Packaging Machinery Integration
An Example of Packaging Machinery Integration
Integration is defined, generally, as the act or process of making a whole. In our industry, this refers to taking different packaging machines - liquid filling machines, capping machinery, power conveyors and more - and combining them to create an entire packaging system for our customers' unique products. Integration of packaging machinery can be as simple as manufacturing a uniframe filling system with a handheld chuck capper or as complex as combining automatic packaging machines from an unscrambler at the beginning of a line to a pallet wrapper at the end. Each product and packaging process will require a unique solution to assure optimum efficiency and productivity.
PLANNING AND DESIGN THE PACKAGING SYSTEM
The first step in the integration process will be planning and designing the packaging system in order to understand which packaging machines will make up the pieces and how best to assemble these pieces to make the whole. Let's assume that a new company is looking for an automated packaging system for their new vitamin drink. Assuming that the production plant offers the space for the necessary packaging equipment, the company may settle on the following packaging machines:
Bottle Unscrambler - allowing the operator of the packaging system to simply load bulk containers when necessary.
Power Conveyor - To automatically move containers from one packaging machine to the next.
Bottle Rinser - To remove dust and debris from the container prior to filling it with the vitamin drink.
Liquid Filling Machine - To fill various bottle sizes with the vitamin drink.
Bottle Capper - To securely cap and seal the vitamin drink.
Labeling Machine - To apply the label or labels of choice to the filled and capped vitamin drink.
Coding Equipment - To apply an expiration date, batch number or other information on the vitamin drink.
Shrink Wrap Bundler - To create six packs, twelve packs or other packaging combinations of the drink.
Non-Power Conveyor - To accumulate the filled, capped, labeled and bundled drinks, which will be placed on the pallet wrapper by employees.
Pallet Wrapper - To secure pallets of product for shipping to the retailers and consumers.
Keep in mind that there is more than one way to set up such a packaging system, and different machines that can be used. For example, a loading turntable may be substituted for the bottle unscrambler, simply requiring labor at the beginning of the system to place bottles on the turntable. A palletizer may also be used instead of the non-power conveyor at the end, removing the necessity of labor to create pallets of product. The machinery chosen will depend on the level of automation desired, the product itself, the container being used, the space available and a number of other factors.
MANUFACTURING AND PROCURING THE PACKAGING MACHINERY
Once the packaging system has made it through the planning and designing stages, Liquid Packaging Solutions will begin manufacturing the packaging machinery. In the above example, LPS would most likely create the rinsing machine, power conveyor, filling machine, capping machine and the non-power conveyor. The bottle unscrambler, labeler and coder, shrink wrap bundler and pallet wrapper would be delivered to LPS by OEM's, or other equipment manufacturers. Liquid Packaging Solutions not only manufactures packaging equipment, but has also developed strong, working relationships with others in the industry that allow us to perform integration services for our customers. These relationships not only mean LPS can offer complete packaging systems, but also improves our lead times for delivering these systems to our customers. In addition, these relationships allow our customers to direct all questions, concerns and troubleshooting to one location: Liquid Packaging Solutions. So while we fabricate and manufacture specific components of the system, our OEM\'s are doing the same. Once the machinery is completed and delivered to LPS or the customer site, our technicians begin the last step of the integration process.
INSTALLATION AND TRAINING
While installation of and training on the packaging system is not a requirement, it is highly recommended by Liquid Packaging Solutions, especially for automated packaging lines. At this stage, the literal integration will take place. Normally, the machinery will arrive at the customer plant at or about the same time as the LPS technician or technicians. These techs will then begin placing each machine on the production floor. For example, the techs may lay out the power belt conveyor system as a first step. Each machine, from the bottle unscrambler to the shrink wrap bundler, will be placed in its specified location along the conveyor system. The non-power conveyors for product accumulation may be set up in several different configurations for loading on to the pallet wrapper. The pieces have now been assembled to make the whole!
The packaging system is complete. Once the system is in place, the technicians will run the line and ensure peak performance before teaching the company employees how to safely and efficiently use the packaging line. To learn more about the integration process, or to speak with a Packaging Specialist about setting up a packaging system, contact Liquid Packaging Solutions toll free at 1-888-393-3693.