Labor Savings - Food for Thought
Labor intensive positions are becoming harder to fill, and more expensive every day. Find out from Felins’ food packaging expert, Lisa Barrieau AKA Felins Foodie, on how to increase labor savings with ultrasonic banding!
Welcome! This is Food for Thought with Felins Foodie.
There are many areas in food manufacturing that still use a great amount of manual labor in their production line. From tray filling to labeling, sleeving, unitizing and case packing.
Many companies still use people to do these tasks, but with a growing population, there are more and more mouths to feed, requiring an increase in production of food products.
What is the challenge? With a very low unemployment rate and increases in minimum wage and health insurance, these labor-intensive positions are becoming more and more challenging to fill, causing the industry to start looking at semi-automated and fully automated solutions.
The food industry, while looking to keep the cost down is also continuously working to keep the food quality up, driving it towards a more automated environment. I know when we think of automation we commonly think of robots, but seriously, there has always been a fear that automation will take away jobs from people or reduce the number of jobs available for people in the field.
This is far from true!
It was quoted in Food Processing Magazine that, “automation will not replace people, but will require new skills from them”
Let’s look at some history of automation development.
Did you know that in the early days of bowling alleys there was a manual labor job referred to as a pinsetter? The pinsetter would set the bowling pins in the correct position and then reset the pins after the player struck them with the bowling ball. They would then return the ball to the player. In 1946, the automatic pinsetter first patented by Gottfried Schmidt was introduced to AMF making the manual process obsolete.
Many people today have never even heard of this type of work because teenagers now find work at cafes, restaurants, and stores. Not only are people hard to find for these manual labor jobs but, many people don’t have interest in this type of work for eight hours a day.
With a constant increase in food production volumes, accuracy and throughput, become more and more valuable to these food manufacturers. Some companies are even redefining what an appropriate ROI looks like. Thinking ahead about the future of manual labor as it applies to labeling, sleeving, and unitizing. Consider the banding options:
While banding can be fully automated, sometimes a semi-automated solution can provide great value to a production line. Consider a US-2100 banding machine. It is easy to roll in and out of line and, can be operated with a foot pedal or sensor and can run up to 30 products a minute, depending on product size and operator speed. This machine requires one operator and can apply a more consistent label, sleeve or bundle, with less people than a manual process, opening up the opportunity to increase throughput!
Full automation can be directly in line, following current upstream equipment to take product and label or take product, stack, and then label, opening the door for production growth and opening up opportunities for company growth.
Explore the ways your production line might benefit from semi-automated to fully automated solutions.
Follow me, Felins Foodie to learn more about ways you can reduce labor and packaging waste AND improve your overall bottom line with adhesive-free labeling, automatic sleeving, and unitizing solutions. Subscribe below!