How Will The Package I Choose Affect My Packaging Machinery?
At Liquid Packaging Solutions, we manufacture packaging equipment specifically for the company that will use it. Though specific products and categories exist, the truth is that each machine is custom built or custom tailored to meet the needs of the packager that requested the equipment. While LPS can manufacture equipment for just about any type of container, cap, insert or other component of a package, unique packaging components can make it harder - not impossible, but harder - to package consistently and reliably.
For instance, on a number of packaging machines, bottle stability plays a key part in achieving both consistency and reliability. On an inverting rinsing machine, bottles must be gripped, held and turned upside down. On a spindle capper, bottles must move smoothly through the capping area to allow the spindle wheels to properly tighten the caps. Filling machines also require stability to avoid spills, splashes and drips. When working with unique bottles, whether in shape, height, width or any other format, stabilizing the bottle can become more difficult. Sometimes the fix may be simple, such as neck grabbers for a filler or a double gripper belt to stabilize bottles on the capping machine. Other times, custom solutions are necessary to achieve efficiency in the packaging process.
In some situations, unique containers may eliminate some choices when it comes to a certain type of packaging machine. For example, heavy and/or oddly shaped glass containers may make it difficult to invert said containers for the rinsing process. This does not mean that the glass bottles cannot be rinsed or otherwise cleaned, only that some other option, such as a bottle vacuum, may be necessary to complete the cleaning. Similarly, the components chosen for the package, such as caps and labels, can limit the machine options for any given packaging line. Screw-on type caps mean that a spindle or chuck capping machine will be used on the line, ROPP closures limit you to a specific type of capping machine, the ROPP capper.
In very rare cases, of course, the packaging line will start from the "drawing board". Sometimes unique packages mean more than just modification or limited choices. Unique packaging can mean completely custom packaging machinery. Engineering and designing solutions specifically for the product and package chosen for a project. These type of designs and projects can take place when a new type of package (like the fairly recent rise in the popularity of pouches) or when a packager simply decides to do something different with current package types (like glass blown bottles in unique shapes) or a number of other scenarios.
So how does the uniqueness of the packaging affect the machinery? It may at times hinder consistency, it may cause slower production times or, it may simply cost more money, which is always important to a business. How can a packager know and understand these effects before choosing the package? Talk to your packaging machinery manufacturer, as soon as possible. Involving the machinery manufacturer very early in the process can eliminate both production and cost surprises in the future, and help to allow a smooth business process from day one on the production floor!
If you have a packaging process you would like to discuss with the Packaging Specialists at LPS, simply give them a call toll free at 1-888-393-3693.