Get rid of the inefficient and embrace the productive.
A CBD manufacturing line is like a musical instrument. If all the pieces and parts are in their place working at their optimum efficiency, then what comes out the other end is beautiful music. But, if one of the elements in your line is out of tune with the rest of your line, then everything suffers and you get a cacophony that no one will enjoy. And similarly to a music instrument, CBD manufacturing lines need to be tuned every so often to make sure nothing’s slipped out of place. Customers expect CBD bottles and containers to be attractive and professional, so if you’ve got manufacturing flaws, they’ll notice. Let’s examine the key components you have (and need) in your packaging line so you can pinpoint your inefficiencies.
Before you examine any other part of your operation, let’s take a look at the asset that has the most impact on your company’s bottom line. Your staff is ultimately responsible for the safety, appearance, and quality of your products. Without them, not one of your CBD bottles will make it to store shelves. They need to be:
- Educated. Not necessarily in a “school” sense, but they should be well trained on the equipment they run so that there isn’t a gap between what a machine is doing vs. what it could be doing.
- Observant. Machines can get out of alignment, and when they do, product quality slips. Misaligned machines can result in crooked or poorly applied labels, caps that aren’t tight, jams, misfeeds, and other issues that can damage your CBD bottles and create waste. Your employees need to notice when there’s a problem before it causes too much harm.
- Responsible. Yes, we do mean that they should be honest and take the blame for their own actions, but “responsibility” is much broader than that. They need to feel like they have a stake in the company, that their actions matter. Responsibility feeds a sense of purpose, and if they feel like their actions don’t matter and they have no say, they’ll act like it.
- Motivated. While your workers are where they are because they’re getting a paycheck, do they believe in the purpose of your company? Do they understand and care about the “why?”
Your employees are also the ambassadors for your company. As they interact with customers and clients, are they representing you well?
Some or most of your equipment may be automated, in which case it’s running off of software that tells your machines what to do. Automation has resulted in dramatic increases in productivity for CBD manufacturing lines and other businesses, but that doesn’t mean that automation is perfect. Remember that advances in automation come quickly, and a process or piece of technology that was cutting edge a few years ago could be a bottleneck today.
Software updates come frequently and must be attended to. Aside from cybersecurity issues that arise from using ancient operating systems and old hardware, manufacturer support for those old programs and machines will disappear eventually as they work to support their new products. If you’re relying on AI controllers for your packaging line, you may run into this issue if you’re not quick enough to upgrade. Glitches can start to appear that severely hamper productivity or leave your equipment open to a ransomware attack.
How well do you know your target audience? With CBD products, your customers could be elderly, middle-aged, young, men, women, even pets. Collecting market research and acting upon it is crucial. Your data needs to be up to date and accurate for you to make wise business decisions. Let’s say you’ve got faulty data that led you to believe that you should be packaging your CBD lotion in plastic tubes. Your packaging line was set up to use these tubes and get products into the hands of customers. But then sales slipped. And slipped. After going back and doing more research you realized your customers would prefer glass jars!
Your data collection and storage methods guide your company’s future and ultimately inform your decisions about your CBD manufacturing line. And not just data on customers, but data about your own packaging equipment. Have you measured efficiency? Do you know what the capabilities are of your machines and employees? You should have thorough data on:
- Product development, conceptualization, and design
- Ordering processes for raw materials
- Production schedules maximize equipment usage and labor
- Proper monitoring systems on your production line
- Transportation of material orders and finished products
You can’t adjust what you haven’t measured, so check your data!
While this may seem like a topic that was covered under “Automation,” equipment is more about the physical machines that do much of the work in your CBD manufacturing line. Your equipment is what transforms empty CBD bottles into products people will want to purchase, and you’ll need to have the right pieces of equipment in the right place working at the right speed to reach the levels of efficiency and productivity you want.
Here’s the difficult aspect of measuring efficiency with your equipment. Just because a piece of equipment isn’t working as quickly or accurately as it should be doesn’t mean that equipment is faulty or of poor quality. It may be out of alignment or the employee in charge may not be using it properly. The fix might be to have your employee re-trained or place them in another part of your CBD manufacturing line.
Your equipment needs to have a maintenance schedule to ensure it’s not a good piece of equipment gone bad. Even the best machines need some level of care. You may have an environment that’s prematurely wearing on your machines, too. If there’s too much moisture in the air, high levels of dust, or too much heat, you might notice your labels aren’t sticking to your CBD bottles. This can also be because you have a poorly designed labeler in place that can’t hold alignment and uses inconsistent pressure when applying labels. You won’t know until you analyze!
Find the Right Wrap Around Labeler for Your CBD Bottles
At Pack Leader USA, we pride ourselves on boosting brands with our reliable, durable, easy to use labeling systems! We get that stepping up to a labeling machine for your CBD manufacturing line or replacing an old one is a big step. You don’t have to make that decision without help! Download our free guide, CBD Packaging: Finding the Right Wrap Around Labeler for CBD Bottles, which will give you the information you need to make a wise decision.