Case Study: Sanitarium
Some things in life just go together perfectly. At Sanitarium that’s obviously Weetbix and fruit, Light n’ Tasty and UP & GO. Now, with an upgrade at their Auckland distribution centre, it’s also true for their Spinny S500 and NanoWrap.
Distribution Manager – Sanitarium Auckland DC
For over a century the Sanitarium brand has delivered on their core philosophy of ‘a better life through better nutrition’. Sanitarium is one of those brands that are seen as part of the fabric of being a Kiwi.
We all grew up eating Weetbix and Honey Puffs, spreading Marmite and Peanut Butter on our toast after school. In more recent times we’ve enjoyed newer brands like UP&GO and SoGood, along with delicious new muesli and cereal products. The company has grown up with us too, developing the product range and expanding the scale of the operation.
During this time it’s only natural that certain growing pains occur. After closing the southern branch and moving everything to Auckland the busy FMCG brand was pushed for space and reaching capacity limits at their distribution centre here.
They needed their packaging processes to be as healthy as their products. This meant not just upgrading their wrapping equipment but also assessing if the pallet wrap in use was delivering the goods (in every sense of the phrase).
The perfect pairing result wasn’t therefore an ‘off the shelf’ solution. Instead a careful scoping process was undertaken, a range of measurements collected over time to ensure any change would deliver quantifiable ongoing improvement.
When the data came back it was obvious that a switch to NanoWrap would provide the best result. While the new wrap was more expensive per roll the actual film used per pallet had been reduced considerably, making the move a cost-effective one.
While the company had two wrapping machines these units were old and passed their ‘best before’ date. The decision was made to upgrade one machine to a high-specification fully automatic machine, the Spinny S500, with plans to update the other at a later date.<
There was only a small space available for this change so a custom-fit layout was required for the Spinny installation. With this new equipment a new full safety system was installed, making certain of the continued good health of everyone working in the busy DC.
The results of the move have delighted the team there. Pallets are being wrapped faster and more efficiently. The roping function of the S500 is particularly helpful, as is the ability to have several programmes built in to the ongoing operation of the unit.
Peter Levett is the Distribution Manager at the distribution centre. Working closely with Universal Packaging in the auditing and scoping process he was confident of the change. Now, after a good amount of time has passed, he’s very happy the commitment was made.
Such results can be measured simply in the number of orders for new pallet wrap. “We used to buy a pallet of wrap every six weeks or so. Now we’re buying one every six months,” says Peter. “It’s everything I thought it would be – and more.”
“We’ve also noticed a massive increase in productivity,” he says, a combination of the new pallet wrapper and a decrease in wrap breakage packaging pauses.