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

cropped-rvevans_wordpress.jpg

Advertisements

Your Source for Battery Operated Strapping Tool Maintenance & Repair

For complete maintenance and repair of your battery operated strapping tools, look no further than the experienced factory trained service technicians at R.V. Evans Company.

Our team of skilled service technicians at the R.V. Evans Company offer over 25 years of combined experience repairing battery operated strapping tools including battery operated sealers, tensioners, and combination strapping tools.  In addition to providing a high level of knowledge and experience, you can count on R.V. Evans Company to provide the following technical in-house service support for your battery operated strapping tools:

  • Trouble shooting
  • Replacement parts
  • Complete repair and maintenance
  • Service hotline to answer your battery operated strapping tool questions
  • Tool schematics
  • Safety resources
  • Factory trained service technicians

Some of the brands and models of battery operated strapping tools we support include:

  • Signode GripPack battery powered sealer for steel strapping
  • Signode GripPack battery powered tensioner for steel strapping
  • Signode BXT2 battery powered combination strapping tools for polypropylene or polyester strapping.  Includes BXT2-16, BXT2-19, BXT2-25/32 models.
  • Samuel battery powered plastic strapping tools including models P328, P329, and P331.
  • Fromm battery operated plastic strapping tools including models P318, P328, P329, P330, P331
  • Encore battery operated plastic strapping tool models EP-1355-12/58 and EP-1355-58/34
  • Zapak battery powered plastic strapping tools including models ZP21, ZP22, ZP93A, ZP97A
  • Orgapack battery powered hand tools for plastic strapping including models OR-T 120, OR-T 250, OR-T 400, OR-T 50

Contact R.V. Evans Company for more information about our battery powered strapping tool technical service capabilities.

Safety and Savings

Making sure a workplace is meeting safety standards can be expensive, but a good safety program can save $4 to $6 for every $1 invested. By using this calculator from the OSHA website, one can estimate costs associated with workplace injuries and see just how much more revenue is needed to cover costs. When using this calculator, it’s important to realize that the extent to which the employer pays the direct costs depends on the nature of the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy, but the employer always pays the indirect costs. For example, if an employee were to sprain something, the direct cost would be approximately $28,866, whereas the indirect cost would be approximately $31,752. The employer would have to pay the indirect cost, and depending on their insurance policy, part or all of the direct cost. The estimates include the following kinds of indirect costs:

  • Any wages paid to injured workers for absences not covered by workers’ compensation;
  • The wage costs related to time lost through work stoppage associated with the worker injury;
  • The overtime costs necessitated by the injury;
  • Administrative time spent by supervisors, safety personnel, and clerical workers after an injury;
  • Training costs for a replacement worker;
  • Lost productivity related to work rescheduling, new employee learning curves, and accommodation of injured employees; and
  • Clean-up, repair, and replacement costs of damaged material, machinery, and property.

Some of the possible kinds of indirect costs not included in these estimates are:

  • The costs of OSHA fines and any associated legal action;
  • Third-party liability and legal costs;
  • Worker pain and suffering; and
  • Loss of good will from bad publicity.

To cover these costs, a company would need to make an additional $1,058,420 to cover just the indirect cost when the sprain could have been avoided with an effective safety and health program.

To create an effective safety and health program, a company must do the following:

  • Comply with OSHA rules
  • Create a plan that focuses on the workplace hazards
  • Train employees
  • Everyone has to work at safety and health

An effective safety and health program will reduce employee injuries, which in turn saves the company money, and increases productivity and employee morale.  R.V. Evans Company can give you the assistance you need to make your workplace safer by providing real value added solutions. Our professional team will help develop a plan for your company to make sure your packaging and fastening processes are ergonomically sound. For more information on how R.V. Evans Company can help you, read the article “Ergonomics and How We Can Help.”

If you are looking for some assistance with safety, contact R.V. Evans Company for your very own site needs analysis and safety recommendations or visit us at www.rvevans.com.

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

Facebook – Twitter – Linkedin – Google+

New to Carton Closing Stapling? Here’s What You Need to Know to Get Started.

Bostitch-Carton-Closing-Stapler

With the help of our friends at Bostitch, the following will help you identify the best carton closing stapler and carton closing staples to staple the tops and bottoms of boxes.


First, let’s talk staples.

Carton closing staples for top and bottom box closure come in two styles.

  1. “Stick” or “Strip” – good for low and medium volume carton closing stapling applications.
  2. Coil Staples – good for medium and high volume carton stapling applications.

Like most staples, carton closing staples have three important measurements that make up the overall dimensions of the staple:

  1. Crown Width: This is the wire along the top that connects the 2 legs.  Common carton closing staple crown dimensions used to close the bottoms and tops of boxes include: 1-3/8″ wide crown (or “A” crown) and 1-1/4″ wide crown (or “C” crown).
  2. Leg Length: The two wires that come down from each end of the crown wire make up the legs of the staple.  Common carton closing staple leg lengths used to close the bottoms and tops of boxes include: 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″, 7/8″, and 1-1/2″.
  3. Wire Dimensions: Fastener wire is either flat or round.  Carton closing staples are made of flat wire that has two dimensions.  For example, the wire dimensions of the Bostitch SW74375/8 staple are .074″ x .037″.  You will notice that these dimensions make up a portion of the nomenclature of the part number.

