it can translate into downtime of upstream processes many times greater. That is why it is important to see palletizers as more than just a piece of packaging equipment. Palletizing functions are a part of the overall production and distribution system; therefore, palletizing inefficiencies can cause backups to the whole operation. Bear in mind that one of the crucial factors in the palletizing selection is the speed of your operation.
- Packaging trends create new challenges
The palletizing landscape is going through some serious changes with less packaging, more fragile materials, smaller items, and more totes. The number of products being palletized without cases is increasing. The lack of secondary packaging means that the product is easily damaged and more difficult to handle. Often, a consumer package of a product must be palletized, which requires higher rates due to smaller packs. If secondary packaging features printed graphics with slick, low friction surfaces it represents a challenge for case-control and pattern forming. In some cases, the pallet itself is becoming the consumer display method. Consequently, stacking patterns and pallet stability are being dramatically affected by all of these factors.
- The increasing number of SKUs
E-commerce has increased the variety of case and pack sizes. Small packs for convenience stores and large packs for club stores are becoming a new standard. This variance requires a palletizer that can continually adapt, which means that rapid, tool-less changeover is a must.
- Changing load configurations
Pallet load construction is impacted by end-of-aisle display loads, “label out” preferences and reduced pack strength. Palletizers must enable frequent pattern revisions and incorporate various options to shore upload strength. These options include shorter loads, stretch film, tier sheets, trays and cap sheets, and corner boards.
- Increasingly stringent safety requirements
Applicable safety standards must be carefully considered before deploying a palletizing solution in your facility. Robotic and automated solutions must adhere to CAT 3 control system requirements.
- Labor market challenges
Increasing minimum wages, the dwindling pool of qualified workers, the potential for injury and high turnover rate in manual palletizing functions are all reasons to consider an automated palletizing solution.
Deciding to incorporate or upgrade an automated palletizing solution isn’t always easy. Being unable to adapt to evolving packaging methods, struggling to keep up with increasing order volumes or outgrowing your manual pallet building processes are just some of the signs that it may be time for a change. There are many palletizing solutions available on the market from high-speed row-forming and inline conventional machines to robotic and hybrid solutions. If you think that it’s time to reevaluate your palletizing strategy, make sure to check Nortech Packaging palletizing solutions. If you need help to determine the best solution for your palletizing operations, our experts are at your disposal.