Innovation. It’s become quite the buzzword in business, used to describe the next ‘big’ idea, the start-up to watch, the concept we’ll all soon adopt. Yet we can all talk the talk and say our company is innovative, but what about walking the walking? In practice, innovation starts at the development of something new, like a product, or implementing a change to an existing process. Both of which work to eradicate inefficiencies and serve a bout of competitive advantage. We know, because we meticulously unbox our own processes and repack them to be more streamlined and effective, every single day. Here’s how.

Opportunity to transform manufacturing processes

An open mindset lies at the core of innovation. After all, what’s innovative about a process remaining the same? From something as large as adopting AI to refine precision along the production line, to simpler swaps, like our Technical Director switching from disposable wrap to a reusable container to carry his lunch, the opportunity to innovate surrounds us. It’s just waiting to be acted on. And, at Greyhound Box, our recent investment in a new quick set gluing machine is certainly innovating processes of great advantage to both our clients and ourselves.

Straightforwardly, it was a case of out with the old, in with the new. We noticed that the pace of our old gluing machine couldn’t keep up with the others in our factory , swallowing valuable resources (energy, labour, time) which negatively impacted the wider production line. As such, it wasn’t favoured for a great amount of work, deeming its purpose relatively defunct. Whilst having a machine that caused inefficiencies isn’t exactly ideal, it gave us the prime opportunity to source a replacement of quality – something more refined, technical, faster, productive. Something efficient. Something that goes by the name of the Multi-Nova MN400.

The finer details

It’s super speedy, with straight-lines set on boxes in only 5 to 10 minutes meaning up to 3,000 boxes can be churned out each hour. That’s roughly three times quicker than traditional semi-automatic straight-line gluers – not difficult to see why we love it so much! As Greyhound Box’s capacity increases, we’re better equipped to run more jobs, which lets us innovate elsewhere. Like with costing – we’re able to increase our competitiveness, great news for our existing and new customers!

Not only does a faster pace mean faster workloads, but more refinement, too. Like the best boxes, machines aren’t a one-size-fits-all offering. Using a machine specific for a certain size, feature, or technicality improves the quality of production. What’s more, one of the main drivers behind acquiring this particular machine stemmed from our customer base. 80-90% of the work we use smaller, quick-set gluing machinery for serves clients operating within the cosmetics sector. Boxes not only need to reflect the smaller, more intricate nature of the products, but also the requirement of reference printing. This machine is quite literally the definition of two birds, one stone, further reducing lead times. Who says you can’t have quality and quantity?

Rise of automation in Industry 4.0

Automation has been amplified with Industry 4.0, and for good reason. It reduces the need for human intervention in manufacturing processes, almost omitting any scope for human error. At the same time, people are freed up – in our eyes, a business’s most valuable asset. And, when processes and equipment are automated, their quality and efficiency increases, making the overall output better. It goes without saying that one of the main drivers in choosing the Multi-Nova MN400 is its semi-automated nature. Overnight, our production staff had more time on their hands. But not for long…

Now that we have a machine dedicated to fulfilling client needs of smaller boxes, we’re able to significantly increase the amount of availability we have to manufacturer the other end of the scale: larger boxes. Not just in terms of physical output, but also with reference to time and resource to dedicate to the continuous review of current processes and areas of improvement.

What’s next?

And that’s not all. The Greyhound Box team doesn’t just see innovation as a tick-box exercise – i.e., now that we’ve replaced a slow machine with a faster one and sang its praises, we can put our feet up. Innovation is a constant process, something that’s become embedded into every aspect of our operations. Whether we’re researching for the most effective, water-based glue that best champions our sustainable ethos or meticulously pin-pointing performance areas that need improving on our die-cut machine, it’s an ongoing process. One that we love, and one that’ll continue to serve the Greyhound Box family indefinitely.

Feeling inspired to find innovation in your business’s processes? We’d love to hear from you!