Designing Your Own Packaging System (With Help)
Liquid Packaging Solutions designs and builds packaging systems for many different industries. However, it is the packager, with help from LPS, that must truly design a system to meet their own specific needs. While the machinery used will be a very important component, there are many other factors to consider to ensure that the ideal solution is found. And many of those components are initially known only to the packager. Below are a few of these factors and how they impact the design of a packaging line.
Of course the product itself will help determine which type of packaging machinery will work best for any individual packager. Viscosity, particulates, temperature, flammability and many other product characteristics can mean a modification to standard equipment or the design of custom machinery. In some cases, the range of products will also help determine the best machines to add to a packaging line.
Packaging machiney can be used on a simple tabletop or systems can take up an entire warehouse like building. The space available for equipment such as liquid fillers, capping machines, labelers and packing equipment will understandably have an effect on choosing the best equipment for the project. Small spaces simply do not leave enough room for inline, automatic packaging systems. However, large spaces do not necessarily mean they must be filled with equipment either. However, space still plays a part in finding the ideal solution.
The labor available for any project impacts the type of machinery that will work for the project. Semi-automatic machines require operators for each and every cycle run on the machine, while automatic equipment will require far less labor and truly only set up, replenishing of bulk material and supervision of the line. Many packaging systems will combine semi-automatic and automatic equipment based on the labor available to run the machines.
The demand for the product will help to determine the automation level of equipment. Packagers working on a local or regional level, with relatively low output, can usually work with semi-automatic packaging machines and still reach weekly goals without multiple shifts or extensive overtime. But those producing tens of thousands of bottles per day will be hard pressed to meet goals without a higher level of automation. Keep in mind that semi-automatic machines can only run as fast as the operator controlling them, while automatic lines can run continuously without interruption each cycle.
Starting small does not necessarily mean automatic equipment should not be considered. If a company knows that more products will be added, more contracts procured or simply more items produced in the near future, semi-automatic machinery may quickly be outgrown. While almost all equipment manufactured by LPS has the potential to grow with the company through upgrades to the machinery, semi-automatic equipment will eventually reach a maximum output. For this reason, companies with high growth potential may consider equipment that allows room for some initial growth without upgrades.
By gathering the information above and considering many other factors as well, LPS can work with the packager in designing a system that will work for the individual needs of the company. Of course, no one factor will be enough, and in each project a different factor may be the most important consideration in finding an ideal solution. LPS is always available to discuss projects and all of the factors that go into designing an efficient, reliable and hand-tailored system for our packagers.