Rising Turnover Costs in Manufacturing: Mitigation Through Automation

Employee turnover can be expensive. In fact, Josh Bersin of Deloitte believes the cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5–2.0x the employee’s annual salary. These costs include hiring, onboarding, training, ramp time to peak productivity, the loss of engagement from others due to high turnover, and higher business error rates. (Altman, 2017).

In a time when speed-to-market, low defect rates, and low cost-per-unit levels drive profitability more than ever, manufacturers are particularly affected by employee turnover. In 2016, manufacturers experienced turnover rates of 16%. (Bares, 2017). Doing the math, one can see that if their company turns over 16% of their operating workforce, and turnover costs are 2x the lost workers’ salaries, then annual turnover costs can equal up to 32% of your total operating payroll per year (assuming equal wages for simplicity’s sake). The “learning curve” effect also plays its part in higher defect rates and lower productivity, decreasing product quality and speed-to-market (Argote and Epple, 1990). In other words, turnover can severely affect profitability, especially in manufacturing.

So, what can manufacturers do about it? The psychology and social science on this subject has been published for many years, yet turnover rates are still high and have risen consistently over the past five years. Let R.V. Evans Company take a different approach. If you’re a manufacturer, do any of these activities fall under any of your workers’ job descriptions?

  • Forming cases and boxes
  • Closing and stapling boxes/cases
  • Sealing/taping cases
  • Bagging parts
  • Stretch-wrapping pallets
  • Printing images, date and batch codes, or barcodes on products or cases
  • Applying labels
  • Manually creating void-fill protective packaging for cases
  • Manually shrink-wrapping products
  • Applying strap to bundles, boxes, pallets, etc.

If you answered yes to any of those, there is room for automation.

Automation doesn’t always come in the form of complete robotics; there are ways to semi-automate as well. Semi-automation reduces the amount of laborers required to perform certain tasks in the manufacturing process, particularly in packaging processes. Examples of automation and semi-automation include:

  • Incorporating a WFPS 3290 Combo to allow a single operator to form, pack, and seal up to 30 cases per minute
  • Using an AutoBag 550 to allow a single operator to bag up to 45 parts per minute
  • Install an Orion Flex Series stretch wrapper to wrap pallets much faster than by hand
    • with a 260% pre-stretch that can save up to several thousand dollars in stretch wrap per year
  • Implementing a Samuel Model P715 automatic plastic strapping machine to apply plastic strap to your packages at speeds of up to 60 straps per minute- without an operator
  • Connecting many of these systems and others via conveyor equipment
  • Much, much more

There are numerous ways R.V. Evans and its team of packaging solutions representatives can help you reduce turnover by eliminating some of those high-turnover positions entirely. This is not a recommendation to replace your good, high-quality people that make your operation great. This is a recommendation to allow R.V. Evans to help you find ways to eliminate positions that are difficult to keep occupied due to high turnover. Equip your good workers with the means to produce more and add more value- at a lower total cost. Automating, semi-automating, and/or streamlining your processes can increase your speed to market, decrease your cost-per-unit, lean out your labor force, and make you more money. 

Why R.V. Evans? Because we are a team of experts whose core competencies are creating packaging solutions and giving great customer service. We spend every day staying up to date with the latest technology, studying that technology, and creating ways to implement it in various manufacturing environments. You are the expert in your operation, and we are packaging solutions experts. Team up with us so we can create a packaging solution that is right for you. We will forever follow up with great service.

Here is how to get started. 3 options are included below.

  1. Click here to schedule a site needs analysis with one of our packaging experts
  2. Click here to request general information about a specific product or product line
  3. Call 800-252-5894 to speak to one of our wonderful customer service representatives

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High-Speed, Low Maintenance CIJ Printing: The Linx 8940

The Linx 8940 is part of the Linx 8900 range of CIJ printers designed to make your coding life easier.  With its IP65 rating (dust and washdown tight) and highest printing speeds (up to 16% faster than the Linx 8920), the Linx 8940 is designed for the most challenging coding applications.  The Linx 8940 makes code creation easy with the large touch screen interface, and downtime is reduced with the self-servicing module, unique system monitoring and click-into-place fluid cartridges.

Linx 8940 CIJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Linx 8940 offers crucial advantages: 

  • Printing speeds up to 1,230 feet-per-minute (one line of text)- up to 30% faster than most high-speed CIJ printers
  • Extended service intervals- up to 18,000 hours!
  • Simple printhead cleaning- cleans in just a few minutes and can go up to three months without cleaning!
  • Prevent avoidable downtime via the system monitoring capability 
  • Flexible capabilities: 5-line coding, Data Matrix and QR code printing 
  • Self-servicing with the Easi-Change® Service Module which can be changed in minutes with no Service Engineer visit required
  • No pump change requirements during periodic services- guaranteed for life!

