“Every machine that we build is able to function as a stand alone machine. In the bigger picture, we want that machine to also be able to integrate into a full line. As your organization expands and your needs grow, and you look to be more efficient with your workforce, our machines can be tied into a full line,” says Jordan, Account Manager.
Advancing with automation is not as “quick and easy” as most news articles portray it to be. Of course, we all know about the benefits of automation, but not everyone is ready and equipped to handle the changes that come with it.
What’s true, though, is that everyone’s talking about it… after all, it’s “Industry 4.0.” And while it may be the cool thing to talk about right now, there are real market pressures that are fueling the need for automation. Labor is tight, especially skilled labor, and shipping costs are going up, up, up. If you’ve been ignoring these trends, it’s likely that by now you’re feeling the burn.
Adopting automation works best when you take steps toward it, instead of doing a total overhaul. We work with our clients to design and manufacture equipment that makes sense for where they are today and set them up so they can reach your goals tomorrow, too. Here’s a look at how we put this methodology into practice.
Reacting to Mattress Industry Trends
The mattress manufacturing industry recently adopted the bed-in-a-box craze – a trend that exploded the market by solving customer demands for handling and countered rising shipping costs. After adopting this new packaging, many manufacturers now look to the rest of their line for potential improvements. This often leads to automation of specific processes or completely new ways of manufacturing mattresses.
The newest trends appearing in mattress manufacturing are calling for customization. Now, not only are customers demanding better packages sent direct to their homes, but they are also asking for their own “perfect bed.” Gone are the days of one size fits all. Bedding manufacturers are now dealing with how to handle phase change materials, sizing changes, and a slew of technologies to alter the interior of the bed itself.
How can you possibly tackle automation in a slurry of choice?
Automation at the Right Pace
As an equipment provider, we’ve seen companies adopt new technologies too slowly and too quickly. Obviously, the right equipment at the right time is ideal when investing in capital assets.
C³ built their processes around this sweet spot. We provide equipment from pour to package in mattress manufacturing, but our first step is always to analyze the end product first. We find the story of your operations, successes, customers, and failures can all be discovered by looking at the product you are manufacturing now and what you want it to be tomorrow.
This is how our Account Manager, Jordan, and Business Development Rep, Mark, explain our approach to designing, manufacturing, and supporting all C³ equipment.
Off the Shelf vs. Partnership
When working with an equipment provider that sells one-size-fits-all inventory, you can bet the cost will be lower and the product will be readily available. If cost and availability are your priorities, they may be your best option. But when the warranty runs dry and the machine begins to have service issues, who will you find to support it?
Our objective is to help you select a machine that will best align with the goals you have for your product, first. When we look together at what you’re manufacturing and how you want to evolve the product, we’re able to engineer a solution that will best help you achieve that goal. Many times, current equipment designs will suit your goals. When they don’t, we work with our clients to find suitable alternatives.
With a partnership, we grow together. We’re not interested in transactional selling from a shelf and ending the relationship there. We know that good designs keep giving; to have the most success for us and our customers, we need to continue a working relationship.
When it comes time to adopt automation practices into your operations, make sure you align your end goals with the capabilities of your equipment provider. Will they be able to support you long term? Do they focus on innovation and continuous improvements? Do they care about the product you’re manufacturing? Or will you be stuck with an off-the-shelf machine with little to no support?