The QuickSwitch Plus: Make it Easy!

Production should be as seamless as possible. Changeovers can inhibit seamless production. If you are a manufacturer that runs multiple products down the same line, we’ve got a solution to help you switch to different batch/date/lot codes more simply, accurately, and timely.

By combining the Linx 7900 CIJ printer with the QuickSwitch barcode scanner, operators can scan codes to automatically call up a pre-defined message from the 7900’s memory. This message contains the message, date, and other parameters pre-determined by the operators. Data can also be sourced from a PC or PLC, providing more automated code set up options. With this capability, there is no need to manually search for and select a message during each change over. Simply scan, confirm, and resume printing!

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Check out a video demonstration by clicking here!

For an on-site demo or to inquire about pricing, click here!

For another perspective on high-speed, low maintenance continuous inkjet printing, click here!

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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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Carton Forming and Corrugated

There are many different options that the corrugated industry provides to meet the needs of a business. However, factors that can negatively affect corrugated are often times overlooked by companies, but it is vital that companies are aware of these factors and take steps to overcome them. The environment that corrugated is in will play a huge part in how it acts and handles during the forming process. In very dry conditions corrugated will become hard and coarse, whereas with wet conditions can often times make the corrugated soft and flimsy. Those are just the obvious ones, other factors adversely affecting the quality and behavior of corrugated as well, including:

  • The type of scoring applied by the manufacturer
  • The type of corrugated material used
  • The age of the corrugated material
  • The design of the box

The number one problem a manufacturer can face is overcoming variables that disrupt the case forming process. In order to do this, there are two very simple, yet very important steps.

Step 1: Identify and understand. Having a firm understanding of what factors can affect the case forming and closing process, along with how you can overcome these issues is the first step.

Step 2: Find a solution that meets the needs of corrugated rather than forcing the corrugated to meet the features of the machine. Whether customers require an automatic or manual process, a solution can be found. One mistake that manufacturers will make is that they will try to alter the corrugated in order to work with the machine when it should be the other way around. The R.V. Evans Company is equipped to handle cases such as Regular Slotted Cases (RSC), Half Slotted Cases (HSC), and Centre Special Slotted Cases (CSSC) / All Flaps Meet (AFM) boxes.

The process of case forming is a series of small steps that come together to form an effective and efficient process.
Wexxar/BEL has designed and manufactured a series of machines to help overcome these issues. With Servo driven machines, sensors at each step of the process ensure that the step is completed successfully before moving the box onto the next step. This prevents boxes from becoming jammed and holding up operations.
A key step in the beginning of the case forming process is known as First Case Separation. This is done first and foremost followed by the four steps involved with the actual forming of the case.
Wexxar/BEL has outlined the four steps involved in the case forming and erecting process here:

  • Step 1: Prior to separation the cases are pushed through the magazine to the separator head and against the injector blade.
  • Step 2: The separator pushes the first case downward into the caliper slot, which ensures only one box can be separated from the next.
  • Step 3: The separator retracts, releasing the case. This frees the box from the rest of the magazine. The box tilts forward and is available to be injected onto the pins.
  • Step 4: The mechanical jaw closes on the case, which is injected upward on to the pins. The outer surface of the case is metered by domes and onto the pins.

The Pin and Dome concept was originated by Wexxar/BEL. It is used after the injection system to open the box. It uses pins onto which the major and minor flaps of the case are injected. The pins slide into the flutes of the corrugated which is guided into place by domes against which the outer liner slides when the case is pushed upward. The pins and domes are situated along a mechanical jaw, which uses a hinge mechanism to open the box. This system is very successful based on the fact that it can identify and compensate for external factors that are affecting the corrugated. As mentioned earlier, it can erect cases that are dusty, wet, or have irregular surfaces.

Hot Melt Systems
Hot Melt Systems use hot glue and compression to create a strong bond. One much stronger than can be achieved using a mandrel. There are two types of Hot Melt Systems.

  • Internal compression module: It presses the end flaps into place on all four corners.
  • Swinging compression module: It swings into the case and uses active compression to compress the box closed by compressing the corners in.

