The Relationship Between Packagers and Equipment Manufacturers

The Relationship Between Packagers and Equipment Manufacturers

A recent report released by PMMI identifies the issues and concerns of packagers of consumer good and how they relate to packaging machine manufacturers, gleaned from several focus groups.  Keeping these trends in mind, some old and some new, not only creates better manufacturer and end user relationships, but fosters the advancement and improvement of the industry as a whole.  A few of the main talking points from the sessions are presented below.

More and more, packagers are looking to the packaging machine manufacturers as complete packaging system consultants.  While packagers have always depended on the expertise of the machine manufacturers to some extent, this reliance seems to be expanding.  Packagers want manufacturers who understand not just machinery and products, but regulatory compliance, material and the effects on machines and other similar issues outside of the electronics and pneumatics of the machines themselves.  Knowledge and expertise leads to trust, and the packagers want to work with someone with that expanded knowledge and expertise. 

We have discussed the broad definition of sustainability on several other occasions.  As noted, sustainability does not just refer to the product or the package, but the process as a whole.  This definition stretches to the packaging machinery, including the energy used to run a liquid filler, capping machine or complete turnkey system.  Those using the machinery want to know what manufacturers are doing to contribute to a sustainable process.

Regarding proposals and quotes, the group from the PMMI report noted several important factors that manufacturers of packaging machinery need to understand.  End users of the machinery want a clear and accurate proposal, meaning that communication is key.  In addition, these users of the equipment expect proposals to include not just the manufacture of the machine, but information regarding testing such as FAT's, installation and training of staff.  

Additionally, packagers do not want manufacturers to overstate or overpromise what can be done in the proposal.  Again, this requires open and honest communication from both sides of the proposal, a concept (or solution) that seems to reappear throughout the PMMI report.  

Finally, packagers are looking for packaging machine manufacturers who understand the value and use of technology as it relates to an individual project.  The end users of the machine want the builders of the equipment to understand that more technology does not always equal better machinery.  Finally, making equipment more flexible and available (in the form of quicker lead times) were other important concerns.

While none of these issues are secrets when it comes to manufacturing power conveyors, filling machines, capping machines and other equipment, these forums and reports are incredibly useful tools for packagers and manufacturers alike.  On the packaging side, understanding that other people have the same concerns can help bring awareness to those concerns and a push for a solution.  On the manufacturing side, these reports allow us to maintain our focus on customer needs, analyze our practices and adjust as necessary to give the customer the experience they desire!  


To read the entire report and/or download the same, visit the PMMI website.