NEWS & MEDIA

#notjustvapor

Published on  Mar 16, 2021 By Carl Giordano

Filling & Automation – the art of Customer Success and building an efficient process

The cannabis vape segment has been growing by leaps and bounds. No one can deny the appeal vape cartridges have to medical and recreational users. Because of this, MSOs, Canadian LPs and independent vape brands have had to figure out how to ramp up their operations quickly. But scaling a vape production operation isn’t easy.

These oil formulations are highly viscous requiring them to be heated in order to pull them into a syringe and dispense them into a cartridge. Too much heat can cause terpenes to burn off thereby degrading the quality and too little heat will make it impossible to transport the oil from its source into a cartridge. In the beginning, all vape cartridges were filled by hand and syringe, but as the industry began filling tens of thousands and then millions of cartridges a month, the need arose for more robust solutions. Companies like ATG Pharma, Convectium, Thompson Duke, Schaefer and Vape Jet now offer the cannabis industry semi-automatic and automatic solutions to fill this specific need.

As a manufacturer of vape hardware, the Blinc Group is very aware of and sensitive to the hurdles our clients must overcome in order to efficiently fill and cap vape cartridges. In fact, our Customer Success team works directly with the automation companies to ensure that our cartridges and disposables are universally compatible. Our job does not end when the shipment of cartridges is delivered to the client’s facility. We want to help our clients be operationally efficient. That requires working through all filling and capping SOPs with our clients and ensuring that the equipment they are using is properly calibrated to our products.

We see ourselves as a partner, not a vendor. We take a consultative approach to help our clients not only choose the right vessel for their oil formulations, but also figure out best practices for their production. Sometimes SOPs need to be tweaked. Sometimes clients need advice on what machine to purchase. Sometimes custom trays need to be ordered. Sometimes the client’s ops team simply needs more training on the machine they have purchased. In having these conversations and acting as the liaison between the client and the automation company, Blinc adds tremendous value to the client partnership. The message to our clients is that we’re in this together. We’re an extension of your ops team.

In a recent case, Blinc’s automation specialists arranged an onsite validation test for a major MSO. Blinc worked with automation machine technicians and the client’s ops team to determine the right temperature settings of the oil through the fill and cap process, proper cartridge orientation, needle gauge, psi required to cap the carts, and other factors. The result was fine tuned SOPs and a properly trained ops team ready to fill and cap cartridges at scale.

In other cases, Blinc coordinated the retraining of staff on filling and capping machines that hadn’t been used in a while and advised on the purchase of new automation technology. Introducing new cartridge or disposable SKUs sometimes requires new trays to be manufactured to fit the new devices. By anticipating these issues and project managing them for the client, the Customer Success team makes every effort to ensure the client is ready to fill immediately after receiving their shipment.

But it doesn’t stop there. All of this data and learning is helping Blinc develop the next generation of cartridges and trays. Blinc’s automation team communicates directly with the engineers to propose enhancements to devices that promote operational efficiency. For example, soon cartridges will be available in preloaded trays straight from the factory. This will save tremendous time as it won’t be necessary to transfer cartridges from foam packaging to filling trays.

Whether you are Powered by Blinc or not, we invite you to reach out to our customer success team with any questions on hardware or automation SOPs, we are here to help scale our industry in the most efficient way and we are perfecting the art of Customer Success on a daily basis.

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