Packaging Machines for the Distribution Industry

Distribution, Pick & Place Operations & Order Fulfilment Houses

A distribution centre needs to be confident that dispatched products will be readily identifiable by the customer or retailer and reach them in a pristine condition ready to be displayed and / or used.

Investing in end-of-line packaging machinery helps facilitate the picking, packing and dispatch processes in distribution and order fulfilment houses. It makes these operations much more efficient and cost effective.

Distribution facilities vary tremendously in size & complexity. Some take orders direct from the public over the internet for items such as household products, jewellery & perfume, clothes & DIY, to soft toys. Other distributors act for the high street supermarkets to keep their stores replenished. Some will be responsible for moving palletised goods around the country on behalf of others, or keeping their own stores supplied with chocolates or electrical goods, or other products like toys & clothes.

A distribution centre will need to source an item, store it until requested via a customer order, pick the item for dispatch, transit the item to a packing area, pack the item for onward shipping, add an identifier to show where to send and how many items this customer has ordered, then transit the items to the dispatch area for shipping and delivery to the customer.

Conveyors will generally bring the items from storage and picking to the packing area. Once in the packing area, a pack station will be used to facilitate the packing of the item into a cardboard box. Once packed in a cardboard box, a Case Sealing machine will then be used to seal the top and bottom of the box, making it ready for secure shipment. Variable data such as content details, a shift code, and maybe a batch code for traceability will then be directly printed onto the box using a Case Coder. A Label Machine may well then be used to apply a label with the customer name & address or the details of the retail outlet.

When the packed products have been boxed and palletised, or placed in cages for onward transit, a Pallet Wrapper will be used to wrap the pallet / cage to provide load stability and security in transit before loading onto a truck for delivery.

Using a Case Sealing / taping machine ensures a consistent seal quality and saves time when compared with hand taping. Different, random size boxes can be accommodated by the use of a Random Case Sealer and void fill. The pack station keeps all relevant packing materials easily to hand, ready for use. A Pallet Master Pallet Wrapper will pallet wrap effectively, economically, quickly and safely. It is also environmentally sound. It uses less film than hand wrapping and so generates less landfill. Productivity gains of up to 30% have been achieved with pallet wrappers from Loveshaw when compared with hand wrapping.