In an April 1 article in Fortune magazine, Erika Fry wrote that since 2010 U.S. productivity has ran into somewhat of a slump. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the last five years productivity has only risen 0.5 percent compared to 1995 – 2005 when productivity peaked at an average annual growth of 2.8 percent.
So why has productivity growth seemed to have slowed when technology is so rapidly growing?
Some think that America’s most productive years have passed. Some think the way we measure it is faulty. And others believe that since the recession, companies are scared to invest in capital equipment that would afford them the gains technology has to offer.
Simply put, productivity is the output per labor hour. And for whatever reason it has slowed, it is still vital for the health of a business.
Many processes in manufacturing have the potential to become more automated which could help increase productivity. And one of these processes is stretch wrapping.
Many companies still hand wrap today, which is not just an antiquated way to unitize loads for shipment, but also doesn’t yield the best results. When operators can use a tool like a stretch wrapper to augment the wrapping process it reduces the amount of labor associated with wrapping each load and provides an easy productivity boost.
Stretch wrappers can also reduce risk for product damage, reduce the risk of injury and reduce film consumption, all of which are valuable additional benefits.
If you've already given up hand wrapping, there are a variety of ways to improve productivity when stretch wrapping on both new and existing machines. Are you cutting film automatically? Weighing and wrapping at the same time? Or managing the work flow in and out of your stretch wrapper with conveyors? Now is an opportunity to rethink and possibly restructure your stretch wrapping processes to maximize the value of the labor you put into it.
Visit Lantech.com to machines that can help improve your productivity.
This post was published on April 13, 2016 and updated on November 14, 2018.