Manufacturing is competing on a global platform. Workers are challenged with new, evolving tasks to meet ever-changing consumer demands, leading to an increase in preventable injuries. By designing safety into the process, you will not only reduce losses from personal injuries, but also gain improved manufacturing efficiency as well.
Here, we’ll discuss safety considerations from the initial line layout, to testing the equipment, to training employees properly.
Packaging automation is not only efficient, but also safer than traditional packaging equipment—it requires fewer worker interactions than manual processes, thereby reducing the risk of employee injuries. For example, hand-placing products at high speeds is a common cause of injury that can be removed by employing automation.
Safety and ergonomics is something that should be considered during the initial line layout planning and design phase of your packaging line. By planning ahead, you can eliminate risks from the get-go rather than behaving reactively once an accident has already happened.
Testing of all components should take place at multiple points throughout the process, from manufacturing to installation at your facility. Before a machine is ever shipped from the manufacturer, it should be safety certified, and all switches should be tested and equipped with dual redundancy in case of a failure.
Once the equipment has been delivered to the plant, it’s time for Site Acceptance Testing. This ensures that all components are working together after installation and that all safety features are in working order.
Making sure all operators are trained on the equipment they will be using is crucial. A reputable manufacturer will often provide training and certification on the equipment they supply. For example, every participant who successfully completes the Kraken training program receives a certificate.
Be sure to ask the following questions regarding the training provided:
Training programs must be tailored to the customer’s skillset and needs. All programs should begin with safety instruction with operator verification along with the proper balance between classroom instruction and hands-on machinery experience.
A good training program will feature plenty of hands-on practice using the machinery and ample visuals—after all, most people don’t learn best by being lectured. It’s important to remember that English may not be all trainees’ first language, so make sure that everyone has a solid understanding before advancing.
Through thoughtful design of your line layout, testing of all equipment, and thorough operator training, we can make packaging environments safer. As in any dangerous field of work, proper protective clothing and eyewear are always necessary.
Following these preventive guidelines will help you avoid workplace injuries on the plant floor along with the overwhelming costs associated. Take your operators out of harm’s way, and give them the tools they need to stay safe.
Kraken Automation is an innovator in the packaging automation industry, and well-known for its expertise in developing customized solutions that solve the most complex packaging challenges. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you optimize packaging line efficiency.