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



Manufacturer of Polyurethane Components Increases Productivity with Dual-Tamp Labeling Solution

Paragon-Labeling-PLS-420-Print-Apply-LabelerPre-Solution Application

The client, a manufacturer of polyurethane components for the heavy truck and trailer market, was previously manually applying labels to their cartons before feeding the cartons into an automatic case sealer.  This method was time consuming and labor intensive.

The R.V. Evans’ Value Added Solution

After performing a Site Needs Analysis and thorough review of the application, an R.V. Evans’ Packaging Sales Specialist determined the appropriate value added solution.  The recommendation:  A Paragon Labeling Systems Model PLS-420 Plus automated labeling system with 12” dual tamp to print & apply a 1” x 6” label as a corner wrap label onto the corrugated case traveling on a conveyor at a product rate of 20 cases per minute before proceeding to the carton taper.

Key Benefits of the PLS-420 Plus Automatic Labeling System

  • Modular and flexible design that allows you to reconfigure your labeling system as your needs evolve without purchasing a whole new system
  • Features an Allen Bradley PLC with color touch screen interface to print and then immediately apply labels to products, cartons, cases, pallets, and totes
  • A variety of print engines available from Zebra Technologies, Sato America, Datamax, or Intermec to meet the most demanding label requirements
  • Includes a plate aluminum chassis, PLC controller with remote mount interface, and other features that are optional on other systems
  • 100 Built-in label location “Recipes”

Measurable Savings Realized

This print and apply labeling solution has enabled the client to reallocate labor elsewhere in their plant thanks to the system integrated approach provided by the R.V. Evans Company.  This labeling solution has increased productivity, efficiency, and ultimately reduced this business partner’s overall packaging costs.  As part of this integrated packaging system, the R.V. Evans Company also provided the client with a BEL 505 semi-automated carton former used by the operators prior to the carton moving to the PLS 420 Plus mounted on a 12’ x 6’ conveyor with integrated upright.

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