Tip! – The wider the crown and the thicker the staple wire, the more secure the fastener will be.

Which staple is the best staple for your particular carton closing application?

The guidelines stand pretty true for most top and bottom box stapling applications using a box with standard “C” flute corrugated board.

  • Single wall corrugated: 1/2″, 5/8″, and 3/4″ leg lengths
  • Double wall corrugated: 3/4″ and 7/8″ leg lengths
  • Triple wall corrugated: 7/8″ and 1-1/2″ leg lengths depending on the application
  • Bostitch provides a nice table on page three of their Carton Closing & Packaging Tools & Fasteners brochure.

Now, let’s take a look at the Bostitch carton closing stapler options.

Bostitch offers a variety of carton closing stapler options for stapling the tops and bottoms of boxes.  There are manual hand-held carton closing staplers as well as pneumatic/air driven, and cordless hand-held box closing staplers.  In addition, they offer floor model box bottom staplers in both manual and electric options.  There are models of staplers for both stick staples and coil staples.  As overwhelming as such a variety of tool options may seem, you can easily narrow them down by considering the volume of the application, the desired mobility of the tools, as well as the staple length required.

  • If you are looking at a high volume application and a need for speed – the ultimate in top closure would be a pneumatic hand-held coil stapler such as the Bostitch D62ADC.  It uses the coil staples with 1,000 staples per coil for less frequent reloading.  For stapling the bottoms of boxes, go with the floor model FC96EC.  It uses the coil staples with 4,000 staples per coil.
  • If mobility with a little more speed is important, check out this YouTube video featuring the line of Bostitch Cordless Carton Closing Staplers.

Carton-Closing-Stapling-Volumes

All of the Bostitch carton closing tools are equipped with staple length and depth of drive adjustment allowing the user to control the clinch depth:

  • Standard Clinch – the staple legs completely penetrate the outside and inside flaps.
  • Blind Clinch – the staple legs penetrate the outside flap without piercing through the bottom liner of the inside flap to protect box contents.

Benefit from the availability of replacement parts and superior technical service & support.

Bostitch carton closing tools are top of the line and are engineered to hold up to years of industrial production level use, so having access to replacement parts and service by factory authorized and trained bench technicians is important.  R.V. Evans Company is equipped to handle any technical service needs that may arise.  We stock common replacement parts for most Bostitch tools and have seasoned bench technicians that help trouble shoot and provide speedy & thorough tool repairs.

For more information on carton closing visit us at www.rvevans.com, contact R.V. Evans Company, or complete the short form below.  Our team of packaging & fastening specialists are happy to review your particular application or perform a Site Needs Analysis and offer specific solutions for your carton closing needs.  Also take a look at our earlier post 3 Things You Should Know About Carton Closing.

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

 

 

Ergonomics and How We Can Help

ergonomics pic (640x427)
According to Merriam-Webster, ergonomics is a science that deals with designing and arranging things so that people can use them easily and safely.  Although the R&D departments of manufacturers are sure to design all of their products to fit into this mold, they unfortunately don’t have the time or the resources to make sure that the correct product is being used to its greatest capacity to ensure an ergonomically sound process.  That is where distributors like R.V. Evans Company come in.  FoxJet has a great article on the importance of distributors.  We couldn’t agree more.
R.V. Evans has a full professional team of product experts who take the time to learn the ins and outs of each one of their customers’ processes, developing a plan to make sure each company is using the best solutions to keep their processes ergonomically sound. This keeps employees safe, promotes a positive company culture, and increases efficiency and profits.
Our expert team offers the following solutions:
  • Equipment & Tool Selection
  • Set-up & Training
  • Technical Support
  • Failure Analysis
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Safety Programs/MSDS Management
  • Technology Updates
  • Site Needs Analysis

These product experts are also proficient in every item under their specialty, meaning they use their extensive knowledge to ensure that every solution is well-catered to your business.  Visit our website, YouTube Channel, Contact Us, or Scheduled a Site Needs Analysis to get started making your company ergonomically sound.

FacebookTwitterLinkedinGoogle+

The Difference Between Polyester and Steel Strapping

Steel & Plastic Strapping

Your shipment is about to go out, and there’s a sudden snap. One of the metal straps holding your product together and in place has broken. One of your workers sighs and goes over to replace it. As he’s removing the strap, he grabs the edge the wrong way and it cuts him. He’s bleeding, and needs medical attention. After getting him to the proper care facility, a small group of individuals gets the broken strap off and the new strap on by hand, taking up an hour of wasted time and unfortunately injuring a worker. Just as they finish fixing the strap, the forklift operator comes over to stack the product and – drops the pallet. Now the replacement strap has broken. There goes another hour.

