Tips For Finding the Ideal Packaging Machinery for Any Project
Choosing the correct packaging machinery for any project can be a daunting task, especially for new companies or packagers who have never worked with equipment before! But there are some tips for first time packagers that can help to identify the best equipment for any given project to ensure efficiency and reliability once the machinery hits the production floor.
1. Know Your Products and Packages
If at all possible, before shopping for your packaging equipment, know the bottles, caps, labels and other packaging that you will use for your project. Most packaging machinery is versatile in that a range of products, bottles, caps and other components can be used on the equipment. However, different machines also have different limits. Some filling machines may not do well with a wide range of viscosities. Capping machines are typically built for a single type of cap, such as screw-on, ROPP or corks. Knowing the products and components prior to choosing the equipment ensures that the machinery can handle all of the packagers combinations of products, bottles, caps and more.
2. Talk to Suppliers
Not knowing all aspects of the packaging, however, should not stop a packager from talking to equipment manufacturers. Even prior to choosing the equipment, manufacturers such as Liquid Packaging Solutions can answer questions regarding different package components, giving a packager some idea of the pros and cons of, for instance, using a certain bottle or closure. Packaging machinery manufacturers can be a wealth of information prior to building the machines, not just after the equipment is chosen, and should be involved early in the process.
3. Estimate Your Production Needs
Knowing how many units will need to be produced will help determine the automation level necessary for a packaging line. This becomes a little tricky, however, in that most companies hope or expect to grow in the future. Though a company may know how many units are necessary at a given time, expected or estimated growth should also be taken in to account. Many packaging machines are designed to allow for upgrades, which in turn allow for higher production. By estimating growth, a packager can look for equipment that will give them a prolonged useful life and allow the equipment to grow with the company.
4. Consider Sustainability
Sustainability is a key trend in the packaging industry, and for good reason. Eliminating waste, recycling and other aspects of a sustainable system not only can help protect the environment, but can be good for the bottom line as well! While the machinery is only one aspect of sustainability in packaging, it is an important one. A company may, for example, use an air rinser to clean bottles rather than a wet rinser simply to remove the need to rid the machine of excess water or cleaning liquid.
5. Know Your Budget
Not every packager, nor even a majority of packagers, will start with a complete, automated packaging line from day one! Rather, many will build the line over time, as adding automation makes sense. If capping bottles takes more time than any other task at the onset of a business venture, a company may invest in an automatic capping machine while using labor or semi-automatic machinery to fill and label products. As production demands increase, this same company may automate another aspect, and another, until the line is complete. Automating one machine at a time can free up cash for other business needs when starting up a business.
Each project will have unique characteristics which may call for even more questions or analysis to identify the ideal packaging equipment. But gathering the information above and talking to machinery manufacturers about a project can ensure that the most efficient and reliable machinery is put in place for each and every project.