Change in Packaging Process Doesn't Always Mean New Machinery
There will always be changes in the packaging industry, as new products emerge, new technology emerges or even simply new trends emerge. Like almost every industry, the packaging industry will evolve and transform as time marches on. And every industry served by the packaging industry - from foods and beverages to chemicals, oils, pharmaceuticals and more - will also experience their own changes. However, packaging machinery is typically built for the specific project at hand, so what happens when a company decides to make changes to their package or their process?
Changes to a package may take the form of new material, bigger or smaller sizes or even a new package due to a new product. In many cases, actual new machinery may not be necessary, as most packaging machines are manufactured to handle a wide range of containers. The more common solution is simply a change in the set up of the machinery. For instance, rinsing machines can typically handle both glass and plastic containers, along with various sizes and widths. However, some adjustment may be necessary to the set up of the machine to allow for control of the bottles, placement of rinse nozzles and an adequate rinse. The same is true of bottle fillers. While the filling machines can handle a range of containers, nozzles may need to be adjusted or replaced and indexing and fill times will likely need some modification as well. Drastic changes to packages, however, can require new machinery. For example, in the rare case that a packager moves from one type of closure or cap to another, a different capping machine may be necessary to seal containers. Capping machines are built to handle a specific type of closure, such as screw-on caps, cork type closures or snap on caps. So, moving from a flat screw-on cap to a flip-top screw on cap would likely not require new equipment, but in those rare cases where a company switches from a screw-on cap to a cork type closure, a new capping machine would likely be necessary.
Changes in a process will most typically involve adding new equipment to an already existing line. When this is the case, already existing equipment will not need to be replaced. Most packaging machinery, and especially automatic equipment, is manufactured to roll up to an existing power conveyor system and work right along with the already existing equipment. Of course, this means that the necessary space is required for the additional equipment. Increased production is often another reason for a change in the packaging process. Growing production may mean a greater output requirement for the equipment. Of course, one fear of packagers purchasing semi-automatic equipment is that the company will outgrow the equipment. However, most of the machinery manufactured by LPS will be built to grow with the company. Semi-automatic equipment manufactured on fully automatic frames can be modified in the future to run automatically, though some modification will be required. For instance, a semi-automatic bottle filler would require an operator to move bottles in and out of the fill area as well as activate each fill cycle with a foot or finger switch. If production grows to the point that the operator cannot keep up with demand, a control panel, indexing and a power conveyor can be added to the liquid filler to allow for automatic production. Additional fill heads could also be added to the filler to increase production as well, prolonging the useful life of the machinery.
Though drastic changes to a package or packaging process may require a packager to purchase new equipment, in most cases existing machinery can be modified or upgraded to adjust to the changes. LPS manufactures all equipment with not only the packager's current needs in mind, but with the expectation that those needs may expand or change in the future.