Linx 8940 CIJ Linx 8940 CIJ

 
These advantages allow the user easily produce clear prints at high speeds in challenging environments- with very little maintenance! To complement this, the Linx 8940 also sports a number of usability features, such as:

  • 10” color touch screen with icons, drag-and-drop field positioning, and zoom function for longer messages
  • Ability to store 1,000 messages
  • On-screen, real-time output measurements
  • USB port for copy and back-up of message and printer settings
  • Much more, just ask!

The Linx 8900 series is highlighted in this video here

For more information, please call 800-252-5894 or click here

Automated Packaging Systems – Poly Bagging Solutions Part 4 of 4 – Selecting the Right Poly Bag

In part one, we discussed if an automated packaging system is right for your company, along with an overview of various poly bagging systems in part two, and the different infeeds and printers for bagging systems in part three. Now, it’s time to figure out the “right” bag for your poly bagging application! What are the different materials available? Which bag dimension and thickness is best? What are your options? Let’s find out.

Food-Industrial-Bag-CollageWhat are the different materials available?
Autobag has many different options when it comes to poly bags that are specifically designed to work with their different poly bagging systems. These bags are storefront ready and can be printed in full color. Just a few of the options are Linear Low Density Polyethylene, Low Density Polyethylene Films, High Density Polyethylene Film, Polypropylene Film, and Anti-Fog. There are many more materials to choose from, and highly likely there will be bagging materials that fit your company’s needs.

  • Linear Low Density Polyethylene is strong material, durable, and has clear through opaque combinations ranging from blank to custom printed. It is ideal for packaging hardware, automotive parts, food, craft items, medical devices, electronic components, and many more.
  • Low Density Polyethylene Films are durable, versatile, and have different printing characteristics. They are ideal for retail packaging, hardware, fasteners, automotive parts, medical, frozen foods, mail order fulfillment, and others.
  • High Density Polyethylene Film has reduced chemical additives and good permeability. It is also scratch-resistant. This material is used for packaging medical, food, sporting goods and other applications where chemical additives may react with the product inside.
  • Polypropylene Film has the best bag clarity, good seal strength, and resists odor transfer. It is used for foods, pet supplies, and other retail packaging.
  • Anti-Fog materials are best for fresh produce applications. When condensation forms within the bag caused by product respiration, the material does not allow the moisture to form water droplets. This provides great clarity and strength.

Which bag dimension and thickness is best?
Choosing the right poly bag for your product can be difficult. It depends on the weight, size, shape, pieces going in a bag, and other factors. Autobag’s poly bags range in size and mil thickness. To identify the ideal poly bag for your packaging application, R. V. Evans Company would obtain a sample of the product you would be bagging to perform an application analysis. From there, R.V. Evans Company would provide you with a complete poly bagging system recommendation to include bagging equipment, accessories & printers, and the right poly bag for your particular bagging application.

What are the additional options?
Autobag’s poly bags come with many different features to make your product more appealing, provide added security, or reduce your packaging requirements. Just a few are:

Custom printing
Reclosable zippers
Gussets (stand-up pouches)
Handles
Hanger Holes
Ventilation
Compartments
Flaps
Easy-open perforations
Many more!

As an authorized distributor for Automated Packaging Systems for over 35 years, R.V. Evans Company can help you identify the complete poly bagging and packaging system for your business. If you are looking for some assistance in determining which automated packaging system and optional equipment is right for your company, contact R.V. Evans Company for your very own site needs analysis and packaging recommendation, or visit us at www.rvevans.com.

If you missed part one of the Autobag series, you can find it here and learn about when an automated bagging system is right for you. If you would like to read part two of the Autobag series, click here and see an overview of a few different Automated Packaging Systems. Part three of the Automated Packaging Systems- Poly Bagging Solutions series is all about the different add ons you can put on your Autobag System. You can find that here.

Connect with R.V. Evans Company for new packaging and fastening system updates, tips, application solutions, and more:

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Blown Film vs. Cast Film

When it comes to making a decision on which film to use for industrial films, bags, and sheeting the best starting point is to determine whether or not the application would be best served with blown film or cast film. There are major differences in the manufacturing process for each, as well as the benefits and drawbacks to each type of film. Additionally, most manufacturers specialize in either blown film or cast film.

blown film illustration

Blown Film Process Illustration

Blown Film is manufactured through a process in which plastic resin is heated and stretched to the desired thickness by an air inflation system, resulting in a very large bubble of film that is allowed more time to cool by the surrounding air. 

