Navigating Warehouse Automation – Box Closing Solutions

Handling high parcel packing volumes through conventional, manual processes can be both costly and challenging. It often necessitates a wide range of box types, a high number of packing stations, and consequently, a large workforce and significant warehouse space to manage packaging activities and store various consumables.

To address such challenges, Katoen Natie frequently implements box closing automation solutions.

Choosing the Right Solution

The market is full of various box closing solutions with varying capabilities and limitations, and the cost of these solutions can also be substantial. Therefore, making the right choice is crucial, not only to establish a favorable business case, but also to ensure that the chosen solution both fits the needs of today as well as has the capability to be expanded for or adapted to the needs of tomorrow.

To identify the most suitable solution for our partners, we, at Katoen Natie, conduct a comprehensive analysis of the pertinent operational data and consider all the relating operational processes in order to identify the potential automation solution’s requirements and key design parameters, such as:

  • Required throughput capacity
  • Ideal box types and sizes
  • Return-reusability
  • Choice between glue (hot melt, etc.) or tape (paper, plastic, etc.)
  • Reusability of inbound boxes from suppliers
  • Other packaging requirements such as sustainability, labeling, document inclusion, and value-added service (VAS) activities. In partnership with Twintag, we have solutions that range from digital packing lists to paperless trucks. See the demo here: Twintag App

Understanding the Potential Benefits

In addition to increasing throughput, improving quality, and potentially reducing labor and storage costs, implementing a box closing automation solution, particularly one with box height reduction capability, can offer another major benefit: Less air in the boxes shipped.

This translates to:

  • Reduced need for void filling, only protective materials required
  • Enhanced stability and robustness of boxes
  • Increased number of boxes stacked per pallet, resulting in potential savings on transportation costs
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