Driving Throughput: Your Guide to Getting the Most Out of Automated Bagging Equipment
Throughout our monthly Driving Throughput blog series, we’ll explore the different ways you can positively (or negatively) impact your operational efficiency by shining a light on the crucial role that automated baggers can make in your operation. We’ll uncover bagger features that can be a boon to your warehouse’s output or a potential pitfall if not considered. So join us each month and get ready to embark on a journey into the heart of fulfillment efficiency.
Fulfillment centers are the front lines of the post-pandemic e-commerce revolution and the quest for operational efficiency is mission critical for them. Time is of the essence, resources are hard to come by, and the ever-increasing customer expectations drive operational decision-making like never before. When you’re up against these warehouse challenges, automated baggers have the capability to streamline your processes and support your people, but only if you incorporate the right bagger.
First up, let’s look at how selecting a bagger with the right printer can maximize your uptime and drive that throughput you’re looking for.
Operations: Boost Throughput of Your Automatic Bagger Machine with the Right Printer for Bags
It’s amazing to see the transformation your packing lines can experience when one component is optimized. When shopping for baggers, the printing capabilities may not be on your list of priorities- but they should be. When your bagging equipment is integrated with a top-tier, well-maintained printer it can mean the difference between running a frictionless pack line and your team being mired in connectivity issues, poor print quality or even machine downtime.
Poor Printing Costs Time and Money
Whether bagging for e-commerce or parts, the ability to print barcodes, stock numbers, contents, or shipping information directly onto the bag decreases labor requirements, increases accuracy and boosts efficiency by reducing the amount of time employees need to pause and address misprints.
When looking for a new bagger, the first thing you want to do is check the print quality. Costly printing mistakes like misprints create unnecessary waste from partially printed labels or even lost packages if a poorly printed barcode is rejected within the parcel network. Consider the time and money needed to fix your bagging job if operators consistently have to pause what they’re doing to reprint shipping details. Not exactly a recipe for high throughput.
Why the Ribbon Matters in Your Printer for Bags
Let’s talk print type and ribbon. Thermal imprinting is the most common print type in automated bagging. In short, a thermal imprinter uses a heated print head to burn text into a thermal ribbon and onto a mailer bag. Sounds easy enough, right? Not quite. It’s important to recognize not all ribbon is created equal. The quality of the ribbon you use can affect integration with your shipping software, print readability, serviceability and overall productivity. When investing in a new bagger, it’s important you’re pairing it with ribbon that complements its capabilities, not complicates them.
To improve readability and accuracy, look for advanced ribbon quality that balances cost with improved productivity and reduced scrap. While it may be tempting to opt for a budget option to save money in the near term, ribbon created for bagger in mind will produce the high-quality print you’d expect from your automated investment and will save you money and heartburn in the long run.
Tips for Buying Printer Ribbon for Bags
For the best ribbon performance, the experts at Pregis recommend these two tips for buying and using ribbons:
- Don’t alternate high- and low-quality ribbons: Only high-quality ribbon prints at faster speeds
- Buy ribbons and bags from the same supplier: Ensure materials are compatible. Ribbons are formulated for the best output with certain mailer materials
Essentially, selecting high-quality ribbons equals high uptime. Want to know more about ribbon quality? Reach out to one of our Pregis Automated Mailing Specialists, they’d be happy to give you some insight into what you should be looking for.
Automatic Bagger Printing: What to Look for When Buying for Productivity, Speed, and Longevity
Whether you’re using a bagger geared toward packing consumer-facing packages, like the Pregis® Sharp MaxPro 24, or you are focusing on industrial bagging, the last thing you want to worry about is if your bagging jobs are properly transferring from your warehouse systems to the bagger.
When information can be moved from one source to the next seamlessly, a bagger can churn out more labeled mailers, faster. Needless to say, buying a bagger with a printer that matches up with your existing resources minimizes room for a connectivity breakdown. Our engineers know this can be a serious threat to throughput, which is why all Pregis Sharp™ bagging equipment has been built with integrated Zebra printers, one of the most used print systems in warehouses across the nation. What’s this mean for you? You can rest easy knowing the technology supporting your packing processes is working hard to drive your throughput forward.
Looking for another upside of purchasing an automated bagging machine with an industry-standard printer, like a Zebra? Off-the-shelf replacement parts. The pandemic painfully proved to us all that disruptions to the manufacturing supply chain can have monumental effects on your output. To avoid waiting weeks or even months to have pricey, proprietary parts replaced, look for a bagger that uses off-the-shelf parts. It may seem small, but it’ll help to get your operations back up and working in no time.
Let’s Recap: Consider the Printer When Buying a Bagger
Whether you’re printing 1,000 bags with the same job information or 10,000 unique shipping labels, your printer capabilities can make or break your bagging throughput. So don’t forget to consider the combination of printer and ribbon you’ll be using, the connectivity of your bagger’s printer and the ease of maintaining your investment. Today’s high-quality printers, like those used in all Pregis Sharp machines, have lifespans of about ten years, so make sure you ask the right questions while searching for your new bagging equipment.
Want to see more of our Automated Mailing & Bagging Solutions? Discover the wide selection of Pregis Automated Mailing & Bagging Solutions we offer. Contact us if you have specific questions about driving throughput throughout your operation.
Eager for more tips on what to look for in your automated bagging equipment to maximize throughput? Join us next month for an in-depth look at how safety-first design can put your bagging operations into hyperdrive.