Everyone knows that efficiency and automation have become critical to survival in US manufacturing. Perhaps Russ Salzer of Product Handling Concepts (PHC) says it best: “Companies no longer have fully staffed engineering departments with the depth that can take projects from design to implementation.” This is especially true in the lean converting enterprises that are often the stars of the flexible packaging scene.
In the past, the manufacturing staff engineers could oversee the whole process selecting various suppliers for portions of the project. It was not uncommon for company engineers to work with various vendors on production line sections and build an outcome where only they knew the whole story. This approach has not been working as well with minimal internal staff that has to coordinate suppliers.