What a headache.

It may seem like an exaggeration, but this disaster is more common than you would think when using metal straps on skids and shipments of any kind. The use of plastic straps over steel will eliminate the risk of being cut, keeping your workers and your sites safe. As opposed to steel straps, plastic straps have the following benefits:

  • Safety
    • No cuts, no lost time due to injury
  • Coil Weight
    • Weighs significantly less (only 55lbs!)
  • Cost
    • Costs less per foot than steel
  • No more seals
    • Saves money, less inventory
  • More feet per coil
    • 2.5 times more footage, fewer coil changes, less downtime
  • No corrosion
    • Won’t mar product, won’t leave residue
  • Tension
    • Better load containment and elongation recovery
  • No edge protection needed
    • Saves money, reduces inventory
  • Made from recycled material
    • Environmentally friendly and sustainable
  • Better Tooling
    • Signode

These easy-to-use tools save time, money, and of course, keep your employees safe. Signode tools apply friction to the strap to weld the strap ends together, rather than using seals. This way, there are no cuts, no wasted man hours, and no re-applying straps when the skids inevitably fall or the wood expands naturally.  All of this means your workers are no longer getting injured, are using recycled material, and are saving time by not using seals, and instead using convenient battery powered tools to strap products.  Don’t be left with a foreman’s worst nightmare. Save money and keep your employees safe. Head over to our strapping page, contact us, or schedule a site needs analysis to make sure you’re utilizing the best ergonomic tools for your job site.

FacebookTwitterLinkedinGoogle+

It’s All About the Tapeheads

tapehead

We’ve talked in previous blogs about keeping products safe and secure once they leave the warehouse.  Good stretch film can keep products securely together on a skid, and custom products can keep everything in place while keeping your brand at the forefront of your customers mind.  Carton stapling tools are great for closing certain boxes.  However, in many production applications, securing your carton with carton closing tape is a reliable and cost effective way to keep your carton shut and its contents in place.  Depending upon the volume of your application, manual labor can be more costly, time consuming, and not always consistent or accurate.  When looking for the most efficient way to close your cartons securely, using high quality tapeheads in semi-automatic and fully automatic case taping equipment is an absolute must.

Tapeheads used in carton taping equipment automate the process of applying tape to a corrugated carton, and do the best job of applying the tape securely, cleanly, and quickly. But, not all tapeheads are created equal. Dekka and ShurSEAL™ tapeheads have many advantages that mean you can worry less about your products as they’re getting sealed to go out of your warehouse.


A large benefit of the ShurSEAL™ tapeheads is their unequaled wipe down consistency. While most tapeheads lack the ability to completely seal the tape on the edges and in the middle, shurSEAL™ tapeheads have an extremely consistent pressure profile, keep the pressure applied to every part between 20 and 28 psi. This means the adhesive part of the tape is on the product, keeping everything sealed, for certain. They are also some of the fastest machines available, while still maintaining incredible consistency and safety features.  In addition to the secure wipe down features, shurSEAL™ tapehead features include:

  • Dual Axis Locking Mandrel – easy tape loading guaranteed not to slip
  • Latching Dancer Arm – reduces noise and improved performance
  • Front & Rear Tab Length Adjustment – makes easy adjustment of your tape tab length at the front and rear
  • Angled Safety Blade – reduces the risk of finger injury
  • Exclusive Folded Edge Attachment – allows removal of the tape and opening boxes without the use of knife cutters
  • Tape Management System – audible and visual alarms to provide warnings for low tape, tape break, un-taped case, uncut tape, and case jams

Dekka tapeheads are similar to ShurSEAL™, and one of the largest benefits of these tapeheads is that they are designed to work well with any type of tape, no matter if it is premium or budget-priced. Constructed of high quality stainless steel and corrosion resistant, Dekka tapeheads are built to last and perform in a variety of production environments.  Dekka tapeheads are also very safe, with minimum knife exposure and adjustments available to ensure operator safety.  Here are a few other benefits of the Dekka tapeheads:

  • Interchangeable Mounting – simple to install and mount either top or bottom
  • Easy to Load – load your tape within 30 seconds
  • Easily Adjustable Roller Tension Spring – adjust main spring tension by choosing from one to four leverage points
  • Exclusive No Break Tape Advance – advances tape at the centerline to avoid edge stress where tape usually breaks
  • High Quality Molded Wipe Down Rollers – made of polyurethane result in tougher and longer lasting rollers = less maintenance
  • Knife Blade Remains Sharp Longer – with the help of built in oil pad on blade cove
  • External Tape Guide System – keeps tape ends in place to avoid costly effects of untapped cases

Don’t come undone, and don’t leave yourself worrying. Visit our website or YouTube channel, contact us, or schedule a site-needs analysis to make sure that you are getting the best quality tapeheads to ensure the secure taping of all of the cartons that exit your warehouse.

Connect with R.V. Evans Company for new packaging and fastening system updates, tips, application solutions, and a little fun stuff too!

FacebookTwitterLinkedinGoogle+