How to avoid downtime in production and make palletising more efficient
For any manufacturing business with production lines, downtime is always a cause for concern. While a minor breakdown might be a nuisance on occasion, major or recurring downtime incidents can seriously affect the productivity of your business and cost you some of your yearly profit.
Automation can make some people a little wary, and it can be vulnerable to unintentional production stops. If an error occurs in one place, it often causes the entire production to come screeching to a halt. This, however, doesn’t mean that you’re left with no options. There are steps you can use to prevent downtime occurrences and make sure that your production lines and palletising processes always run smoothly.
Read below for our three best tips on how to avoid unnecessary downtime in production.
What is production downtime?
Production downtime can be caused by many different things. Scheduled downtime for maintenance is, of course, necessary and planned to keep equipment in good working order. On the other hand, equipment failure and unexpected events may cause productivity to decrease and will impact revenue generation for your business.
Unforeseen production stops or breakdowns may also cause your products to be late for your clients. This does not result in happy customers and good reviews – two crucial factors for most businesses. Although unplanned downtime does happen and can’t always be prevented, you can take some steps towards being prepared in the best possible way. At Palcut, we care about helping your business increase productivity and avoid unnecessary downtime.
3 ways Palcut helps you avoid downtime in production and increase your palletisation productivity
1. The Palcut solution versus regular interlayer pallet sheets
When using traditional pallet sheet racks in production, there are a few things to be aware of regarding your productivity. We have all experienced when the robot, without warning, drops one or more interlayer sheets.
Dropping an interlayer pallet sheet might accidentally block a sensor, causing your whole production line to stop for safety reasons. You’ll then have to spend time fixing the issue – losing otherwise valuable production time. This is where Palcut’s fully automatic sheet dispenser solution comes into its own, preventing you from never having to experience frustrating moments like these again.
Contrary to the traditional and outdated method, the Palcut sheet dispenser feeds the robot one single sheet at a time. By doing this, your palletising process will become a lot more efficient, and you will eliminate any problems with your robot dropping interlayer sheets by mistake.
Another problem you may experience when using traditional pallet sheet racks in your production is that the robot might fail to grab the interlayer sheet when palletising. The robot can also misplace the sheet on the pallet, resulting in risks of the ‘sharp’ corners tearing the stretch foil apart, or it may drop the sheet and palletise with no interlayer. This causes the stability to deteriorate, and then you run the risk of a pallet collapse.
The key to avoiding these issues is the sheet dispenser and rolls. They work together with the anti-slip effect of the sheets, vastly increasing the stability of your pallet with their unique coating and have a slip angle of more than 50° depending on what paper you use. The Palcut anti-slip interlayer paper works with the Palcut sheet dispenser, only feeding the robot one sheet at a time so that you will have fast and precise placement on the pallet – every single time.
2. Time-consuming re-loading
When using traditional pallet sheet racks in production, it’s not just dropped sheets or unplanned machinery shutdowns that can cause concern. During the palletisation process, one of the more time-consuming procedures is when operators are forced to stop the line to get a new pallet of corrugated cardboard or pre-cut interlayer sheets. Depending on your business’ specific production and products, stopping the production can be a hassle. Over time, this leads to many wasted hours that would’ve been better spent palletising your goods.
Compared to corrugated cardboard used in traditional pallet sheet racks, Palcut’s Antim® anti-slip paper comes in rolls and takes up significantly less space. One roll holds approximately 3,800 meters, increasing the number of sheets you can use in your production. This allows you to be able to free up plenty of space in your storage locations. Compared to hosting an array of pallets of various sized corrugated cardboard, pre-cut pallet sheets or pre-cut liner boards, one roll of our anti-slip paper is equal to five entire pallets of corrugated cardboard sheets.
Besides helping you free up storage for your production, your operators will save time using Palcut’s sheet dispenser. One roll of Palcut’s anti-slip paper can stretch over an extended amount of time in the palletisation process. This allows you to stop the slowing down or interruption of the production line to fetch a new pallet of corrugated cardboard or traditional interlayer paper. You can reduce or even eliminate your changeover times because a roll change can be performed outside the safety zone and will avoid downtime. We also offer you the choice to add an “empty-roll-indicator”, which notifies operators when it’s almost time for a roll change. This is what we call efficient palletising!
3. Re-adjusting pallet sheet sizing during product change-over
If your palletising line runs multiple pallet sizes, you probably know all about the hassle of executing a product change-over and the time that’s spent doing so. This creates a plethora of things you must change in the production line for the manufacturing process to run with ease.
One of these time-consuming tasks is having to re-adjust pallet sheet sizing. Usually, this means switching the rack of pallet sheets with each product change that has a different sized pallet. Over time, the amount of production downtime spent doing these changeovers adds up. The Palcut sheet dispenser empowers you to make lightning-fast changes, and it can be programmed to do whatever your production line needs. When the Palcut sheet dispenser is connected to the palletiser control unit the sheet format can be preprogrammed and changed automatically when you are going from packing 1/1 pallets to ¼ pallets or ½ pallets.
The Palcut sheet dispenser even allows you to pre-program the machine. Having the option to pre-program the machine means that you can add up to 15 different lengths to be used in your palletisation. The machine then cuts these lengths from the same roll of paper, saving you time and labour in a complicated production line. When you have the Palcut sheet dispenser, cutting the required size of paper for the production is seamlessly done without any change-over time.
The benefits of automating your palletising process
We’re sure that you can relate to at least some of the problems we’ve mentioned above. Avoiding unnecessary downtime in your production can help your business and help you generate more revenue. These days, most production lines consist of highly automated machines and systems to ensure that the process is as smooth and problem-free as possible for the operators. It also provides the most optimal flow of products in order to achieve the greatest possible turnover.
Using a Palcut sheet dispenser to automate cutting and placing interlayer sheets during palletising helps to facilitate the process. The Palcut sheet dispenser works efficiently, cutting one interlayer sheet at a time. It’s then delivered to the pick-up table, where the robot grabs the single interlayer sheet and places it on the pallet or products. It then repeats the process from the beginning.
We can also save your operators additional time by giving them the option to pre-programme multiple lengths of sheets for your palletisation process, allowing them to initiate changeovers safely, without slowing down production.
Why wouldn’t you want to automate your end of line palletising process? It’s simple, easy and can be tailored to your production line’s needs. Let us help you take the extra step for your business to ensure that your production runs as smoothly as possible.
If you wish to know more about our automatic palletisation solution or have any questions, please feel free to reach out for more information about your business possibilities with our solution.