 

 

Cast Film Diagram

Cast Film Process Illustration

Cast Film is manufactured through a process where plastic resin is heated and stretched to the desired gauge and then as soon as it completes the heating process, the film is rolled over chilled rollers to cool the film. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to blown film and cast film that will determine which type is preferred for each application. These characteristics and properties are a result of the manufacturing process of each.

Blown Film Properties

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
Maximum Toughness Noisy Unwind
Puncture Resistance Less Control over Thickness
Less Scrap when Manufactured Longer Cooling Times
High cling
Short Production Runs Available

Cast Film Properties

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
High Transparency, Haze, Gloss Double-Sided Cling (Naturally)
Uniform Thickness/Gauge High Gloss = Glares, Reflections
No Limits on Thickness Longer Production Runs
High Barrier for Gases, Moisture, Aromas More Scrap
Quieter Unwind

 

Relevant Applications

Blown film is most commonly used in tube form (bags and sacks) or sheets, shrink film, stretch film, bags, liners, laminated film, barrier film, medical grade film, and agricultural film. Thickness typically ranges from 0.5 mil to 10 mil. Mostly in applications where clarity is not critical, but strength is. Blown film can be used in simple processes: mono-layer (bags), and complex processes: multi-layer structures (food and medical packaging).

Cast film is commonly used in thermoforming applications. Additionally, you will use cast film in most retail applications where clarity and uniform thickness are important (bakery items, flower wrapping, photo album covers, etc.).

The applications for blown film and cast film are diverse and unique. There may be a better solution for your current application.

Contact one of R.V. Evans’ sales professionals to discuss the material, machines, and processes you’re currently using and the potential in your industrial packaging processes at 1-800-252-5894 or visit our website at www.rvevans.com

You can also email us at sales@rvevans.com or connect with us through our social sites.

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Industrial Packaging: Functions and Materials

Industrial packaging includes a variety of materials, forms, applications, and equipment. There are multiple facets of industrial packaging, including Primary Packaging, Secondary Packaging, the function of each type of material, and the variety of applications in which you can utilize plastic industrial packaging. 

Industrial-Shrink-Film-on-a-Roll-Photo

Primary Packaging

Industrial packaging can refer to primary packaging – the packaging in which products are brought to market – (a good way to think of this is it’s often the last thing that you toss when the product is consumed, or it’s the packaging that comes directly in contact with the product)

Packaging Product
Bottles Soda, water, juice
Tubing Toothpaste, cosmetics,
Boxes Crackers, household goods, electronics
Jars Candles, Salad Dressing
Clamshells (plastic cases) Hardware (nuts, bolts, etc.), Toys
Shrink film Frozen Pizzas, Apparel

Secondary Packaging

Secondary packaging refers to protective packaging, including strapping, edge protection, stretch film (palletizing), envelopes, etc. This is the packaging that is used to protect the product in transit, storage, and on the shelf. Secondary packaging also includes –

   Air pillows         Air cushions
   AirPouches         Void fill
  Paper void fill         In-the-box-paper packaging
  Foam-in-place         Rolled bubble and foam products
  Corrosion prevention         Bubble wrap
  Paper liners         Air pouches
  Packing peanuts         Corrugated boxes
  Protective sheeting

What it’s made of: Polyethylene Film

One of the most prevalent materials in the flexible packaging industry is polyethylene (PE) film. Polyethylene is made from ethylene gas and is versatile, tough, has good clarity, and there are several variations with distinct and specific characteristics that make it a preferred material for industrial packaging applications.

There are several variations of PE film that are regularly used; three of the more popular types are LDPE, LLDPE, and HDPE. PE film is a popular flexible packaging material because of its relatively low cost, sealability, moisture barrier, and tear resistance. Its applications are versatile, ranging from uses within the agriculture, construction, and manufacturing industries. There are several different types of PE, three of the most common are:

  • LDPE – Low Density Polyethylene film
    • LDPE film is known for its toughness, flexibility, and fair transparency.
  • LLDPE – Linear-Low Density Polyethylene Film
    • Characteristics of LLDPE film include its high tensile strength, high impact and puncture resistance, flexibility, and resistance to chemicals and UV radiation.
  • HDPE – High Density Polyethylene Film
    • HDPE film is known for its high clarity and scratch resistance. HDPE film is harder, stiffer, and stronger when compared to LDPE film.

