What are the costs associated with an AutoCoding system?

Investing in an AutoCoding system will bring huge benefits to your factory, the main benefit being peace of mind, knowing your products will always leave the factory in the right packaging with the correct label and coding information. A common question, however, is “how much will it cost to run?” That’s why we’ve taken a look at the costs associated with running an AutoCoding system to help you prepare for your potential investment.

The cost of skills

Many will be under the misapprehension that AutoCoding is a sophisticated complicated piece of software that requires specialist, high-skilled staff to maintain and run it. However, this is not the case. AutoCoding does not rely on a high level of day-to-day operator intervention on the packaging line. Most of the work required is in the “back-office”, such as the Technical Department, during the initial set-up. Consequently, there is no need to adjust the mix of skills in the packaging hall itself where there is quite often a high staff turnover resulting in ongoing training costs.

Return on Investment Implications

Obviously one of the most important factors to consider in a business when making a major investment is the return on investment (ROI).

Whilst it is categorically difficult to answer what the average ROI will be after installing an AutoCoding solution, on average we expect the ROI to be between 18 and 24 months on one line.

Some of the ways the cost of investing in an AutoCoding system are typically offset include an improvement in efficiency, reduction in packaging waste due to human error, and most significantly a reduction in downtime and changeover time. The AutoCoding system will automatically set-up and control all the devices on a packaging line from one central point and, whilst the cost saving would be different for every factory, if you quantify the amount of downtime experienced for product changeovers, device set-ups and shift changes etc you’re likely to experience a significant benefit.

Furthermore, with the addition of the right value-add modules, time savings and improvements in productivity can be achieved.

For example, the AutoCoding paperless quality module automates in-line and off-line quality processes with data capture and reporting options. The application is completely configurable to individual factory requirements with all responses, images and corrective actions recorded in an audit log. Not only does this reduce the amount of time spent on carrying out paper-based checks, but by storing the results of the checks automatically in the audit log, the amount of storage space required for quality reports is significantly reduced.

Timed checks can be set up at regular intervals – if they are not carried out, an alert is triggered

AutoCoding’s line performance reporting module will give you the ability to measure overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and identify any underlying reasons for losses. By collecting real-time data, proactive measures can be taken to improve manufacturing processes, improving efficiency and productivity.

The cost of not having an AutoCoding system

So perhaps the question should be, “what is the cost of not having an AutoCoding system?”

Product recalls can be disastrous for food and drink manufacturers, involving both direct costs, such as product scrappage and potential fines, and indirect costs, such as reputational damage. A packaging line without an AutoCoding system is much more dependent on human set-up and manual monitoring of activities, and consequently is at higher risk of human error, putting the factory at risk of the above-mentioned product recalls.

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