According to DAN-Palletiser, manufacturer of fully automatic machines for the end-of-line process in the industry, many companies could do better and cheaper, and at the same time spare the workers for wearing tasks and also back problems. "Use the workers for what they are good at and praised for - namely innovation. It will make manufacturing companies in Denmark more competitive to focus on automating the processes in the industry, and thus remove the heavy lifts, "says Knud Jensen, CEO of DAN-Palletiser A/S.
It is estimated that 50% of the earnings in Denmark derives from the Danish production, and DAN-Palletiser knows from calculations that there are great savings both in the short and the long term by automating the production.
To Knud Jensen the automation in production is not always equal to dismissals, but on the contrary to a bigger market share and an increased turnover. Therefore, it can easily turn out to be a good and profitable idea to keep production within the country. "As it can often be read in the press, it is not cheap and not without problems to move production to another country, where you do not have the same possibility of controlling the processes, as it is the case if production takes place in your own country" says Knud Jensen.
"Almost all production processes are fully automated. Only at the point when the products have gone through the system and are to be loaded onto pallets there is a gap - this loading often being handled manually. However, it does not need to be like this! With a fully automatic solution there is no stop, but full speed on the production line, no bad backs and considerable savings on labour costs" says Knud Jensen
Heavy lifts and wearing manual labour, entailing the risk of more costly sick days, should not occur in 2012. E.g. in Denmark there is a law saying that it is not allowed to lift more than 12 kg in routine, and the worker is not allowed to lift more than 6000 kg per eight-hour work day. "6000 kg is reached rapidly. A production line with a capacity of 10 cartons à 10 kg per minute is very normal, and with this capacity the worker is allowed to put cartons on pallets for maximum 1 hour per day. Hereafter the worker has to do something different from the lifting work. This means that it takes 8 different workers to put cartons on pallets from one line for every 8 working hours. It goes without saying that this is an expensive and time-consuming solution, and with that in mind it is easy to getting the idea of moving the production to another country with lower wages and no health and safety legislation" says Knud Jensen.
"But an improved working environment actually makes more money on the bottom line. If you replace the manual handling with an automatic palletiser on a rental basis, the monthly savings will be at least Eur 2.700. This figure being based upon 1 shift per production line, it is easy to imagine the impact on a two or three shifts' production. The rental fee will remain the same, the palletiser just needs some power and compressed air. Several of our customers have already made this experience. By using this concept no investment comes into question, just a reduction of the marginal costs per month" says Knud Jensen.