Packaging Equipment - Line Layouts
Packaging Equipment - Line Layouts
Many steps lie in between choosing the best packaging equipment for your product and running production, each important in its own way. One of these steps is configuring your specific packaging machinery in your plant for optimum performance. As a packaging machine manufacturer, Liquid Packaging Solutions often works with customers to create a well-organized, cost-effective line layout.
The importance of the line layout is often initially overlooked, with the attention focused only on the amount of space. In other words, packagers often look only to see if there is enough square footage for the conveyor system and the rinser, liquid filler, capping machine and other packaging equipment to roll up to the conveyors. While this is an obvious and necessary first question, the analysis of a line layout should not stop at this point. In fact, a packager can ask questions about each component of a packaging line that may help add to the efficiency of the line layout.
In addition to your product, certain other items will need to be accessible while running production. Bottles or other containers, caps and labels will need to be replaced occasionally, whether running an automated packaging system, a labor driven system or some combination of both. In putting together a line layout, consider the proximity of bottle unscramblers, capping machines, labelers and other packaging machinery to the bottles, caps, labels and other components. Though taking an extra thirty seconds to walk across the plant floor and grab a roll of labels may seem insignificant, keep in mind that the packaging system will be in constant use, and those thirty seconds add up over time. Laying out the packaging machinery in a way that allows quick and easy access to packaging components, wherever possible, will add to the efficiency of the whole line.
Along the same lines, a filling machine will need a constant supply of product to perform effectively. If the filling machine is not filling bottles, then the capping machine is not capping, the labeling machine is not labeling, and so on, on down the line. When considering a line layout, each packager will want to take into account where the filling machine is postioned in respect to the product supply. In some cases, the product may be produced in the same building, while in others it may be shipped to the plant in bulk containers. Taking into account the delivery method of product to the filling equipment before the packaging machinery is set up in the plant can save time, labor and energy.
Packaging machinery will normally require either air, electric or plumbing and usually some combination of the three. Rinsing equipment, bottle cleaners and washers need a source for the rinse medium, be it liquid or air. Most standard packaging equipment will require electric. Plan your layout to take advantage of electrical drops, plumbing and air requirements. This can avoid mounds of cables, extension cords and unneccesary wiring running throughout the production plant, which can add to safety, mobility and, ultimately, efficiency.
PACKING AND SHIPPING
Typically, a packaging line will consist of container cleaning equipment, filling equipment, capping and sealing machines and labeling equipment, with other packaging machines added as needed or desired. Each bottle will move its way through these machines until ready to be packed and shipped to the retailer or end user. It makes little sense to have the finished product complete its packaging journey on the side of the production plant opposite packing or shipping. If possible, the line layout for a packaging system should follow a logical flow that will take the finished product from the packaging process directly into the packing or shipping process. Again, an unecessary trip from one side of the plant to another, made simply because of bad planning, will take a toll on efficiency over time.
Again, while each of these considerations may seem insignificant at first glance, when compounded and repeated each and every day, the losses in time and, ultimately, profit, will add up. Taking that extra step of creating, analyzing and optimizing a line layout before installing packaging machinery in any facility can be one of the most cost-effective steps in setting up a packaging system.
For more information on packaging lines, line layouts or individual packaging machines, contact a Packaging Specialist at Liquid Packaging Solutions toll free today at 1-888-393-3693.