One of the most important parts of building a successful business is through optimising workspace and increasing productivity. A recent study from HSE discovered that musculoskeletal disorders was the main reason for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health in 2021 and 2022. Through enhancing a workspace, you can dramatically reduce the impact that physical labour can have on your employees whilst also increasing processing efficiency.

What are the benefits of using packing stations and work benches?


A bespoke workstation is ideal for both large and small-scale businesses. Through working closely with contractors to ensure that there is seamless integration with other materials, handling, and stock control systems so that productivity and use of space are optimised. Our systems use 5S and Lean methodology to maximise operational efficiency through intelligent workflow design. The powder coating can also be colour matched to co-ordinate with existing installations or a corporate identity.

Height adjustment

Work benches offer a compact area for employees to access tools. It is not recommended for anyone to be sat for extended periods of time and therefore having a height adjustable work bench is instrumental in keeping the workforce as comfortable as possible. This way employees can alternate standing and sitting to give them more flexibility.


It is important to have a range of ‘reach’ zones within the workbench itself. Material storage locations are designed to minimise operator movement, streamlining processes, and reducing the risk of operator fatigue and repetitive strain injury.

What is the purpose of a conveyor?

If our bespoke packing stations are considered as the building blocks of operational efficiency in the order fulfilment sector, conveyor systems must surely be the mortar. A well-designed packing station reduces double handling and maintains constant supply of packing materials within easy reach. Conveyor systems create the seamless link from pick face to palletisation.

Our conveyor systems are also bespoke designed and manufactured to customer requirements and offer a wide range of options including:

  • Fixed or mobile
  • Flexible and height-adjustable
  • Roller, castor, ball-bearing or belt driven
  • Light sensor activation and control
  • Smart conveyors that automatically direct packages to multiple locations

Can machinery be used in a packing area?

Using automated machinery is yet another way to optimise your production efficiency. For example, the Optimax TRS700B is one of the fastest and most reliable strapping machines for production and packing lines. Complete with German brushless motor technology and with an output of up to 65 strap p/min the TRS700B is a fantastic addition to your packing area.

Additionally, Optimax case tapers include infeed/outfeed roller conveyors and swivelling and lockable castors as standard features. This enables the case tapers to be easily added to a packing line or operated independently.

What tape systems are the most efficient to use?

Water activated tape, also referred to as gummed paper tape, is fast becoming the most popular form of carton sealing.  Environmentally friendly and creating a superior bond to conventional non-recyclable plastic tapes, it is a must have in the packaging communities’ race to a circular economy. Both the reinforced and plain paper tape are 100% sustainable and recyclable.

The BP555 dispenser leads the market in water activated tape systems – the perfect choice for fast-paced, high volume sealing of random sized cartons. Alternatively, the BP222 is a sleek and lightweight manual water activated tape dispenser that is ideal for small/home offices, retail outlets and on-the-run shipping environments. A study found that by switching to water activated tape from standard tape you could save up to 240% on tape usage per year as well as increasing efficiency and workflow by almost 60% compared to its plastic counterpart.

Void fill can often take up a large surface area at packing stations, are there any alternatives?

Our range of Airwave air pillow systems and films give a high quality and reliable air cushion, which offer a sustainable alternative to classic void fill products.

The PW1 airwave air pillow system dispenses separate pillows and quilted void fill material cost effectively and on demand. It can be seamlessly integrated into our pack bench systems, where it is capable of supplying void fill for up to four workstations.

Prolonged standing can cause operator fatigue, how can I minimise the effects of this?

An anti-fatigue mat reduces fatigue and pressure on feet and legs. If employees are expected to stand for prolonged periods of time the mat will aid in reducing the risk of musculoskeletal damage.

Our industrial mats are made of a hardwearing, soil resistant PVC and have a raised diamond pattern surface for improved underfoot grip. We also offer soft mats for use in dry environments. All our antifatigue mats also have cushioned/foam back layer for optimum comfort.

To find out more about our range of fulfilment and automation products contact us on 01553 692969 or email enquiries@southgateglobal.com.

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