Packaging Machinery Manufacturing and Lead Times
At Liquid Packaging Solutions, one topic that always comes up - and SHOULD always come up - when discussing a project is the lead time on the equipment. Unfortunately the answer to this question is not usually one that can be accurately answered immediately or in the early stages of the discussions. There are a number of different considerations that will determine the lead time for the manufacture and delivery of the packaging equipment. For this reason, LPS strongly encourages businesses to include the machinery manufacturer early in the process!
The first thing that will affect the lead time is the equipment required for any given project. Though almost every piece of equipment is custom manufactured to meet the needs of the project at hand, a simple tabletop filling machine, for example, will require less time than a fully automated packaging system that includes power conveyors, a bottle rinser, filling machine, capping machine, labeler, coding equipment and packing machines. While arguably the biggest factor in determining lead time, it is by far not the only factor.
The products being packaged and the pieces being used for the project will also affect the lead time. In fact, LPS prefers to have samples of product, bottles, caps, labels and any other component before beginning production. Unique products and components can lead to greater adjustments or customization of machinery, which in most cases will require additional time. By having sample products and components on hand, LPS Packaging Specialists can identify any situations that may require extensive engineering, fabrication or assembly time while also allowing for testing prior to shipment. Such testing also eliminates surprises upon delivery and makes any necessary modifications easier to achieve by identifying them while on the LPS floor, where all the tools necessary to make changes are available.
Finally, and unfortunately, the lead time for any given project will also depend on other projects! The work to be done on the production floor at LPS will fluctuate throughout any given calendar year. The number and size of the projects currently underway on the production floor will have a direct effect on the lead time for any new projects undertaken. In other words, leads times are not static and will change from day to day or month to month. So that at different times of the year, the lead time for an automatic overflow filler can vary, even when the two machines are built nearly identical to one another. For packagers that have received a quote and lead time, it is always a good idea to revisit the lead time if an extended period of time has elapsed since the discussion took place.
Even with the above being stated, lead time is seldom an issue for new projects, as most packagers understand that machines are not prepared in a day and LPS works hard to meet any necessary deadlines set by the packager. However, planning ahead for a packaging project and involving the manufacturer at the earliest possible stage will almost always eliminate any concerns surrounding delivery dates and production start up. For more information on packaging equipment and lead times, contact a Packaging Specialist at LPS to discuss your project and the best solutions.