Packages That Stand Out and Their Relationship To Packaging Machinery
Trends in packaging come and go, with some staying around longer than others. Sustainable packaging, for example, is a trend that will and should stick around for a long time. Convenience in packages will always be a trend in that it is also a selling point, making a product as easy to use as possible, such as resealable containers for foods and beverages. Unique packaging that stands out from other packages is another trend that comes and goes, but will always be popular with new products trying to break in to an existing market. This trend can be beneficial to create a name for a product or to differentiate a product from a group of similar products. In some cases, however, unique packaging can present unique challenges for packaging machinery manufacturers!
This is not to say that every unique container will require custom packaging machinery. Almost all packaging equipment, from bottle rinsers and fillers to capping machinery, is manufactured to handle a wide range of container shapes and sizes. However, in rare cases, the shape, size and other factors can make automating the packaging of a product a challenging endeavor. For example, most filling machines will index bottles under nozzles to allow product to flow in to the containers using one of several different principles. However, if the opening of a container is not at the top, or not easily accessible, the filling process becomes more difficult. Most bottles can be manipulated to be easily filled, but even this may require an additional orienting step prior to filling. Fill heads can also dive in to containers with a small or less accessible opening.
Capping machines are manufactured based on the type of closure that is used in the packaging process. Screw-on type caps, for example, are almost always tightened with either a spindle capper or a chuck capper. These two machines can handle many different types of the screw-on closure as well, from simple flat caps like those found on most beverages to trigger sprayers, pumps, sports caps and more. However, some of these caps, like pump sprayers, may also need the insert placed before the cap is tightened, again creating an additional step prior to sealing the bottle. Some unique caps may not include a wide area for spindles to interact or chuck cappers to grip, which can also create new challenges when designing automated capping machines.
Using packaging that stands out from competing products will almost always have some benefit to the packager. Custom packaging machinery can adapt to just about any type of bottle, container, cap or other component. However, packagers should be aware when making these choices that there may be added steps to automating the packaging process, added expense to automation and other challenges as well. At Liquid Packaging Solutions, we are always available to consult on new packaging projects, and encourage packagers to involve us as machinery manufacturers at an early stage to avoid unexpected issues and expenses in the future! To discuss your packaging project with an LPS Packaging Specialist, simply contact our offices today!