The enormous growth in online orders has forced warehouses to ensure continuity and profitability by making the most effective use of both the packaging material itself and labour and environmental factors. Unfortunately, practice proves to be more difficult. Caroline Mastenbroek works for Audion, manufacturer of packaging machines for flexible packaging. According to her, an enormous step forward can be made in warehouses. Audion designed a unique packaging machine to save on materials, to use labour more effectively and to absorb order peaks. Meet the Speedpack Hybrid.
Airless packing in warehouses made easy
Mastenbroek to warehouses: Stop packing air, unless you trade in air! “There is still far too much air being packed. Soon, consumers will no longer put up with it. It is unacceptable that today we still receive internet orders packed in oversized boxes and bags, just for the sake of convenience. It is our moral duty to think of the environment. The same is more or less true for labour. Bear in mind that in an average warehouse most of the packing is still done manually. Imagine how much a warehouse will save by switching to a packaging solution in which every online order is automatically packed according to its size and on average four times faster than manual packaging. The solution comes from Germany and is called Speedpack Hybrid.”
Speedpack Hybrid will automate and speed up the packaging process
For more than seventy years, Audion has been a leading manufacturer of packaging machines for flexible packaging: bags and film packaging. Audion packaging machines are built in the Netherlands and Germany, and supplied to various sectors worldwide. “The Speedpack Hybrid is built at our site in Germany and is the perfect machine for preparing internet orders for dispatch at lightning speed,” continues Mastenbroek. “Think of the machine as an alternative to the plastic bags and PE shipping envelopes that are mostly handled manually in warehouses.
The Speedpack automates the entire process of packing, enveloping, filling, folding, gluing and applying address labels. The order is delivered from the conveyor. The operator scans the barcode, which will generate a tailor-made package automatically. At the same time, the customer’s address details are printed on the film or address label which is then automatically stuck on the film, depending on the customer’s requirements. Finally, the packed order is automatically disposed of via a conveyor belt to the shipping container of the respective carrier.”
Saving on labour and packaging material in warehouses
The Speedpack will provide considerable savings in labour and packaging materials and, at least as important, a significant improvement in flexibility. Mastenbroek: “The machine’s labour saving is at least a factor of 4 compared to packing with standard shipping envelopes. Compared to packing internet orders in cardboard boxes savings will even be a factor of 5. As each package is custom generated from a roll of tubular film, it also provides significant savings in packaging materials.
The machine is suitable for very heavy duty operation and will produce 500.000 bags per year or more without any problems. The machine can handle any order peaks smoothly, very common in modern e-commerce, without any dependence on the often limiting human labour factor.
The Speedpack is also very compact and takes up 1/3 of the space of a manual packing station. An additional advantage is that the Speedpack is mobile. This means the machine can be used locally, for example near the goods storage, reducing the distance between storage and packaging location.”
Automated packaging and CO2 footprint reduction
It is time for warehouses to realize that manual packing with its lack of flexibility has no future, says Mastenbroek. “The Speedpack proves its added value for warehouses that look at processing orders economically.” Finally, Mastenbroek mentions the ‘wrong perception’ of the impact of film on the environment. “The carbon footprint of our PE tubular film compared to the same size packaging in cardboard is at least 40 times lower and the production of cardboard consumes 278 times more energy. Bio-films are available for the Speedpack, depending on the products to be packaged. They include a fully compostable film for packaging food or parts. We will soon introduce a compostable e-fulfillment film that fully complies with all privacy and stability requirements. More and more warehouses around the world have discovered our Speedpack packaging solution and find that their efficiency and customer satisfaction is growing strongly”, says Mastenbroek. “That’s the point of doing it.”