Tray Formers
There are two main types of Tray Formers.

1) Vertical
2) Horizontal

These two types are exactly opposite, performing the same process in the reverse direction. Vertical Tray Formers use vertical magazines in which blanks are placed. These blanks are driven down at which time hot melt glue is applied. A mandrel strikes the box horizontally, driving the box through the machine and forming it. Horizontal Tray formers use horizontal magazines in which blanks are placed. These blanks are driven down at which time hot melt glue is applied. A mandrel strikes the box vertically, driving the box down and forming it.

Automatic Tray Locker
The Automatic Tray Locker is another type of Tray Former that forms a tray using a die-cut blank by sequentially folding the corner flaps and folding the two sides in using the tab lock feature. The tab lock feature is where the sides tuck over the other flaps and hold them into position using tabs and slots. The nice thing about this function is that it has an easy-to-load magazine that begins down near the bottom of the machine (easy to reach for employees), and travels upward to where they are dispensed at the top of the machine. The boxes then move into the case forming processes being delivered downward in front of the mandrel. The mandrel is equipped with a Servo sensor in order to either decrease or increase your production speed based on whatever speed suits your packaging process the best.

Self-locking tray former
The Self-locking tray former does exactly what it is supposed to do, lock self-locking trays. For most businesses, this is a manual process done by an employee at a table who is repeatedly locking these cases into place. As production and demand increase, automation can be introduced into the process through this machine, saving plenty of time and manual labor.

Summary
There are many different options out there for case forming and erecting. There are also many different factors that can negatively affect your production process costing you valuable time, money, and resources. Be sure to find the appropriate machine to overcome the environmental and potential issues in your process.
For more information on how you can improve your packaging process, contact the R.V. Evans Company 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.

Happy Packaging!

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Source: http://www.rvevans.com/Packaging-Solutions/PDF/wexxar-case-tray-forming-101.pdf

Sustainability in Packaging

The word sustainability in packaging can often times be a scary one. Most manufacturers see it as an overwhelming endeavor and choose to not approach it for fear of failing. The important thing to remember, however, is that attaining sustainability in packaging is not a one-time feat. It is an on-going process and takes time. Although it is an on-going process, studies show that it is important to consumers and can increase your business sales. 29% of Americans now buy Green Products, 74% of people think that a manufacturer that reduces the environmental impact of its production process or product is making a smart business decision, and 75% of people say that they feel good when they take steps to help the environment. These are numbers that shouldn’t be ignored.

One of the first steps that manufacturers can take is using common sense to identify things around the warehouse or production process that require power or produce waste. Odds are there are steps that can be taken to reduce these things to help the environment. One factor that has a large impact on not only the environment, but also a company’s bottom line is compressed air. Compressed air is measured by Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). The average cost of compressed air is about $0.02 per CFM per hour. Let’s consider an automated label printer/applicator, which is a common piece of equipment in any consumer products manufacturing facility.  A traditional pneumatic powered tamp unit uses about 3 CFM, which equates to about $552.00 per year. There are new technologies available that require no air. These eco-friendly labeling machines require just $48.00 per year to operate. You can easily tell the difference that this solution will make on your expenses, and that is just for one unit! Most manufacturing plants have more.

Another factor that plays into sustainability is wasted material, such as pre-printed boxes. It is a common trend among manufacturing plants to order and stock thousands of pre-printed boxes. Unfortunately, many of these end up in the trash as their pre-printed information becomes out dated or the quality of the box is ruined. An online case printing system eliminates this issue by printing the correct information on the box when you need it, preventing unnecessary waste.

In conclusion, sustainability in packaging is no easy task, but it can be very beneficial, saving your company thousands of dollars a year by taking small, simple steps.

For more information on how you can make your packaging process more eco-friendly, contact the R.V. Evans Company at 1-800-252-5894 or visit our website at www.rvevans.com

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

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source: http://www.rvevans.com/Packaging-Solutions/PDF/FoxJet%20WhitePaper%20Crawl%20Before%20You%20Walk%20-%20Small%20Steps%20Towards%20Sustainability.pdf