How Your Package Affects Your Packaging
In more cases than not, when Liquid Packaging Solutions receives a request for information on packaging machinery, a packager is either already using a certain bottle, cap and label or has already chosen the bottle, cap, label and other components that will be used for their product. Usually, this timeline will not cause any issues when looking for equipment, but from time to time, when using unique package components, a business may find that cost or efficiency will have to be sacrificed for the unusual bottle, closure or other part of the package.
This can occur at almost any point in a packaging line, and while we cannot cover every possible issue with every possible package, below are a few things to consider when choosing bottles, containers, caps or other element of a package.
Container cleaning equipment is not a requirement for all packaging lines, but if bottles accumulate dust or debris prior to being used, rinsing machinery may be a desired, if not necessary, part of a line. Keep in mind that uniquely shaped bottles, heavy bottles or bottles with odd openings may be more difficult to rinse! Some bottles are not conducive to inverting, which is the main way that containers are cleaned. If a bottle cannot be safely gripped for flipping over a rinse basin, other options will need to be considered.
Bottle vacuums offer an alternative solution, and semi-automatic machinery may work for some bottles by allowing an operator to hand place and remove containers on a smaller scale, which would slow down the process. While other solutions are possible, speaking with a machinery manufacturer prior to purchasing unique bottles can save time and money down the line.
The type of product to be filled will often dictate the type of filling machine to be used for any given project. And though it is rare for the package itself to have much of an effect on the filling machine, different sizes and shapes can be a challenge to fill efficiently. Larger bottles or containers with wide diameters may require fewer fill heads per cycle, cutting back on production speeds. The concern here is not usually whether or not the bottles can be filled, but how quickly they can be filled to meet demand. Again, an early conversation with a machinery manufacturer can help to set out limits and allow a packager to make an informed decision when it comes to bottles or other containers.
Capping machines will always be matched to the type of closure that will be used on any given package. Both semi-automatic and automatic cappers exist for different closure types. Again, it is rare that a closure will make a package unusable on automatic equipment, but the closure itself can affect the efficiency of a machine. Unusual caps or ornamental caps may be hard to sort and deliver to an automatic capping machine in rare cases, forcing a packager to purchase custom capping machinery or opt for a semi-automatic process allowing an operator to place the closures before the sealing takes place.
A number of companies may use more than a simple cap to seal containers as well. From overcaps to inserts or even induction seals, multi-component caps will likely add more equipment to a packaging line, which in turn increases the cost for the system as a whole. Truly custom caps are not the norm in any industry, so that a conversation with manufacturers before a final decision on closures will usually make machinery options and solutions clear.
Labels can be applied on containers by automatic machinery in just about any format imaginable, from wrapping to panels to front and back or even top labels. While labels allow a packager to introduce their product to the consumer, a label that stands out from others is usually a goal of many companies. Custom machines can allow labels to be applied in more than one manner on the same machine, but understanding how the labels will be applied will help find the best solution for any project.
Overall, packaging solutions exist for just about any product and package combination. However, unique packaging solutions will usually require a larger budget and may cut into overall efficiency on some occasions. For this reason, Liquid Packaging Solutions always encourages packagers to include a machinery manufacturer early in the process to understand the options and the costs should they expect at any time to automate their process. LPS Packaging Specialists can be reached toll free at 1-888-393-3693 or questions can be sent through the LPS website on the Quick Contact form found on every page!