How Packaging Affects Packaging Machinery
Given that packaging machinery will almost always be custom manufactured for the bottles, containers or packaging being used on any project, it only makes sense that the package itself will be chosen before the packaging machinery. To build the best packaging system, the bottles, caps, labels and other package components must be known. However, packagers would do well for themselves to garner a general understanding of how packaging machinery works to avoid added costs from unusual or inconvenient packaging.
Of course, custom packaging can make a product stand out amongst that products competition, so some custom work for the packaging machinery may be worth the cost in a competitive marketplace. From time to time a balance must be struck between standing out from the crowd and efficiently running production to get product on the shelf!
Many different packaging machines can handle a wide variety of bottles or other containers. Filling machines are usually adjustable enough to allow for a range of sizes and shapes. However, when you reach extremely small and extremely large containers, custom applications may become necessary. While this is not typically an issue for a majority of companies, the problem does occasionally present itself. Unique solutions are sometimes necessary, such as tabletop fillers for short runs of sample size packages, or different nozzle or piston sizes when product amounts vary greatly. The key is to know ahead of time the sizes and containers used to avoid unforeseen issues when it comes time to start producing.
Capping machines are, of course, built to accomodate the specific closure being used on any packaging project. Choosing to use many different closure types can lead to an increased cost for this type of equipment. However, some machines, such as snap cappers and spindle cappers, or ROPP and chuck cappers, can be combined onto one machine. However, choosing similar closure types can reduce costs associated with capping machinery. Again, if one closure type is only used on small or special production runs, tabletop equipment may be purchased for this cap type.
Labeling equipment can be manufactured to apply stickers in a number of different formats. And while one machine may be able to do a wrap, front and back and panel, such a custom application will add to the cost of the machine. For companies with many different products and label applications, the cost may well be worth it. For other companies that use one label type for a majority of products but have other small runs, other solutions may be better.
All in all, the package and components used for any given product or group of products will have an impact on the type of equipment necessary to prepare those products. By involving the packaging machinery manufacturer at an early stage, a packager can get a better idea of how their package selections will affect the equipment they will need to best get the job done. To discuss your package or project and consult with a Packaging Specialist, contact the LPS offices during business hours, Monday through Friday 8 a.m to 5 p.m Central Time.