Packing is one of the most important aspects of third-party logistics businesses, which is why choosing the right packing bench and configuring it properly is of the essence. Even though most packaging benches are similar in function, they’re all unique. Focusing on the design of the workbench is one of the most common mistakes people make. Instead, you should focus on integrating it into the material handling and order fulfillment systems.
That being said, shopping for warehouse packaging benches requires a few careful considerations. First and foremost, you have to write down the tasks performed on the packaging bench. These tasks typically include consolidating orders, quality control, protect and pack functions, manifesting, staging and transporting packed orders.
Defining all of the tasks that are going to be performed on the warehouse packaging benches will let you condense and consolidate all the functions into an ergonomic model. This will result in the reduction of wasted movements and eliminating extra handling. The most efficient packaging systems are typically arranged in straight-line flow patterns.
Next, you’ll have to come up with a plan on how the packaging bench will interface with the material handling system. The three main points you have to take into consideration include bringing orders to the packaging bench, refreshing the supplies at the packaging bench, and taking orders from the packaging bench.
Generally, orders are transported in conveyors, carts, skids, boxes, totes or sorting systems. The most efficient way to deliver orders to the packaging bench is in batches so that the packer doesn’t have to leave the workstation. The delivery system should be next to the table, and all of the orders should be within reach of the packer.
Next, the packaging bench will need to be re-supplied with materials. Ideally, the packer shouldn’t stop packing while fresh supplies are delivered. In many cases, the restocking can be done using portable supply carts that can be wheeled up to the table, or at the back of the table. Every application is different, so if you want to save a significant amount of time, you’ll have to get creative.
Lastly, packed orders need to be staged on carts, skids or conveyors. The transportation method needs to be close to the packaging bench so that the packer doesn’t have to carry, walk, or lift orders to the staging location. Continuous handling of the products can lead to injuries, which can easily be avoided.