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Cost vs Benefits of Pallet Automation

Pallet Automation
Kevin SageKevin Sage
November 3, 2023

Automated palletizers have transformed how companies handle the goods they manage. From manufacturing to pharmaceutical to food and beverage industries, automated palletizers have become a staple of today's production line, delivering an unprecedented level of speed, consistency, and, above all, reliability. But is it worth the cost to your pallet business to replace your manual labor with advanced pallet automation technologies? Consider the following cost-benefit analysis of pallet automation, and decide for yourself.

Benefits of Pallet Automation

By using automatic pallet machines or advanced robotic palletizers in your plant, you can enjoy a range of benefits, both financial and operational. By integrating automated palletizing in your process, you can revolutionize how you handle the stacking and organizing of products you manage. Among the key benefits pallet automation provides are improved safety, enhanced efficiency, and reduced costs.

Improved Safety

Palletizing manually often requires bending, lifting, and twisting movements that can strain muscles and cause potential musculoskeletal injuries. An automated pallet machine can lower the chances of these work-related injuries occurring by managing repetitive tasks and heavy loads, thereby providing your workforce with a safer working environment.

In addition, today's automated pallet machines have advanced safety features ensuring operation within clearly delineated parameters. This, in turn, further increases plant safety overall.

Moreover, beyond improving workers' physical well-being, a safer working environment boosts their job satisfaction and morale, potentially improving your corporate culture.

Enhanced Efficiency

packing robot

Automated palletizers are faster and more accurate than human laborers, increasing productivity overall. Whether you deal with mixed loads or uniform products, the speed and precision automated palletizers offer allow for less downtime, greater throughput, and higher profitability. This ensures your performance and quality remain consistently and reliably high, the result of which is to better meet customer demands and production targets.

Reduced Costs

Automated palletization allows you to lower manual labor costs. This can quickly add up to significant savings over time. By freeing up these human resources from the menial tasks of palletization for which an automatic pallet machine is much more capable, they can be reallocated and trained to serve the company in ways more demanding of human attention, such as value-adding tasks involving problem-solving and critical thinking.

In addition to lowering labor costs directly, pallet automation also considerably lowers costs involved in training and supervising manual laborers and handling possible injuries.

As a result of leveraging this revolutionary technology, a business like yours can streamline operations to maintain the same or higher quality standards while attaining greater cost-efficiency.

Costs of Pallet Automation

palletizing robot

Maximizing your investment in pallet automation involves carefully considering all of the expenses involved in making the switch. Depending on the brand, functionality, level, and type of customization required, the price of this transition can differ significantly.

Initial Costs of Automated Palletization

The starting price of a basic automated pallet machine can average around $50,000; an advanced robotic palletizer could cost more than $300,000.

Also influencing the starting cost of pallet automation can be the system's required complexity and installation costs.

Total Cost of Ownership for Automatic Palletization

The Total Cost of Ownership, or TOC, of automated palletizing goes beyond the initial purchase and installation of an automatic pallet machine. For starters, it also involves the costs of training workers to use the machine and of providing the regular maintenance it will require to stay operating at maximum efficiency.

Other costs include:

  1. Upgrades
  2. Repairs
  3. Energy consumption
  4. Possible downtime

These expenses can increase operational cost-efficiency, however, by ensuring a longer lifetime of use of these machines.

By understanding fully the TOC involved in pallet automation, you can poise your business to make an informed choice of when and how to make the switch to automated palletization and what automatic pallet machine to use. It allows you to take the long-term view necessary to maximize the benefits of pallet automation for your business while minimizing the costs.

Maximizing the ROI of Pallet Automation

ROI with a growing graphic

Once you decide that you'd like to explore the possibility of integrating pallet automation into your production process, the way to maximize your return on investment is to start by defining your goals clearly in making such a shift, then based on that, identifying what indicators you will use to determine success.

Such gauges might include:

  1. Revenue targets
  2. Rework requests
  3. Scrap rates
  4. Ratios of uptime to downtime

Such metrics provide critical benchmarks to which you can refer while deciding whether a human or automated system is more appropriate for your operation.

Making the Switch to Pallet Automation

Pallet automation offers a potentially significant improvement to your return on investment by reducing labor costs while increasing quality and throughput. To give pallet manufacturers a competitive advantage, call us today.

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