Existing Lines: Packaging Machinery Replacement or Upgrade

Existing Lines: Packaging Machinery Replacement or Upgrade

The packaging industry is always evolving, with new and better ways to fill, cap, move and otherwise prepare products for presentation to end users.  Of course, a packaging system is normally a collection of individual packaging machines - liquid fillers, capping equipment, labelers and more.  Once the packaging system has been put into place, upgrades and modifications can always be made to individual machinery, but what happens when one component of a system becomes obsolete, or when replacing a single piece of equipment makes sense from a financial and efficiency standpoint?  Luckily, in most cases the new machinery can simply roll right up to the existing conveyor line and begin running production.

In fact, this is an advantage to designing and implementing an inline packaging system.  As improvements are made, or as a company outgrows a certain component of their packaging line, the equipment can simply be moved from the conveyor system and replaced with a new machine.  For example, an inline system may consist of a bottle filler, capping machine and pressure sensitive labeler, all connected by a power conveyor system.  If the company finds itself in need of a rinsing machine or some other container cleaning equipment, this machine can be manufactured to roll right up the power conveyor and begin cleaning bottles just before the fill machine (though an additional conveyor may be necessary in some circumstances).  

Or perhaps new items have been added to the product line, including some items that the current filling machine cannot handle, due to higher viscosity or for any other reason.  If the liquid filler cannot be modified to handle the products, a new machine may be built to replace the existing filler.  Again, the new machine would simply be able to move into the same position as the older machine and begin filling bottles.

Things become slightly more complicated when packagers are using a uniframe design or a monoblock packaging system.  In each of these cases, the different packaging components are generally located on the same frame.  While this does not mean that packaging components cannot be replaced, the process may be a little more difficult in that the frame may need to be modified or some dis-assembly may be required to change out the machinery.  The addition of new machinery will also depend on the space available on these systems, as additional conveyors cannot simply be tacked on to create space for new machines.  In these cases, stand alone components are also an option.

In general, the process for adding or replacing machinery on an existing packaging line will require an assessment of the current project and line, including production speeds, space, products, packages, caps and any other unique considerations. In most cases, packaging machinery is manufactured to grow with a company and make upgrades as simple as possible, but when the time comes to replace certain components, unique solutions must often be found. 

If you have a new project or are looking to upgrade or change an existing line, LPS encourages you to to speak with our Packaging Specialists and take advantage of their unique industry expertise to find the best solution for your individual project.