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Industrial Packaging Podcast EP 50: Key Points To Consider When Implementing Packaging Automation

Our VP of Sales & Marketing at PAC, Greg Berguig, on the Industrial Packaging Podcast discusses packaging automation.  

Transcript

Greetings ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to another episode of the industrial packaging podcast with me your host Nathan Dube digital marketing specialist at Industrial Packaging. On today’s episode we have special return guest Greg Burguig, Vice President of PAC Machinery and we’re going to be discussing key points to consider when implementing packaging automation. Greg welcome back to the show. Thank you for having me Nathan. You are most welcome.

So this is a pretty exciting topic and without further ado let’s just jump into the first question  can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role at your company? Sure I am the Vice President of sales and marketing at PAC Machinery so all sales and marketing functions report to me and my my job is to you know take the the projects and the machinery that our engineers develop and share the world that and then make sure they get into factories around the world. Awesome fantastic. So where can people find you on the web? Well obviously I would say the first and foremost is at our website pacmachinery.com they can also go check out our youtube channel and see all the exciting things we’re posting on linkedin. Awesome fantastic well since the topic is key points to consider when implementing packaging automation the the first question that really ties into this is how can customers have a detailed understanding of what and how much they are trying to do. Yeah so that’s a good question and you know i’ve been doing trade shows for for decades now and you know a lot of times we um you know customers come in with just some slight idea of what’s going on. I really think it’s important to have a full concept and a lot of times that’s getting one of our sales reps or any packaging sales rep you know every equipment manufacturer has outside sales people go in and and really conduct a facility audit and see what’s going on. You know we we sometimes hear things like you know as hey what what kind of rate do you need to go out and uh they say you know i want to do 100 a minute I say oh okay 100 a minute that’s about 6 000 an hour uh that’s you know 40 plus thousand a day is that about right and they say oh no we do about 10 000 a week right so it’s important to understand um what you know how you translate what what the project needs are to what the equipment can do yeah that makes sense and we we have similar uh experiences here at industrial packaging with dealing with customers in fact one of the things that i’ve been working on for our sales manager louise is first-time buyers guides uh two different blog posts and will probably eventually be a pillar page as well basically we’re just trying to provide the questions to our customers because a lot of times it seems like they don’t have the right questions to ask they they have questions but they’re the wrong questions so it’s very important particularly when dealing with something you know as significant as uh implementing packaging automation that people are given the the right assets that they need and you know based on what you said you got a youtube page you got your website you can be found on linkedin i know you guys have a lot of great content and uh for my listeners if you’re interested if you check out their uh online assets there’s plenty of great educational pieces that will help you to come up with the right questions to help either greg or myself when you’re looking for ways to get into automation sure and i think that’s only the start nathan really like you know you start to identify a type of solution but then let let you know you people packagers are experts in their business right so we are experts in packaging equipment and uh you know i always say great let’s let’s help you take it to the next level for sure um moving on to the next question um how do you determine who in your organization needs to buy in to automation yeah so that’s a great question nathan because i think um you know a lot of times it’s not just the the project manager it’s who is this solution going to impact right i mean many cases it impacts finance because it’s you’re looking to improve your bottom line it impacts hr because you’re going to make operators more efficient uh it’s going to impact senior management because you know they’re going to be able to to tout all the great efficiencies they have in their plant and uh you know let’s also not forget the operators uh i always say if an operator doesn’t adopt a solution it’s never going to work right it’s so critical to have them as part of the process and buy in and you know i think in today’s world where people are hiring as many qualified people as they can it’s not about eliminating jobs it’s about making those jobs easier and more efficient so you know if the operator buys into that solution and sees that hey wow oh my goodness before it used to take me you know 45 seconds to put something into a bag scan an order apply a label and now i can do it in a matter of you know five ten seconds well they’re going to be more satisfied with their job yeah i think that’s totally true and i i like that you put an emphasis on including the operators the way i look at it is if you have the opportunity to um you know you want your operators to be present for a machine demo if you’re going to get one because if they can see you know the ins and outs of what their responsibility is going to be they’re going to be able to give you feedback if you know oh this is better than what we’re doing or you know this may not be a good fit for us and i think it’s incredibly important to