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Improving Labour Efficiency and Throughput with a Semi-Automatic Case Sealer

Case Study: Food Processor

Overview

Crawford Packaging was contacted by a producer and distributor of dairy products. The Producer was experiencing poor efficiency and throughput rates in their packaging process. Employees were manually forming and storing up to 500 cartons at a time. This resulted in cartons being stacked all over the Producer’s facility, taking up floor space and creating clutter. The boxes were filled at the packaging station and then manually sealed by the packer before leaving the station. This process was proving to be slow, inefficient causing a backup in the packaging process.

Crawford’s Packaging Specialist visited the Producer’s facility for a free packaging consultation. The Packaging Specialist reviewed the Producer’s packaging process, production rates and available equipment. The goal was to identify areas that would benefit from the use of automated packaging equipment. Following the consultation, the Specialist suggested the addition of a Semi-Automatic Uniform Case Sealer to their packaging solution.

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Challenge

A producer of dairy products was experiencing poor efficiency in their packaging operation. The Producer’s existing process was for employees to hand form up to 500 cases at a time. These cartons would then be stored in the Producer’s plant and used throughout the day. This resulted in boxes being stored around the plant in any space available. Once all the boxes were formed, an employee would fill the boxes at the packaging station and then manually seal the upper flaps. The manual taping process would result in poor, inconsistent closures that would need to be taped multiple times.

The ineffective process was causing major issues for the client. Manual taping process can often be difficult for employees and create ergonomic issues for staff. The manual taping process was also raising the consumption rates of the Producer's packaging tape. Often cases were requiring multiple applications of tape to get the proper strength required. The strain on employees and the ineffective sealing process was causing a slow down in the packaging process. The slow down would result in a back up at the packaging station and increased pack times.


Process

The Packaging Specialist visited the Producer’s facility and performed a free packaging consultation. After the consultation, the Packaging Specialist contacted Loveshaw, Crawford’s case sealing and forming partner. With an understanding of the situation at hand, the Loveshaw representative joined the Specialist for a second facility visit. For the second visit, the Loveshaw representative brought a case sealer for the Producer to trial. The Packaging Specialist and Loveshaw’s representative demonstrated how to use the machine and how to integrate it into their packaging line. The demo machine was left with the Producer and was tested by all employees from the owner to the operator. The Producer was presented with two case sealers for consideration after the trial period. The LD-X Top and Bottom, Semi-Automatic Uniform Case Sealer and the LD-Xss, its stainless-steel variant.


 Loveshaw Little David LD-Xss

Solution

Loveshaw Little David LD-Xss

The LD-Xss Uniform Case Sealer was designed to excel in sanitary environments. It was created to meet the increasing demand for a case sealer that could remain in line for plant washdowns. The LD-Xss has a heavy duty stainless steel design and features easy maintenance access. The stainless-steel body features an easy to clean design that can be easily washed down during cleaning periods. The LD-Xss uses long tape rolls and can be adjusted from 2” to 3” tape in minutes.


Results

Following the demo period, the Producer added the LD-Xss Case Sealer to their packaging operation. This knowledge-based packaging solution has helped the Producer improve their packing process. The Producer has been able to increase productivity, improve space use and reduced the risk of employee injury.

Increased Productivity and Throughput

The LD-Xss has helped the Producer to increase their throughput volumes and maximize their productivity. The operator folds a box on the packaging station of the LD-Xss. Once the case is packed, the operator moves the carton into the sealer where the bottom belts transfer it through the tape heads. This seamless process has eliminated the Producer’s need to have employees form and seal their cases by hand. Improving packaging times and eliminating costly miss-taping. The LD-Xss large tape heads also ensure long product runs between roll changeovers. The process improvements have made it possible for the operator of the LD-Xss to keep up with daily demands and stop costly packaging line backups.

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Improved Packaging Tape Consumption

The improved taping process offered by the LD-Xss has stopped the need to re-tape boxes to improve their seal. Operators can pass a packed carton through the tape heads and achieve an effective seal each time. This has greatly reduced the tape consumption rates for the Producer’s packaging operation. 

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Reduced Strain and the Risk of Injury

When employees perform a task for hours at a time they risk developing repetitive motion or strain injuries. These injuries include strains of stiff or sore muscles, to serious long-term conditions like carpal tunnel or tendinitis. The addition of the LD-Xss has removed the repetitive motion of using a hand-held tape gun.

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Efficient Use of Storage Space

The Producer’s employees now form and fill boxes as they are needed. This has freed up the Producer’s facility space to be used more effectively.

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Crawford Packaging Support Programs

Crawford Packaging has provided the Producer with a range of support for their new case sealer. Following the packaging machine installation, Crawford prepared the Producer’s staff with the Packaging Machine Training Program. This multi-level training program educates staff at every level who will be working with the new equipment. This includes everything from machine operation to daily maintenance task to ensure a long and productive life.


Crawford Packaging is a full-service packaging company located in London, Brampton and Waterloo, Ontario. From packaging to packaging equipment, installation and upgrades, and in-person equipment training and repair, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.