11 November 2015 //
by Kimberley Gardner
Packaging efficiency refers to a machine’s ability to accomplish a goal and minimize excess time and effort. Inefficient packaging machines can delay product distribution, and thereby directly affect profitability due to production cost increases.
While multiple factors can contribute to machine inefficiencies, here are three of the most common issues and how you can fix them.
1. WORN-OUT PARTS, INCORRECTLY ADJUSTED ASSEMBLIES
Over time, the most basic inefficiency issue you’ll experience is wear or incorrectly adjusted parts or assemblies. It’s likely that when this occurs other parts or assemblies in the packaging line are adjusted to compensate, inevitably reducing your machine’s overall efficiency until the original source issue is resolved.
The Fix: Troubleshooting early can help determine the cause of inefficiency and minimize additional adjustments. When the original worn part or assembly is replaced, other adjustments that may have been made to compensate will need to be returned to their original settings. Documenting the changes or adjustments when they are made will easily help your employees return the affected parts or assemblies back to their intended settings.
2. IMPROPER MAINTENANCE
Another common issue that causes packaging machine inefficiency is a lack of cleaning or incorrect lubrication. Such improper maintenance not only decreases the lifespan of parts and assemblies, but can also create additional issues such as debris (e.g., dirt, dust, flour, kibble) build-up. Inadequate lubrication causes excess friction between moving parts and if the incorrect lubricants are used equipment failure may occur.
The Fix: Proper maintenance will extend a machine’s life and maximize its efficiency. Training employees on proper maintenance procedures and lubricants, including which lubricants to use/not use and where to use/not use them, can greatly reduce the risk of downtime. For example, do not use molybdenum sulfide, zinc sulfide or solvents/propellants anywhere on your EDL system. Information regarding proper maintenance procedures and lubricants should be available in your machine manual.
3. MACHINE SETTINGS AND RECIPES
Changing proper machine settings or not adhering to recipes will cause your machine to operate inefficiently. Settings and recipes are specifically tailored to each machine and adjusting presets can cause serious issues related to the performance of parts and assemblies as well as overall machine functionality.
The Fix: Refer to your manual before making adjustments to machine settings. Doing so will allow you to identify the correct settings and recipes required to achieve streamlined production and avoid unnecessary downtime. For example, all EDL systems include a setting sheet that outlines the multiple settings required to handle various package and bundle sizes.
Recognizing these three common efficiency-related issues, and implementing procedures to avoid them, will help maintain your machine’s efficiency and thereby contribute to the achievement of your production goals.
Is your EDL packaging line running inefficiently? For more information or assistance with finding and fixing the issues contact us today.