have uh the people that are that close to the equipment and working with it on a daily basis uh having a say in uh the process of this i agree and i think also not just it goes back to your first question as well having a detailed understanding of what you’re trying to do a lot of times most of the time it is those people on the floor that really have a good idea of what the issues are where the bottlenecks are uh you know something hey you have an issue with uh quality and rejects you know you have a lot of rework because your bags aren’t sealed you talk to a project manager or somebody on the show no we don’t have that problem you go out on the floor and talk the operator and you can see yeah yeah we have to redo it all the time so it’s important to get them involved absolutely very important stuff right there moving on to the next question we have why do you need to think about your supplier as a long-term partner um that is a great question and i think uh my first thing that comes to mind on that is that think about how long the equipment is going to last i mean people don’t you know i know a lot of times roi’s are measured in you know months or maybe a couple years but this equipment especially you know western machinery it’s gonna last one two three decades or more right so uh your supplier who you’re working with it’s not just about is the solution gonna work now it’s what are they going to do in terms of support can i get parts quickly hey i bought the first machine can you come in and let’s take a look at how it’s working for us maybe there’s options or features or changes once it’s implemented that that will get the customer to an even better solution so i i say treat it as a long-term relationship it really is an investment not only in the equipment but the people that build it and uh you know like industrial packaging the people that support it and that are going to be there week in and week out yeah i think you make a good point there uh when it comes to purchasing packaging machinery um you know as any long-term person in this industry knows versus a startup who often doesn’t know what to expect like you said the equipment lasts for you know well-built machinery 25-30 years and i think that’s an important um item that you pointed out and i know that your equipment is is built to be like this but not all equipment is built to the same standard so it’s important to be able to educate buyers about the differences between machinery that’s made in different parts of the world because it’s not all made to the same standards and it may not last as long so for my listeners out there if you are interested in automation bagging machinery and various other types of packaging equipment absolutely check out pack machinery greg has been a great contact i’ve really enjoyed working with him over the past couple years to generate content like this and it’s important that you buy a brand of machinery that is going to meet your needs because again not all equipment is built to the same standards yeah it’s a it’s a great point nathan and not all equipment is and you know a lot of times i always say you get what you pay for right so uh just i was at a trade show recently and they were looking at one of our table top fan sealers and the the prospect was very concerned about how long it was gonna last i said sir i mean if this thing doesn’t last you 10 15 years i’d be shocked uh you know we have a three year warranty that comes on the equipment because you know it’s i don’t expect an issue in the first three years and he was used to paying a fraction of the cost for something that was basically a throwaway item and uh wasn’t designed for 24 7 operations so you again get what you pay for view it as an investment in your business 100 totally agree which brings us to our next question which is what is required for a successful automation implementation oh that is a great question i think uh i think one can only uh touch the tip of the iceberg on that one nathan yeah for sure uh you know obviously you’ve got the buy-in from the team that we talked about um i always say get the manufacturer samples of your product and samples of the material that’s going to be run on that machine right simulate as best as possible what the machine is expected to do when it gets to the factory uh you know many times customers say no that’s fine we’ll figure it out or i don’t have the bags or you know this and yeah it’ll be fine and then all of a sudden you know i’d much rather figure out if there’s fine tuning or adjustments or or maybe something was missed before the machine has shipped the fact the factory then once it’s gone you know across the country uncrated installed etc etc it makes things tricky so that’s the first thing second thing every manufacturer including ourselves that i know of offers a free essentially a free fat or factory acceptance test where you can see the piece of equipment at the factory before it leaves right make sure that you know and take manufacturers up on that whether that’s like going there in person or you know if you don’t have the means at least something virtual where you can ensure that yes the machine is doing what i expected to do and i say you know it’s not just for the customer it’s for the manufacturer as well right like we build things we want it to get installed successfully and to run for decades as you said so make sure that nothing was missed um in many cases if it’s a bigger piece of equipment uh get you know on-site startup and training you know get that factory technician out there to train your team i mean there’s so much turnover these days and there’s so much you know i think we’re so used to buying things think of a phone or a car where you never open up an operator’s manual right that’s the case with industrial machinery it’s not and it’s not just the manual it’s the tips and tricks