Packaging Machinery and Contract Packaging

Packaging Machinery and the Contract Packager - Fill Cap Label

If you have weighed contract packaging and self-packaging your product and decided that you would rather let someone else deal with packaging, there are a number of factors to consider, including the packaging equipment available to the contract packager (For other factors, see this article from the Contract Packaging Association).  Many pieces of packaging equipment will run a variety of cap and bottle types and sizes, allowing contract packagers to use a single packaging line for many different product runs.  However, both products and packaging may require specific types of machinery.  Always ensure that the contract packager you choose has the proper equipment and experience to efficiently and reliably package your product.

Liquid Fillers

Liquid filling machines can be flexible but may also present the biggest challenge for a contract packager.  Liquid products can range from free-flowing liquids to thick and viscous products.  Different filling machines will be necessary to fill products of different viscosities.  In addition, some products may require special circumstances when being filled.  Molten products, like candles, will require a liquid filler that keeps product heated to a specific temperature throughout the filling process.  Certain jams and jellies may require constant product agitation to keep particulates such as fruit from settling on the bottom of the bulk product or supply tank.  While some contract packagers may possess a number of different filling machines, it is unlikely that any own all the machines necessary to fill any and all products.  Take the time to ensure that the contract packager you choose possesses the correct liquid filling equipment as well as the knowledge to properly run that equipment.

Capping Machines

Capping machines present less of a challenge to a contract packager, as spindle cappers and chuck cappers are capable of sealing a large percentage of the caps on the market today, especially if you remove wine closures from the equation.  If your product uses a screw cap - flat, sport, flip-top or other - most contract packagers will have the capping equipment to handle your container and cap combination.  Snap caps, ROPP caps and other unique non-screw caps may present more of a challenge.  Make sure that your contract packager knows not only your product, but your bottle and cap as well.  Request information on the packager\'s capping capabilities and ensure that the capping machines used will be compatible with your specific cap and container.   

Labeling Equipment

Labeling machines can be manufactured to apply labels to bottles in a number of different configurations.  Labeling machines may apply a single wrap label around the whole bottle, a single panel label on the front of a package or even front and back labels to different containers.  Some labeling machines can be manufactured to allow for adjustments that allow any and all of these configurations to be run on a single machine.  However, custom application and multiple application labeling machines can be expensive.  Again, know the equipment that your contract packager uses and what label applications are available.  Ensure that the application you desire is possible before committing to a specific contract packager.  

Hiring a contract packager simply does not make good business sense if that packager does not have the proper equipment to package your product.  Ask the proper questions, know the packagers capabilities and find someone who will truly take the burdens of packaging your product away from you without sacrificing your vision of the package.  

At Liquid Packaging Solutions, our goal is to manufacture reliable and efficient packaging machinery for both contract packagers and companies that self-package their product.  Our liquid packaging equipment is flexible, with many machines able to handle a wide range of products, containers and caps.  We strive to make changeover from one container to another as quick and simple as possible to avoid downtime.  Automatic machines are easy to operate with simple to understand controls and many of our machines offer memory locations to store all settings for a specific product, container and cap combination.  If you would like to learn more about contract packaging versus self-packaging, contact a representative of Liquid Packaging Solutions, Inc. toll free today at 1-888-393-3693.