Packaging System Phases - Packing

Packaging System Phases - Packing

After being rinsed, filled, capped and labeled, your product is ready, or nearly ready, to be delivered to the consumer.  There are several packaging machines that may be utilized at the end of a packaging system to assist in hand packing products or automate the packing process.

Shrink wrappers, or bundlers, can be used to wrap single items on a packaging line.  However, they are most commonly used to create six packs, twelve packs or other collections of product.  Picture a case of bottled water.  Some sit in a cardboard case or other tray, others simply contain a number of bottles with no case-type support.  Shrink wrap bundlers can be used in either situation to create the case.  In general, the products are collated and enter the bundler where the shrink wrap is applied to the collection of products.  The products and shrink wrap then enter a heat tunnel, where the heat causes the wrap to shrink, securely bundling the products into six packs, cases or formats.  On some packaging systems, tray or case formers may be used to automate the assembly of the cases and drop packers or other machinery may automate the placement of the bottles to be bundled into the support trays.

Even if a system does not use a shrink wrap bundler, in most cases product will not be shipped out as individual bottles or containers.  The packing process may require hand packing product into cardboard cases for shipment.  Roller conveyors can be added to the end of a packaging system to assist in gathering product for hand packing.  In other cases, packaging machinery will be used to automate this process as well.  Case erectors can be used to assemble cases, case packers will load product into the assembled cases and case tapers or sealers will secure the cases.  From here, cases can be placed on a pallet and a pallet wrapper can be used to secure the collection of cases.  


At this point, your product has more than likely completed the trip through the packaging system and is ready for its journey to the shelf for your customers.  Each packaging system is unique, using some or all of the components discussed over the last few weeks.  Each phase of a packaging system will also be unique to the product being run.  Filling machines may use different principles for filling product. rinsing equipment may use air or water.  The type of capping machine used will depend on the type of cap being used.  In addition, some systems will use specialty equipment such as nitrogen purge to preserve flavor or extend shelf life or clean rooms to avoid contamination.  All of these packaging system and packaging machine options are mentioned only to encourage you to plan your packaging system carefully.  Proper planning will ensure not only that the packaging system consists only of the packaging machines needed, but also that those packaging machines are the best for your specific product and container.

For questions on packaging systems, packaging machinery or any of their components, contact a Packaging Specialist at Liquid Packaging Solutions, Inc., today.