A utomotive is one Industry that has been the fastest in adopting new processes & technology to enhance production efficiency. Over a period, the industry has made rapid progress towards scaling up the production, by reducing every non-productive second in their assembly line operations.
The packaging operations somehow was lagging in terms of achieving a similar level of efficiency and optimization. A lot of packaging, especially in Asia, was still using corrugated/wooden boxes. The lack of specialized packaging solutions was linked to issues like increased waste generation, in-transit product damages, loss of cube efficiency in freight transportation & storage, and the need for repacking etc. This has resulted in a need for a specialized packaging solution with a scientific approach to figure out optimal packaging solutions for standardizing parts per container, maximize pack density, improve inventory accuracy & control, minimize handling, and prevent in-transit damages during storage & transportation.
The possible reason for this lag could be due to the very nature of “Packaging” being superf luous, as it eventually ends up getting scrapped. But the packaging is still needed. Is it only to keep the product safe! That is just one of the dimensions, the other dimensions of packaging include:
- Product Safety
- Ease of Handling
- Ease of Storage
- Transit Safety
- Identification / Parts Description etc...
The planet’s push on sustainability has resulted in “Being Green” becoming a boardroom agenda of leading automotive companies. Hence it has widened the horizon beyond manufacturing efficiency and shifted the lens on activities like packaging across the supply chain. This has led to the need for innovative returnable / reusable packaging solutions.
To understand it better, we need to take a deep dive and see where all packaging is used in the automotive world and why. To do that we need to break the automotive supply chain into:
- Raw Material Packaging (Inbound)
-Finished Product Packaging (Outbound)
- Spare Parts Packaging
Raw Material Packaging (Inbound):
Any large size OEM would have an SKU strength of over 1,00,000 SKUs of raw material being supplied from a vast supplier base spread across the country and beyond. Now when it comes to ensuring the availability of the right quality SKU, in the right quantity, at the right time, at the right place, packaging plays an important role in keeping the product safe in transit from supplier to OEM.
But at the same time, it adds up non-productive manhours, to unpack/replace parts on trollies for line feeding. With the endeavours of being green both OEM and service providers are applying scientific approaches in designing the packaging of raw material with innovative reusable/returnable packaging solutions, addressing multiple dimensions of the supply chain achieving efficiencies in:
• Product Safety