Why Using Human Labor for Manufacturing End-of-Line is a Waste of Time and Money

Automating palletizing, packaging and case erecting operations with Robotics-as-a-Service solutions boosts productivity and saves money - without the risks associated with traditional automation.

May 30th, 2023 4 min read

Thinking about Automating? Start at the End of the Line.

When it comes to automation, manufacturers tend to think of post-production operations last, if at all, but that can be short-sighted. Automating palletizing, packaging and case erecting operations with Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions boosts productivity and saves you money in ways you might not have considered. And it all can be done without the risks associated with traditional automation.

A Black man in a hard hat, safety vest, and work gloves stands in a warehouse full of plastic wrapped pallets and stretches his back

Benefits of end-of-line (EOL) automation:

Keeping shipments on track with less manpower.

To meet business KPIs, it can be just as important to streamline and speed EOL operations as it is for production lines. If your packaging line is bottlenecked, you’re at risk of mixing up orders or missing shipment deadlines altogether. The more your workers have to be pulled off other jobs in a mad scramble to keep up with shipments, the more likely they are to make mistakes. 

Improve consistency and product quality.

Human error in packing can lead to short shipments or other errors that can cost money and damage reputation. Robotic workers can build boxes and package products in exactly the same way all day every day. Minimize mistakes and save your human workforce for value-added tasks.

To further boost product consistency and quality, enhance your robotic solution with other systems. For example, cameras can check to make sure cartons aren’t damaged or leaking and verify labeling is done correctly. Scales can weigh boxes to make sure they’re fully packed. 

Protecting worker safety.

Packaging jobs are repetitive and boring, but palletizing operations can be downright perilous. Repeatedly lifting heavy boxes to place them high on pallets can cause injuries, and a badly stacked pallet is a deadly danger. Workplace injuries cost US businesses more than $58 billion every year. Why risk worker safety when robots can palletize products faster and less expensively than humans?

Improving worker retention and productivity.

Fully staffed manufacturing facilities are rare and getting rarer. Worker shortages are projected to grow to astronomical levels, and you need to do what you can to retain the workers you have. Assigning them to less repetitive, less dangerous and more interesting tasks can go a long way in improving job satisfaction and reducing turnover. 

While a 2019 study by the Society of HR Management cites an average cost of $1,500 to replace an hourly worker,  the hidden costs are likely much higher. Other employees must work overtime to backfill these jobs, which can lead to job dissatisfaction, which can lead to more turnover. Low staffing levels can make it harder to win new business. Orders missed due to short staffing can damage your business’ relationship with customers, or – even worse – cost you the contract entirely.

Start improving productivity and saving costs now.

With a low, predictable monthly OpEx, Robotics as a Service can make automation immediately affordable and accessible to you without high CapEx. Having a RaaS partner means you have an extension to your engineering team that can handle programming, installing and maintaining your robots fast. Skip the time and complexity required to program and maintain robots and find an automation partner who takes that on for you. And, with RaaS, you can deploy at scale for exponential gains. 

Don’t wait. Automate your end-of-line in weeks.

Rapid is simplifying and accelerating RaaS automation to deliver solutions in just weeks. Our services include turnkey programming and installation, total maintenance and repair coverage for the lifetime of every deployment, and 24/7 support. Contact us now for a free, 30-minute consultation to discuss your case erecting, packaging and palletizing needs.


Rapid Robotics Content Team

We're a group of diverse humans who tell anyone who'll listen how Rapid Robotics can make it easy, fast and affordable for manufacturers to start automating. And while we believe in the power of automation and AI, we're real peeps who write every word ourselves!

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