The material handling application that palletizing systems typically are most frequently utilized for include packaging, warehousing, shipping and distribution in all production levels and order fulfillment scenarios. Offering significant cost savings over the use of alternative supply chain methods, this method is also highly efficient due to its capacity to seamlessly handle a wide variety of products. Typically quite attractive to companies with mid to higher range orders, palletizing systems also benefit larger industries such as pharmaceutical, food processing, agricultural, retail and electronics. However, because of their widespread appeal, pallets are now being used in almost every industry type. This increasing versatility is largely due to the development of more robust design technologies. While improvements in materials handling equipment has resulted in significant advances, certain aspects and characteristics of pallets continue to be a stumbling block to most industries.
In terms of efficiency, palletizing systems have historically failed to keep pace with dynamic changes in the industry. The increased size of products and the increased importance of customized packaging have brought about increased demands for increased shelf-life, improved visibility and increased reliability. This is where modern technology and modern palletizing systems come into play. The incorporation of automated palletizing equipment not only produces higher efficiency but also significantly reduces the amount of time spent maintaining pallets in storage. Also, automated palletizing equipment is capable of managing a wide variety of packaging situations including hot shrink, cross docking and vacuum storage, further lowering the need for employees to manually maintain the pallets in storage.
Along with increased productivity comes an increase in the volume of merchandise handled during any given time. The use of automated palletizers not only saves on labor costs and increased inventory, but it can also improve cash flow and reduce waste due to reductions in the number of packaging passes through a warehouse. Furthermore, automated palletizers improve the overall quality of the finished product by reducing errors caused by manual labor. Many times companies utilize automation to make sure that a certain level of quality standards is maintained throughout the entire supply chain including the packaging phase.
Efficiency is not the only benefit provided by automation and palletizing systems, however. By making the decision to automate your warehouse, you will free up manual labor which can be applied towards other aspects of your operation or sales. If you are paying someone to manually move pallets from one end of the warehouse to another, you could be paying that person for the entire day, not just during peak hours, even if the man is not working. With the implementation of a swiping system, individuals can easily swipe a card to gain access to whichever pallets they feel they need access to, regardless of whether they are currently positioned in line at the receiving dock.
An experienced palletizing integrator will be able to provide you with an affordable rate for automation. The most important factor that needs to be addressed before choosing an integrator is their level of experience and skill. Hiring a company with little experience can lead to overcharges and lower productivity than hiring a company with extensive experience and skill. If you are interested in outsourcing some of your manual labor, you should research several companies and discuss your overall goals with each.
When searching for a qualified palletizing systems integrator, ask about their track record of satisfied customers. A company that has been in business for several years will likely have a lot of happy clients, and will already have worked out all the kinks and complications associated with your project. Additionally, a company that has numerous happy clients will likely be able to offer a more aggressive rate based on their experience and skill.