Boost e-commerce efficiency with Southgate’s WAT Tape Dispenser


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Boost e-commerce efficiency with Southgate’s WAT Tape Dispenser.

Southgate Global, supplier of packaging equipment, consumables and servicing in operational logistics and fulfilment, has launched a new Water Activated Tape Dispenser (WAT) to help speed up operations and reduce costs as the demand for e-commerce rises.

The Optimax OM700 WAT Dispenser has been designed specifically by Southgate’s specialist team for fast-paced operational logistics environments, as customers look to increase staff productivity to meet demand.

With UK e-commerce sales expected to reach £160.6 billion in 2024 and continue to grow at 4.1 per cent year on year to 2026 resulting in forecast sales of £194 billion by 2027[1], the need for efficiency in every aspect of operations is vital to give companies a performance edge.

Developed with high-volume, fast-past shipping in mind, the OM700 has quick tape output, outputting 60 metres per minute, pre-set buttons to auto dispense from 15cm to 145cm, a programme mode – to allow configuration of up to 6 different lengths in sequence via the digital display - plus the largest tape capacity in the industry - up to 255mm long and 80mm wide.

Phil O’Driscoll, Head of Innovation & New Product Development, explained how the 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. 

He described how this played a key part in the development of the OM700, “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.

“To find a solution that is informed by demand, we asked our customers to review their current equipment and share with us what is, and isn’t, working well. This is a process we follow with all new product development at Southgate, and ensures we are bringing products to the market that are going to make a difference.”

WAT Dispensers offer a multitude of benefits for packing and shipping operations as it ensures consistent and accurate sealing, reducing the time and effort required compared to manual methods. The strong bond formed by water-activated tape creates a permanent seal making it highly tamper resistant as well as removing the need for multiple layers of retaping, further speeding up the packing process. Setting it aside from the industry standard, the OM700 has nine new customer inspired features including the largest water bottle capacity in the industry of up to 2l, eliminating the need for frequent refilling.

O’Driscoll added, “It was important when designing the OM700 that we weren’t just matching, but exceeding the benefits of other options at a lower more cost-effective price that doesn’t compromise on performance. 

“Our solution allows operators to improve workflow with fewer interruptions such as having to consistently refill the water tank, refill the tape or adjust the tape dimensions. Small interruptions such as these can have big knock-on effects on the entire logistics operation. And in a world where there is no longer room to be behind on operation speed, such constraints can be detrimental in staying ahead.”

The OM700 also provides an optional automatic measuring sensor which will auto-dispense tape to fit the exact size without wasted tape and a foot pedal for hands free operation.

Equipped with a safety interlock switch to disable the cutting blade when the front cover is open, O’Driscoll explained how the OM700 is built with the safety of staff at the forefront.

“At Southgate, we’re continuously looking for ways to introduce new products which make our customer’s operations work even more efficiently, while at the same time are affordable, high quality and kind on the planet. The OM700 offers exactly that, and we’re delighted to now be offering this new product to our new and existing customers.”

Serving over 3,000 customers in more than 20 countries around the world Southgate has a range of operational logistics and fulfilment solutions that support some of the biggest organisations in the key sectors including 3PL, e-commerce, retail, post & parcel and general manufacturing.

[1] Sources: Statista and eMarketer - E-commerce in the United Kingdom- Digital Trends report

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