How Optimizing Warehouse Ergonomics Saves Time and Money

Blog Post

Of all the areas of a business, one of the most directly tied to operational efficiency is the warehouse. Identifying the right ergonomic warehouse equipment makes operations more effective and comfortable for employees.

In a previous post, we’ve discussed the basics of workplace ergonomics for the warehouse. Managers can help their employees avoid strain and injury by removing unnecessary movements, excessive weight, and hazards from the packaging line. There is more that can be done to improve the packaging line beyond these core optimizations. The concept of Pack Space Excellence covers several key areas.

What is Pack Space Excellence?

Put simply, the optimization of both solution design and packaging area space to create the most efficient environment possible. It breaks down into several core elements that can be balanced by professional integrators. Below, we look at what these areas are, and how a holistic approach to optimization can impact them.

How to improve ergonomics in a warehouse

A pack space excellence assessment can help determine where a system can be included within the warehouse. Because no two workers are exactly alike, this might mean the need for adjustable configurations. Customized integrations also help to keep a low profile and avoid the possibility of accidents.

Case study: PadPak LC cushioning system with packing table integration.

cushioning system, padpak used at packing station in warehouse

Within this case example, the original layout of the packing area was poorly optimized for workers’ bodies. Awkward movements required to access key packaging items often resulted in bending and twisting, leading to injury and absenteeism.

Results:

  • By including an integrated PadPak system within the packing table, all packaging functions were reoriented within easy reach of packer .
  • Room around the packing table was cleared, allowing for easier and less dangerous motion around the packing environment.

Saving warehouse space

Space within a packing environment is a critical resource. When evaluating solutions for packaging, how much room they will occupy within a warehouse can have direct correlation to economic efficiency. Space that is taken up by packaging materials and equipment could be used more effectively. For example, allowing employees to move around the warehouse or housing inventory being shipped to the end-consumer.

Case Study: Geami HV wrapping system integrated below packing table.

package wrapping, geami machine used at packing station

Within this scenario, limited space was available within the warehouse to increase the number of packing tables. Any newly integrated wrapping solutions would need to become part of the existing infrastructure. This made Geami HV into the ideal system, perfectly suited to be located within the existing footprint of the pack-station.

Results:

  • The custom integration of Geami systems increased the number of total packaging tables available within the warehouse by 50%. By eliminating the need to separate steps in the packaging process across workstations, packers travel less distance and can work uninterrupted.
  • These cleaner, more efficient workstations enabled easier handling of packing materials, with no bending down required to reach packing paper. This reduces the time spent by packers performing actions with a higher risk range of motion for injury or strain.

Increased productivity

increased productivity is the final point of the pack space excellence triangle. Custom integrations allow packers to make more efficient movements and give them freedom to navigate the warehouse without obstruction.

Case Study: FillPak void fill system on frame above crossing conveyor belts.

void fill machine, fillpak used in conveyor belt

Within this scenario, the plastic air bag system in place within the warehouse was creating a bottleneck in productivity. The packing line was revamped with a focus on automation and improvement in output. By replacing a plastic airbag solution with a paper void fill system, environmental improvements were also made.

Results:

  • Productivity within the packing line was greatly increased through the implementation of an automated system, with throughput improved by 20%.
  • The conveyor and pedal operated FillPak system made rapidly packing boxes with the right amount of void fill simple and fast.

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