Automatic box filling is one of the many ways in which you can use automation to help increase the overall productivity of your factory. With so many factory staff working under pressure in fast paced environments, automated solutions can help everyone keep on top of their workload, as well as having other beneficial effects on the working environment.
Are you a manager of a factory? Do you worry about how your staff are coping with the high demand? Then read our useful guide on automatic box filling to understand the basics, and learn how you can take advantage of its many benefits.
There are many different ways of automating box filling and carton filling. This is simply due to the huge range of products and boxes/cartons on the market and the huge range of different production speeds.
Products can range from tiny items you can fit in the palm of your hand (e.g. bolts, tablets, sachets, sweets, chemicals etc) to large items and boxes that you struggle to carry (e.g. engines, propeller blades, wheels, lawnmowers etc). Then there is the wide range of different types of products within that range (e.g. liquids in sachets or bottles, powders, cold and frozen products and foods, soft and floppy items like clothing etc.) all presenting their own automation and box filling challenges. As well as this, there is the huge range of different cartons and boxes for these products all with different automation challenges. The good news is that with the advances in automation almost anything can be automated these days.
Along with the large variety in products, there is also a wide range of different methods of box filling, some of the more common methods are listed below:
Horizontal carton erecting and filling machines – these are typically used for high speed applications with smaller products and where there is only one or two products per carton (e.g. putting a tablet tray into a carton). These work by assembling the carton and then feeding it along a conveyor running parallel to a conveyor with the products on. The products are then pushed from the product conveyor into the assembled cartons and the cartons automatically sealed.
Carousel box filling machines – these are typically a vertical filling application where the boxes are assembled vertically and move around a carousel with the product being automatically dropped into the box.
Robotic box filling systems – this is typically used for larger products or for putting multiple items into a larger box. A box erector machine erects the box, then the box passes a robot which fills the box with product and then the box goes through a sealing machine to seal the top of the box.
Watch the video below to see a robotic box filling and packaging line in action:
Robotic box filling systems are configured to suit your specific requirements and there are many additional features that can be added to the system such as vision inspection of products, production monitoring and data logging, barcode identification, labelling and inkjet printing systems. Systems such as these increase the speed and accuracy of your entire process and reduce the scope for human error.
A completely automated box filling and packing line will also be fully integrated with the existing output of your current production process. This eliminates the need for manual handling between processes and thus reduces the risk of RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).
There are many benefits associated with automatic box filling, such as:
- Impresses your customers – Having automated systems within your production process is a sure way to impress your customers as it shows you are at the cutting edge of your industry.
- Reduced product cost – With less human resources needed to pack your products, product costs are reduced. This then increases your competitiveness in the market.
- Protection against repetitive strain injury – this is a common industry related injury that has negative effects on factory productivity. Our online tool can be used to assess the risk of RSI in your current process.
- Increased throughput – throughput is increased with an automated box filling process as the machine will not stop for tea breaks or call in sick.
- Reduction in human error – an automated system eliminates human error thereby increasing efficiency.
- Reduction in manual labour requirements – reducing manual labour requirements can result in higher staff motivation as staff do not feel so overworked.
- Reduced worker fatigue – tired workers do not perform at their best, effecting your factory’s production. By installing a robotic box filling system you can increase the overall productivity of your factory.
- Ultimate workplace efficiency can be achieved – The system can be modified to suit your business and your needs thus creating the ultimate workplace efficiency.
These are just some of the many benefits associated with automatic box filling. If you would like further information on automatic box filling and how your business could use it to increase productivity levels, get in touch with a member of our staff today. Call us on 01223 499 488 or take advantage of our very own unique project builder to get a quote in just a few minutes!