Packaging Machine Upgrades Allow Growth Without Unnecessary Cost

Packaging Machine Upgrades Allow Growth Without Unnecessary Cost

When starting a new company or introducing a new product, the obvious end goal is expansion or growth of the product or brand.  Unfortunately, not every new product begins with worldwide distribution, yet every new product needs to be packaged.  Issues can arise when a product quickly becomes popular and demand expands seemingly overnight.  One of these issues can stem from the packaging machinery used to ready the product for the shelf.

Packaging machinery can be manufactured as simple manual packaging machines, semi-automatic equipment or even completely automatic packaging lines.  New products from start up companies will normally be released on a local or regional scale.  For example, a new bottled water company may begin by selling their product in a section of a state.  This may be accomplished by taking advantage of a locally familiar name, or by providing bottled water to local events - concerts, golf outings and similar happenings in the area.  This situation allows the water bottling company several options for packaging machinery.  If production is low and the bottled water operation has no aspirations of national or even global distribution, the company may opt to use tabletop packaging machinery.  A two-head overflow filling machine combined with a tabletop chuck capper and tabletop wrap labeling machine may be the only equipment the company ever needs.  

However, the more likely scenario is that the company has broken into a local market and hopes to expand their bottled water company to include a larger region in the future.  While even the tabletop machinery mentioned above allows for some upgrades and expansion, a company with a growth as a goal may consider more automated packaging equipment from the outset.  In the above scenario, the tabletop overflow filler could accomodate additional fill heads, allowing for as much as double or triple the initial production output.  Additional tabletop cappers and labelers may also be added to a tabletop system to keep up with the output of the liquid fillers.  Of course, additional manual or semi-automatic packaging machinery requires additional labor as well.

Semi-automatic packaging systems allow much more room for growth and expansion of a product and in some circumstances may be the better path even for a start-up company.  Again, let's assume a bottled water company has broken into a local market, but has their sights set on becoming a nationally known bottled water plant.  By purchasing semi-automatic packaging equipment, including a rinsing machine, overflow filler, spindle capper and labeling machine, the company is admittedly looking at spending additional cash up front.  However, the increased upgradeability of this packaging equipment can save money in the long run by allowing the machinery to grow as the company grows.  Semi-automatic rinsing machines and filling equipment may be manufactured with as few as two rinse heads and fill heads, respectively.  Even with the minimum number of heads, these machines may be able to produce between 400 and 500 bottles per hour, depending on the ability of the operators of the packaging machines.  As the production demands for the bottled water increases, so can the output of the packaging equipment.

Container cleaning equipment, be it a wet rinser, air rinser or even a bottle vacuum, can be upgraded by adding rinse heads to the existing machine.  Instead of cleaning two bottles at a time, additional heads can be added to clean up to 16 bottles at a time, allowing for nearly eight times the production output! (Loading and unloading times will increase with the added bottles per cycle.)  The same is true of liquid fillers.  As production demands increase, fill heads can be added to an overflow filler, or any other type of filling machine, also up to a maximum of sixteen fill heads.  (Some fillers, such as pump filling machines, may reach a maximum number of fill heads below sixteen due to the set up of the machine.)  

In addition to adding rinse heads and fill heads, many semi-automatic packaging machines can also be upgraded to automatic machines.  Indexing systems and control panels can be added to rinsing and filling machines, removing the necessity for labor involvement with each rinse or fill cycle.  Automatic cap delivery systems can be added to certain semi-automatic capping machines to allow for continuous capping.  Some labeling machines can simply be wheeled up to a conveyor system to automate the labeling process.  Of course, automation of the packaging system will require an automatic conveyor system as well.

This ability to upgrade packaging machinery removes the necessity to purchase new packaging equipment each time your brand or product finds a new market success.  For this reason, it is important to spend some time considering your long term goals for your company and/or product.  Tabletop packaging equipment may be perfectly capable of handling your production now and in the future.  However, if your intended goal is growth, semi-automatic or even automatic packaging equipment may be a better starting point.  For more information on packaging equipment and the ability to upgrade specific packaging machinery, contact an LPS representative toll free today at 1-888-393-3693!