Applications for LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE films

LDPE film is often used to produce

  • Bags:
    • dry cleaning bags
    • newspaper bags
    • bread bags
    • frozen food bags
    • household garbage bags
  • Other uses include:
    • shrink wrapping
    • stretch wrapping
      • Stretch wrap is available in “hand wrap” or for “machine use”
    • bags on a roll
    • bubble packaging
    • industrial liners
    • container lids
    • toys
    • squeezable bottles

LLDPE film is used in the same applications as LDPE along with applications that require more toughness and sealability.

  • Hardware
  • Automotive parts
  • Food
  • Craft items
  • Medical devices
  • Electronic components
  • Retail applications

HDPE film is used in similar applications as LDPE and LLDPE films. HDPE is stiffer than other PE films, which is beneficial when packaging needs to retain its shape

  • medical
  • food
  • sporting goods
  • any application that might result in chemical contact with the film

These types of films are used for protective packaging, satisfying the needs of small operations (with 5 to 10 packages per day) and large operations packaging product around the clock. Different forms everyone is familiar with are bags, sheeting, tubing, casing, and liners. When you purchase anything that needs to be assembled at home, the hardware is in a PE film bag. When you see a home renovation or remodel, the plastic sheeting that is often protecting the floor or furniture is PE film. Trucks hauling equipment or pallets that are covered by plastic sheeting – polyethylene film! Garbage liners and mattress bags are also made from polyethylene films.

When it comes to industrial packaging and uses, PE film is one of the most common. You’ll find it in primary packaging, secondary and protective packaging. You’ll also find PE film in several different variations, serving multiple purposes because of its versatility and affordability.

Contact one of R.V. Evans’ sales professionals to discuss the material you’re currently using and the potential in your industrial packaging processes at 1-800-252-5894 or visit our website at www.rvevans.com

You can also email us at sales@rvevans.com or connect with us through our social sites.

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Branding Beyond the Box

Your brand is one of the most essential parts of your business. It is a constant reminder to your customers that your company offers the best solutions, at the best time, in the best way possible. So how do you consistently prove your commitment to quality while keeping your company and your brand at the forefront of your customers mind?
 
This is where your logo comes in. Your company’s logo is the center of your brand. Think about Coca-Cola or Nike. These logos are definitive parts of incredible branding, and the reason customers will pay extra money for a comparable soda or running jacket. This type of mentality works for not only B2C companies, but the B2B industry as well.
 
But why does this work? In the same way a certain sight or smell can make you remember a certain time in your life, a brand’s logo can make a customer think of something. For Nike, that something is comfort and durability. A consumer’s brain will actually shift it’s thinking and be more attracted to a certain product just from seeing that little swoosh on the front of it.
 
So, you have an awesome brand and a killer logo. Now you need to put it out there for your customers to see so they can start making these positive associations with your business. One of the simplest ways to do this is to put your brand on all of your product packaging. This way every quality item that you deliver to your customers will remind them of the great solutions you provide. You want your customers to have maximum exposure to your brand, so this logo placement doesn’t stop at the box your product comes in. There are a number of solutions that can ensure that your logo is involved in every step of the packaging process.
 
R.V. Evans’ partners will put your logo on almost every essential packaging item your company uses. Some of these items include:
 
These solutions don’t just get your logo in more places, they also have the quality and durability to make sure your product gets delivered safe and sound. The combination of logo exposure and excellent packaging methods will ensure that your company will always be associated with positivity and quality.
 
To improve your branding, take a look at R.V. Evans’ different custom-printed packaging solutions here. You can also contact us or schedule a site-needs analysis with one of our professional representatives.

Pricing Trend Update: Polyethylene Resin Market Pricing Increasing

stretch-film-rv-evans-company

The Polyethylene resin market pricing began the year with a strong upward trend. Now, as we approach the final quarter of the year, we are experiencing price increases in a range of resin based products including stretch film, poly bags on rolls, polypropylene strap, and various resin based films (LDPE, LLDPE, & HDPE). As a distributor of both hand stretch film and machine grade stretch film, R.V. Evans Company has already received notifications from several stretch film manufacturers informing us to expect price increases  ranging from 7%-15%  in the upcoming months. The major drivers for this resin price increase can be attributed to the tightness in feedstock costs, strong export business, rising energy costs, and increased global demand.

For more frequent packaging & fastening product related pricing trend updates, connect with R.V. Evans Company through our social sites:

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Stay aware and informed as stretch film pricing will continue to fluctuate in the near future. If you have any questions or would like to speak with a Packaging Specialist for preparation recommendations contact us at www.rvevans.com or by calling 1-800-252-5894.

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