The demand for Water Activated Tape (WAT) has been on the rise for some time due to its adhesive strength, tamper resistance, and sustainability advantages. Nowhere is this increased usage trend more prevalent than within the e-commerce industry which is projected to reach £160.6 billion in 2024.
Because of this rapid rate of growth, this sector is often found at the forefront of innovations that deliver more streamlined operational logistics and fulfilment workflows as well as cost-effective solutions. Phil O’Driscoll, head of innovation & new product development, said expectation from customers to have deliveries that are quick, secure, and convenient is pushing operations and warehouse managers to find new ways to optimise their packing operations. “We recognised the pressures that fulfilment and distribution sites were under and looked to produce a product that would ensure fast and continuous packaging operations, while also offering considerable capital cost savings on other options.”
It was no surprise, therefore, that regular product development reviews with Southgate’s e-commerce customers highlighted frustrations with existing WAT dispensers, such as complex button press programming, limited tape sizing options, frequent refills, and tape compatibility issues. Following further research with other customers across different sectors, Southgate realised that these challenges were not unique to e-commerce.
In response, Southgate’s designers got to work. The result is the Southgate OM700 WAT dispenser. It provides an increased tape capacity, accommodating tape up to 255mm in diameter and 80mm in width, reducing the frequency of refills and enhancing operational efficiency. It boasts fourteen pre-set buttons for auto-dispensing tapes of varying lengths from 15cm to 145cm. In addition, it has a programme mode for configuring up to 6 different tape lengths in sequence configurable through an easy-to-program digital display.
With a fast tape output of 60 meters per minute and a 2-litre water reservoir capacity, the OM700 significantly improves operator productivity. Recognizing the need for versatility, the machine is designed to work with reinforced and non-reinforced tapes as thin as 60gsm, along with gummed side-in and gummed side-out tape. Adjustable temperature settings for optimal adhesiveness, programmable via the digital display, and a safety interlock switch further enhance usability and safety.
Southgate’s design team also developed two optional accessories: a measuring sensor for precise tape dispensing to fit each box size automatically and a foot pedal for hands-free operation, facilitating faster handling and packing.
The result? Customers involved in the product development process reported enhanced operational workflow from the OM700. Its simplified programming and operation via the digital display, together with all the other new functions have been noted by customers as delivering substantial cost savings and increased productivity.
But perhaps best of all, and remarked on constantly by customers is the fact that the OM700 delivers these benefits at a highly competitive price point – proving this product reduces costs even before it begins work without any compromising quality and performance.
“We recognised the pressures that fulfilment and distribution sites were under and looked to produce a product that would ensure fast and continuous packaging operations, while also offering considerable capital cost savings on other options”