OTC Pharma co-packer saving $5.5 million/year on wireless replenishment of packaging materials
Contract OTC pharma manufacturer Perrigo has found great success with its Stage By Component process, which uses Automated Guided Vehicles to bring packaging materials to packaging lines on demand. Packaging World’s Pat Reynolds talks with Perrigo’s Trent Martin, Lean Sigma Black Belt, about the project in this audio podcast recapping Martin’s presentation on May 14 at The Automation Conference in Chicago.
Essentially, Martin says Automated Guided Vehicles serve as a “material taxi service” that takes orders from SAP and other software solutions, which manage physically handling, moving and tracking materials.
Martin says the strategy has been fully implemented at one plant, underway at a second and planned for a third, final plant. He estimates approximately $5.5 million in annual, recurring savings based on a combination of hardware and software benefits.
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Ten reasons to bring manufacturing back to North America
Lisa Shambro, Contract Packaging columnist and Executive Director of the Foundation for Strategic Sourcing/F4SS, writes:
"In the past few decades we have seen China emerge as the world leader in manufacturing. China has created designated economic development zones and increased its infrastructure in coastal areas, and its population has moved to fill jobs in these areas. As demand for workers has begun to meet and sometimes exceed supply, developments have led to fundamental changes that have largely resulted in increased costs that make Chinese produced goods more expensive than they once were.”
In this provocative column, she cites 10 considerations that, she adds, “have companies asking: Is offshoring really worth it? Did it only look favorable at first blush? If you look at the fully loaded costs, is it really a benefit? The answer many companies are coming to is: No, it isn’t.”
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Shrink sleeve look for popular water
Contract Bottling, located in Sunderland in northeastern England, has developed a new shrink sleeve branding solution for its well-known Perfectly Clear brand of flavored-water drinks. Printed flexographically in six colors, it replaces a glue-applied film label. This is the first time that shrink sleeves have been used on the Perfectly Clear brand, which includes seven variants in 500-mL PET bottles.
Mark Bell, operations director at Contract Bottling noted a tight timetable for the brand refresh, noting: “We have a long-standing relationship with Chadwicks and were confident that their shrink sleeve solution would provide us with what we needed. The shrink sleeves offered shorter lead times, have a higher quality finish than wraparound labels, and let us utilize more of the bottle for branding. Chadwicks’ technical expertise and quick response means we’ve been able to produce the Perfectly Clear drinks range with a distinctive, added-value finish.” More insight and links to packaging suppliers involved are just a click away…
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Store brands: Threat or opportunity?
In my latest Contract Packaging magazine column, I pondered whether current market conditions would cause more co-packers to bypass traditional brands, and reposition themselves to work as private labelers working directly for retailers...
In January, a Wall Street Journal story, “P&G Needs to Convince Thrifty to Splurge” said that the “real challenge” for Procter & Gamble in combatting poor sales and disappointing new-product launches was to get consumers “to spend more again on the company’s premium-priced products.” But the reporter “missed the point,” Robert Hogan of Zip-Pak told attendees at the CPA 2013 Annual Meeting in late February because there’s no difference in product quality between private-labeled store brands and traditional, national brands. The real challenge, then, is coming-up with innovations that will resonate, like the next iPod… or Tide Pod, in the case of P&G.
…Will consumers care if the R&D behind that innovation comes from a manufacturer-owned brand or is the result of a retailer who decided to partner with an enterprising contract manufacturer/packer?
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