Reducing packaging bottlenecks
The immediate identification and correction of bottlenecks along the manufacturing line are critical factors in streamlining efficiency and increasing profitability in the processing and packaging of food products, according to PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.
For many companies, the instinct is to minimize, minimize, minimize — reducing cleaning and changeover time. But in the rush to eliminate extra steps, companies cannot overlook valuable additions. The adoption of equipment and initiatives to improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is essential to reduce bottlenecks, maintain the integrity of operations and increase cost savings.
According to PMMI’s Tom Egan, vice president of industry services, once a bottleneck is identified, there are two ways to unblock it. One method is to decrease input ahead of the process where the bottleneck occurs. The other is to increase the efficiency of the bottleneck step in the supply chain. In general, increasing efficiency is a better option because decreasing input means slowing down the production line, which can be costly.
To maximize efficiency, Egan says companies should embrace optimization and packaging automation to streamline operations and cut costs. Because automated systems are reliable and consistent in producing given amounts of throughput in a specified amount of time, taking advantage of automated technologies can enhance a company’s ability to stay ahead of competitors.