E-Commerce : Achieving the Perfect Order for a Beverage Company

An online beverage subscription company was fulfilling orders manually and due to a labor shortage, management wanted to automate their processes within the next 24 months. Additionally, with steadily increasing demand packing errors were on the rise. Incorrect orders shipping out to unsatisfied customers were costing the Company in dollars and reputation.

The manual process required 10 operators on two lines, packing orders and including documentation into boxes. The average throughput of 400 orders per hour was barely keeping up with demand, which was forecasted to double in the next 12 months.

At a tradeshow, the VP of Operations for the Company became aware of PSI’s product verification system and print on demand products and contacted the PSI team to discuss how the products could improve their facilities. After completing a time study at their facility, PSI’s solutions team recommended an Autoslip to handle their documentation insertion needs. Also included in the solution design were: an automatic carton closer, a checkweigher to verify the orders contained the right number of products, and multiple reject lanes to divert the incorrect orders to another area for correction.

The Automated Pack Station

The new process would see operators pack each container, place it on the conveyor to the carton sealer. Once the carton was closed, the Autoslip printed, pouched, and applied the documentation to the top of the box. Further down the line, the checkweigher would verify the box contained the correct number of products before it reached the sortation area. If the weight did not line up with the customer’s ordered products, the carton would be diverted down a reject lane for inspection and correction.

Once the pack station was automated, each of the two lines were able to handle 900 orders per hour – more than enough to meet current and projected demand over the next year while reducing the number of operators required from 10 to 2. The redundancy in the pack lines also allowed for zero down time when one line was undergoing maintenance or repairs.

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