E-commerce provides consumers with a seemingly endless selection of products and the added convenience of having them delivered to their homes. Fulfillment and logistics companies must be able to quickly shift production to meet the constant fluctuations in consumer demand, while maintaining volumes to ensure the rapid delivery consumers expect when ordering products online.
Distribution centers are a key component of the e-commerce supply chain. Like a typical warehouse, they receive and store products from multiple manufacturers. However, pallet packaging and shipping play a critical role in meeting these demands. While packaging needs vary from company to company, all of these companies face some major packaging challenges.
Order picking loads generated from product mixes are difficult to consistently stretch pack because each load is unique. If these random products vary greatly in size and shape, the loads can become very unstable, which is an even greater challenge.
In addition, it is nearly impossible to pick up these unstable loads and move them to the stretch wrapper without the product tipping over, which can cause damage and a safety hazard. Therefore, to reduce this risk, many distribution centers create a decentralized shipping environment by installing stretch wrappers in multiple locations throughout the warehouse.
However, the challenges don't stop once you get order picking or erratic loads to the stretch wrapper.
Unstable loads are at greater risk of falling apart during the parcel cycle, especially at the beginning.
It is difficult to find the right machine settings to provide the proper containment force on the load.
Once wrapped, an unstable load that is not locked to the pallet can still move or slip during transit.
Finding the right stretching equipment to overcome the challenges of packaged order picking and unstable loads is not impossible, but it takes some research and planning.
Ideally, the equipment needs to intuitively take into account the characteristics of each unique load configuration and consistently deliver loads that can be safely transported. Look for features specifically designed to protect your order picking loads from start to finish at minimal cost.
If footprint is an issue, semi-automatic turntable stretch wrappers are smaller in size and can be strategically placed in dispersed shipping environments.
But if the majority of loads are erratic, a turntable wrapper may not be the best solution. Instead, look for an overhead swivel arm semi-automatic stretch wrapper that allows the load to remain stationary while being wrapped.
If warehouse space is not an issue, an automatic stretch wrapper combined with a floor loading conveyor option is a great solution, especially for beverage distribution centers.
When choosing automation for these industries, look for packaging machines that address all three challenges and maximize your return on investment. Look specifically for.
Machines designed with flexibility in mind that can detect different case sizes and automatically adjust as needed.
Equipment that provides complete control of the blanks so that perfectly square boxes can be erected and sealed every time, despite corrugated irregularities. This type of control allows you to use all cases in a bundle, which helps eliminate waste. In addition, square cases allow for better packing, stacking and shipping, which reduces product damage and increases packaging efficiency.
Smart Wasp focuses on designing, researching and manufacturing intelligent pallet wrapping machine and providing packaging automation solutions. Please send us a message if you need to buy the machines.
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