Pet Food Q&A

Why is demand growing for palletizing solutions in the pet food sector?

Pet food manufacturers, like other food manufacturers, are also looking to gain efficiencies in their end-of-line operations. One way to achieve that is through automation. Adding a robotic solution brings many benefits to pet food manufacturers, including the ability to process multiple SKUs, manage varying product sizes, and create multiple pack configurations – all of which results in more streamlined throughput with reduced labor costs. Robotic automation can be seamlessly integrated with preferred or existing equipment, case erectors, case sealers, palletizers, stretch wrappers and labelers to provide a turnkey solution.

How does palletizing equipment optimize pet food packaging lines?

One of the main benefits a robotic palletizing solution brings to pet food packaging lines is reduced labor. In manual palletizing operations, it is common for a pet food line to have several employees stacking and building pallets. Hiring people is one thing, getting them to show up consistently is another. A well-designed system can replace three to four employees who were tasked to manually build, pack and stack cases.

For many employees, this type of repetitive, strenuous work is not very motivating, which is why retaining staff can be challenging. Robotic automation reduces the number of employees needed to complete menial taskings, while relocating them to areas where they can be more beneficial to the company.

What are the latest innovations in palletizing equipment for pet food applications?

Brenton latest robotic bag palletizing solution included a robotic sheet placing robot that improved efficiency over the previous gantry solutions.

What are the key benefits palletizing equipment provides for pet food manufacturers and distributors?

In addition to replacing employees who were previously hand-stacking pallets and relocating them to other areas where they can be more beneficial to the company, safety is another key benefit to pet food manufacturers and distributors. For employees manually stacking pallets, it is not a question of if they are going to get injured, it is when.

Repeatedly bending over or poor lifting can lead to painful back strain injuries; that employee is now off the job and costing you money in lost production, medical bills, and workers compensation claims. In addition to injuries, hand stacking pallets leads to inconsistent builds due to individual strength or fatigue. In addition, their production is likely to slow as they get tired. Robotic automation solves these troublesome issues.

Why is flexibility important for pet food applications?

Flexibility in robotic palletizing is more important than ever before, and a main driver of that is e-commerce sales, which are showing no signs of slowdown. To best capture your fair share of the e-commerce market, you are going to ship a greater variety of SKUs and package sizes. Having flexibility in your packaging machinery, including your palletizers, will position you to build and ship pallets to the exact specifications of retailers, distributors, and consumers. Automation brings newfound flexibility to your operations. As your business grows, production may need to increase. An automated system with robotics can easily keep pace with your growth; it will not require additional staffing as would a hand-packing line.

What are key features to consider when selecting palletizing equipment for pet food applications?

The successful packaging OEMs are the ones who listen to their customers, stay abreast of consumer preferences and manufacturing trends, and who can adapt their solutions to an ever-changing landscape. You will be the best success by partnering with a company with sound, proven solutions, and who support their machinery long after the sale in completed. That is the kind of partner you want to move forward with.

What questions are important to ask suppliers when integrating equipment into an existing packaging process?

The types of questions to consider when integrating robotics into an existing end-of-line operation include:

  • What is your current process, and where are you looking to go?
  • What are your sales goals and how can a robotic palletizing system support those goals?
  • What are you moving?
  • How many SKUs are you handling?
  • What style of packaging are you handling?

Knowing the answers to these initial questions is a great start toward selecting an end-of-line system that best achieves your goals.

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