that the technician can teach uh you know in fact we and for many of our equipment we we have a flat rate you know two days on site startup and training with the tech does it take two days to start it up no absolutely not it’s one day to fine-tune the machine and get it running and the second day to be there as a resource for the operators the supervisors the maintenance crew etc etc yeah i think all the things that you said are extremely important i can’t tell you how many stories i’ve heard from people who you know they went online they bought a machine from china or somewhere else from overseas and they got the best price and they got it shipped to them and there was a problem with it and either it took forever to return it or they couldn’t return it if there was customer support there was often language barriers and the instructions often don’t come with instructions in your language so i mean these are just some of the unwanted headaches that you’re gonna have if you try to bypass this process you know it’s it’s uh it’s a marathon it’s not a sprint and it takes time to do all these things appropriately and i think each of the items that you said are things that our listeners need to take into consideration particularly when you’re thinking about uh partial and even more so full automation because this is sensitive equipment and you really need to make sure that uh all the eyes are dotted and all the t’s are crossed so i definitely agree with everything that you said sure and again i view it as an investment you know if it’s the first type of machine like this you have in your plant like do everything you can you know by the second third fourth fine you know the machine your team knows it they’re familiar it’s not a big deal but certainly for the first one we always recommend that totally agree all right well moving on to the next question we have why is it important to revisit how well the solution is working for you 90 days after installation you know it’s a great point i don’t know if it could be 90 it could be 60 could be you know it could be basically i think you want several months after the the machine has been installed and running it’s great to revisit that solution right one you know from a project gold standpoint is it doing what you expected it to right and if it is great and if it’s not why why is that is it that uh you need a tech to come out and do retraining because the operators are the supervisors of change we see that a lot is it something’s not set up right is it because there’s a change in material i mean these machines general in general packaging machines are highly customizable there’s so much that can be done you know you want to make sure you know it’s where a manufacturer does not give up on its customer right so if there’s headaches you know or issues it’s always important to have that discussion and make sure that it’s running properly it’s an investment it’s expensive right so uh hold the everybody should be held accountable absolutely 100 agree and i mean everything we’ve discussed up to this point is fantastic information uh you know listeners out there those of you are listening uh these are all things that you need to know but this brings us to the next question which is what is one thing that you wish customers knew before making an automation purchase uh the one thing i think that they knew before is uh where are they trying to get to with their solution right where are they once they have this installed and it’s been six months or whatnot what does success look like right and i think defining that is a great way to then work backwards to the steps that are required yeah i would totally agree with that well that brings us up to the last question and uh this is a little different from the rest but i wanted to pick your brain on this and i don’t know if you can pick one because i know uh packaging machinery uh various other vendors i’ve talked to said no it’s like picking a favorite kid but if you could what is your favorite piece of machinery that you sell at your company favorite piece of machinery that is a great question um i would say currently the flavor du jour if you will nathan is the rollbag r785 it is our tabletop all electric automatic bagger it is great for uh entry-level customers that are trying to automate putting something in a poly bag they’re trying a lot of times they’re they’re labeling those bags it could be you know they’re they’re repacking things to ship to amazon it could be garments it could be outbound mailing and it can also be large companies that are running them three shifts a day you know the all-electric feature is great because you don’t have to drop an airline and worry about that uh it’s just a slick uh high-performing machine it’s also one we tend to have in stock which is uh you know supply chains disruptions uh as crazy as ever you know that’s it’s you know happening in obviously every industry packaging industry especially whether it’s touchscreens pneumatics uh plc’s etc so that is uh my favorite machine right now we we make the bags for it as well we have bags in stock i love that piece of equipment awesome that was a great choice because we do get a fair amount of startups who are looking for smaller tabletop equipment so that is something that i will keep in mind for when we get uh requests in but that was in fact the last question for today’s show greg i want to thank you so much for coming on once again hey nathan always a pleasure awesome all right ladies and gentlemen well that does it for another episode of the industrial packaging podcast with me your host nathan dube digital marketing specialist at industrial packaging i hope you enjoyed today’s episode and i hope you’ll tune in for the next one but until then i hope you have a great day and we’ll see you next time.

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