Preparing for Purchasing Your Packaging Machinery
Packaging machinery should always be designed to meet the needs of the specific project at hand. For this reason, there are a few steps that packagers can take to gather information and pass it along to the machine manufacturer to ensure the ideal equipment is chosen, designed and built! Below are a few of the items that will assist both the packager and the manufacturer in discovering the best solution for any project.
To begin, packagers need to select the type of package or packages that will be used for their products. This includes all packages, from the smallest to the largest, as well as the different types of caps or closures, all the different labels and any other component of the package. Gathering this information, and providing the machinery manufacturer with samples of each, will help to ensure that the equipment chosen can handle whatever range of containers, caps and labels will be used on the project.
For the filling machine in particular, it is of the utmost importance to know what products are being packaged. Different types of filling principles, from gravity and overflow to pump and piston, work better with different types of products. Knowing the product viscosity can help pick the best filler to move the product into the bottles and ensure maximum efficiency with the fill. In addition, some products require special construction, such as acids and bleaches, which usually require HDPE rather than stainless steel when building equipment. Knowing all of the products that will be moved through the packaging system ensures that the equipment chosen can handle whatever range will be used each day.
The question of speed is rarely left out of a conversation about packaging machinery. Packaging equipment can be manufactured in both semi-automatic and automatic styles. Of course, as a general rule, automatic equipment will produce more finished product in a given time than the semi-automatic machinery. Understanding the expected production requirements for any project will assist in finding the best machinery for the job. Packagers should also attempt to estimate future growth of the production requirements, as rinsing equipment, bottle fillers and other machinery can be manufactured to allow for simple future upgrades to allow for greater speed, in turn letting the equipment grow with the company.
The biggest and fastest equipment ever built will do little good for a packager if it will not fit on the production floor. The equipment designed for the project must also take in to consideration the amount of space available for the equipment. However, less space does not always mean that speed or efficiency must be sacrificed, but rather that a custom or unique design, along with custom equipment, will be built for the project. Understanding the space available will help the manufacturer from the beginning of the process and avoid unnecessary surprises as the project unfolds.
Finally, a discussion regarding utilities, such as electrical and air requirements, should take place before the equipment is built and delivered! Understanding power and other utility requirements can help the packager prepare for the equipment before it arrives by having electrical drops, air compressors and other components in place and ready for the equipment install. Again, this can avoid unnecessary future surprises and delays in starting up the packaging system.
A discussion of the factors above will help the packager and the manufacturer get on the same page in the search for the ideal equipment for any project! However, each and every project is unique, and many other factors will likely be discussed before even the design of a packaging system is finalized. LPS Packaging Specialists are always available to discuss these and other factors and assist in the search for the perfect packaging solution!