What Do Packagers Expect From Machinery in 2017?
Happy New Year!
And here we go again! Will 2017 be that much different from 2016? Well, that probably depends on the topic and who you ask. At Liquid Packaging Solutions, we try to keep up with the latest trends in packaging, but even more than that we try to keep in tune with what our packagers are looking for out of their machinery. While the answer to this question will vary from industry to industry, and from project to project, there are a few overarching qualities that almost every packager will be looking for year after year in their equipment.
Of course the question of speed almost always comes up when discussing packaging machinery, and while important, it seems that more and more packagers are putting the traits that follow above speed. In addition, some of the other traits below have an effect on the speed of the machine over the long run. In general terms, however, most packagers want to know that the machine will produce a given amount, typically stated in bottles per minute, given their product, package and package components such as caps, labels and more.
One of the traits of packaging machinery that can definitely have a long term effect on the speed of the machine is the safety of the machine. If a machine is not running consistently, or no one is available to run the machine, the production will suffer. Equipment design plays a large part in safety, ensuring minimum pinch points or other dangerous areas, guarding where necessary and warning stickers at all potentially hazardous locations.
Most businesses want and expect growth. Packagers do not want equipment that will be obsolete within a year's time or with the acquisition of a new contract. Again machine design plays a large part in ensuring that equipment can grow with the business. The more a machine can be upgraded to handle larger production demands, the more value and life that machine holds. Being able to upgrade with additional fill heads, for example, can extend the life of both semi-automatic and automatic liquid fillers. While a company may eventually outgrow equipment, especially at the semi-automatic level, the right design helps to ensure this doesn't happen too soon or too often.
This one is a little tricky, as it wraps pretty much all of the others together and is defined differently from just about every source you can ask. In general, sustainability refers to the process as a whole, so that the sustainability of the machinery is a part of the process. In general, packagers are looking for equipment with a process that will not pollute, will be energy efficient, safe and allow for consistency in packaging. While there is no one word that can describe what exactly sustainability means when applied to packaging machinery, efficient across different platforms and consistent is a good start. For example, ensuring that changeover can be done quickly and easily can keep production running consistently, while equipment that uses little energy and produces little waste will run efficiently.
While other trends in packaging may change from year to year or even project to project, these are a few trends and traits that we at Liquid Packaging Solutions expect to continue. And for this reason. we always design and build our equipment with these traits, and other project specific traits, in mind.