Boxing clever for a greener packaging solution
There’s no doubting the benefits of installing an automated packaging line into your ecommerce distribution facility. A well designed, quality packaging system ticks all the right boxes in terms of improved productivity, order accuracy and reduced costs. However in today’s increasingly environmentally friendly world, it’s also vitally important to consider how you can keep your use of packaging materials down to the absolute minimum.
We are all aware of the problems caused by excessive waste and, although more cardboard is recycled now than ever before, containers and packaging still make up a major part of the municipal rubbish mountain. As the growth of online shopping continues to soar, so does its impact on the natural world.
It has now become unacceptable to send out a small product in an inappropriately large box, with lashings of void-fill material to protect it. Not only will customers be unhappy about having to deal with the unnecessary extra rubbish, but also the package will be more costly for you, the distributor, both to make and to despatch.
To counteract these problems, there are now innovative boxing and lidding machines that can be incorporated into an automated packaging line. These machines cleverly tailor your carton to fit your products.
At Lakeland’s mail order distribution centre in Kendal, over 1.3 million orders a year are processed. Tamworth based Axiom GB was awarded a contract to design, manufacture and install an automated packaging solution for Lakeland. This major automation project includes carton erectors to build different sized boxes as well as two lidding machines.
These lidding machines sense the height of the products inside the box, then score and fold the box to the appropriate height, before applying the lid. Mike Gannon is Lakeland’s mail order operations manager he comments, “Approximately 75% of our orders go through the automated route, these orders can be processed at the rate of 44 per person per hour, an 80% increase in productivity compared to orders that still have to be packed manually.
“We’ve also reduced the amount we spend on cardboard because we are now making up boxes from flat pieces of board rather than buying a more expensive, pre made box and we’ve been able to reduce the amount of void fill paper we use by two thirds.
“Another important benefit is the presentation of the box to the customer, which is superb, exceeding all of our expectations. It’s the right size for their products and it’s easy to open via a tear off strip. Additionally the reduced cubic capacity of the parcel means that we have increased the trailer fill from 1400 parcels to closer to 1800 parcels, a significant improvement.”
Matthew Nickson, director of Axiom GB concludes, “The demands of our ecommerce hungry society come complete with an environmental cost. That cost is especially evident with regard to the increasing amount of packaging materials required for the delivery, and often return, of online goods.
“Manufacturers, distributors and consumers are all now aware of the damaging problem of excessive waste. It is our duty, therefore, to work with our clients to consider the best ways to reduce surplus packaging when we design automated packaging solutions.”
For further information, you can watch a short Lakeland video.
If you are looking to invest in automation and want to talk to a company with all the right credentials, contact Axiom for a consultation on 01827 61212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org