Pre-build services including scan, weigh, dimensioning and print-and-apply systems (PANDA) are crucial components of modern-day manufacturing and logistics operations. Pre-build services offer a comprehensive solution for businesses looking to streamline their operations and achieve their goals, from design and planning to fabrication and assembly. PANDA systems, automate the labeling and identification of products and packages, allowing for fast and accurate tracking, tracing and management of inventory. The benefits of implementing PANDA systems in manufacturing and logistics operations include improved efficiency, accuracy and cost savings, making it an essential tool for operations looking to optimize their supply chains.
We interviewed Dennis Andre, Director of Automation at enVista, to discuss the company’s pre-build and print and apply (PANDA) services, including capabilities, key differentiators, benefits and more.
What are enVista’s pre-build and PANDA services and how did they come to be?
Pre-build is the process we have for the implementation of multi-sided scan tunnels, scan/weigh/dimension systems, and print and apply solutions. For all these devices, we work with the customer to determine the correct specification of the application and then use that information to determine the best solution. From there, our engineers design the scan tunnels, determine the correct equipment and procure everything required for the project. We then assemble all the critical components at our facility and test the solution to verify that it is providing what is expected for the system. At that point, our technicians break down the equipment into shippable components and we send it out to the customer. By going through this process and through these steps, we can provide a solution to our customers that is tested before it hits their floor, and then it is broken down in such a way that it reduces our time for installation. The major benefits of this process are that the risk of integration is greatly reduced since everything is tested and then the downtime required is reduced which is critical to ongoing operations.
These services started out as a partnership with Cognex, a leader in industrial machine vision. We would assemble, configure and test multi-sided scan tunnels off-site from the customer at our facility. By doing this initial setup in our warehouse, it allowed us to reduce the risk conventionally seen in integration by ensuring that all the components and the solution worked as intended prior to installing it on site. Additionally, these tunnels are then shipped complete, which reduces the time it takes to install them at the customers facility. Many of these installations are retrofits in existing facilities, so the ability to ensure the solution and reduce downtime is extremely beneficial to the end-user.
After seeing the implementation success that we were having with the scan tunnels, we applied the same philosophy to other automation components such as scales, dimensioners and print and apply units. For projects including these components, we are setting up and testing the required length of conveyor that is critical for these pieces, with all these components installed along it. We are then breaking it down in a manner that still allows us to integrate it quickly into the customers facility, which still allows us to reduce the risk and the downtime for integration, maintaining the overall spirit of pre-build.
What are enVista’s capabilities in these areas?
For the scan tunnels, dimensioners, scales and print and apply lines, we have the capability in-house to perform every function from the initial design of the system through the final go-live at the customer facility. Our in-house mechanical and electrical engineers lead the upfront design efforts, while our technician group will perform the assembly, testing, and breakdown at our facility, and our warehouse control system (WCS) group handles the integration into the customers’ WMS/enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Once at the customer’s facility, our engineers and technicians will install the system and perform all required integration and testing with the customer.
What organizations can benefit most from this service?
Our pre-build service lends itself well to existing operations that have equipment that is nearing its end-of-life, or those who are interested in adding new capabilities and automation to an existing line. Other areas that have benefitted from pre-build have been new operations, where we are able to build and test some of these more critical items off-site while the site isn’t ready. That way, when the product lands on site, it is ready to install and is up and running in a shorter timeframe. We have provided solutions in both the distribution and manufacturing spaces, as well as in temperature-controlled facilities.
What are enVista’s key differentiators?
I think one of the things that really separates us from our competitors is our group of people. We have a great group that has a proven track record of successfully designing and implementing these systems. Aside from them, another of our true differentiators is that we are a one-stop shop; we are able to provide every service from the initial design all the way through the final integration. This allows us to be able to react quickly to anything that comes up since we have the expertise and experience on staff to support troubleshooting everything from mechanical to electrical to software interfaces. Our customers can reach out to us post-implementation and we can provide complete support for their system.
What are your plans for ProMat 2023?
We will be present at ProMat in Booth #S3879 discussing both our pre-build business as well as all the other product lines that enVista has to offer. Please set up an appointment to meet with me using the link below.
Schedule a meeting with enVista at ProMat 2023 today.
What are your predictions for the future in these areas?
I foresee this business growing in the years to come. As more and more businesses adopt automation or upgrade their existing systems, the ability to provide solutions that can be tested and verified off-site while mitigating the amount of disruption to the current operation is something that has a huge benefit to the end-user.
What specific pain points and challenges do these services help solve?
Operations that have equipment that is older, and they have trouble sourcing replacements or spare parts would definitely benefit from this service. Operations that see read rates on their scan systems lower than 99 percent, have a manifest system looking for accurate dimension and weights and they are not automatically capturing those values, or if they are hand applying labels would all benefit from these services.
What benefits can users expect to gain from this service?
These services provide better efficiency for barcode scanning, which leads to fewer touches from avoidable double handling of packages due to inferior read rates. They provide more accurate weights and dimensions for solutions where the manifest system is using actual dimensional weight information, which leads to fewer fees and chargebacks from the parcel carriers. Automated label placement ensures that the correct labels are applied to the correct cartons, and it leads to accurate positioning of labels, which provides consistency for applications where placement is critical.
Pre-build services including scan, weigh, dimensioning and PANDA systems are critical components of modern-day manufacturing and logistics operations. By leveraging the expertise of pre-build service providers and the capabilities of scan, weigh, dimensioning and PANDA systems, businesses can ensure that their supply chain operations are optimized for efficiency, accuracy and cost savings. The benefits of implementing scan, weigh, dimensioning and PANDA systems using our pre-build services in your supply chain operations are numerous and include improved efficiency, reduced costs and increased customer satisfaction. With the rapid pace of technological advancements, these essential components will continue to evolve and become even more critical in the years to come. Any business looking to remain competitive and stay ahead of the curve should consider investing in pre-build services including multi-sided scan tunnels, scan/weigh/dimension systems and PANDA systems to optimize their supply chain operations.
Learn more about enVista’s pre-build design services – download the Pre-Build Design Services data sheet or contact us today. Let’s have a conversation.®