Finding the Right Packaging Machinery Solution
With PACK EXPO 2015 starting next week, there is probably no better time - or place - to go shopping for packaging machinery. But PACK EXPO also offers the opportunity to see just how many different ways exist to prepare a product for customers. For those new to the industry, they may walk away from the Las Vegas show with more questions than answers. More specifically, after seeing the multitude of machinery available many may ask the question: How do I find the right packaging machinery solution for me? While this can be quite a task, there are certain factors that will quickly narrow the selection for any given packager, and we will take a brief look at a few of them below.
Choosing a package for your product, including bottles, caps, labels, boxes or any other component that will make up that package, will immediately narrow the options and solutions for a packaging system. For example, choosing a bottle with a screw on cap means that, for packaging purposes, your solution will likely use either a spindle capper or a chuck capper, eliminating all other types of capping machines. Once you know what package or packages will be used, the machinery manufacturer can help guide you to the best machinery options based on other factors as well.
Packaging machinery can be manufactured in many different shapes and sizes. From simple tabletop equipment to large, integrated, completely automatic systems. For companies with lower production demands, completely automated systems will usually (but not always, see below!) be a bit of overkill. If a product is produced and distributed locally or regionally, tabletop and semi-automatic equipment are likely the best options, further narrowing the best solution for any individual project.
As hinted at above, in some cases even companies with lower or medium production demands to start may want to consider fully automatic equipment. If the company expects quick and significant growth, the better solution may be to plan for that growth with automatic equipment from the beginning. There are some companies and products, however, that will always remain a local or regional favorite, without a need or desire to expand globally or even nationally! Thinking about expansion and predicting your growth will also help to find the best packaging solution for your company.
The products on the shelf today come from single, small rooms to warehouses with immense production floors. The space you have available to produce and package your product will also help to narrow the selection of packaging machinery that best suits your project. Automatic packaging equipment like filling machines, capping machines, container cleaning equipment and labelers simply will not work, or at least not efficiently, for a company with no space to set up the power conveyor system and all of the equipment along the conveyors.
Of course, no one likes to talk about budget, but few packagers realize the many different levels of automation available. If the budget does not exist to start with a completely automated system, there are ways to manufacture packaging equipment that will keep the machinery viable and allow for future upgrades. Companies must consider their budget and the cash flow necessary for other aspects of the business when shopping for equipment. Many LPS machines can grow with the company, starting as semi-automatic machinery that can be modified to run automatically when production demands it and cash flow allows it.
Of course, there are many other aspects that will help to pinpoint the ideal equipment for any project, from product thickness to bottle sizes to available labor. At LPS, we do not just build equipment, we pride ourselves in analyzing, with each customer, all of the aspects of the packaging process to provide that ideal equipment for each specific project.