What Equipment Should I Include on My Automatic Packaging Line?

What Equipment Should I Include On My Automatic Packaging Line?

As packaging machinery manufacturers, one inquiry that recurs quite often is: "What equipment do I really need for my packaging line?".  Packaging Specialists at Liquid Packaging Solutions can help to answer this question, but the true answer also depends on what exactly the packager wants on their line.  In other words, the packager will assist the manufacturer in deciding what equipment is really needed.

To understand the process of finding the right solution for any packaging project, we can look at a simple case study to understand how both parties must contribute to reaching the ideal solution.  Assume a new company has just started bottling a new beverage.  On the manufacturers end, the Packaging Specialist would want to know more about the beverage.  Once learning that the company will be bottling a distilled spirit in 750 ml and 375 ml glass bottles, the manufacturer can narrow down the type of filling machine that might be used for the line.  Similarly, after finding out the bottles will be sealed with a T-cork, in addition to using a capsule for sealing, the best choices for capping equipment can be identified.  Knowing that a wrap label will be used on the bottle will define the labeling machinery that will work for the beverage.  Finding out as much about the product itself will help the machinery manufacturer identify machinery options, however, this is just the beginning of the interaction.

The next bit of information that is crucial in identifying the necessary equipment is the demand for the product, or how much will be produced each day.  Continuing with our example, our new company has orders to fill that will require approximately 50,000 bottles per week.  The company would like to do this in one eight hour shift, five days a week.  Crunching the numbers means that the company would need to fill, cap, label and otherwise package just about twenty bottles per minute.  This information garnered from the production analysis helps the machinery manufacturer to understand the level of automation that may best suit the project.  However, these numbers should also take into account the expected growth of the company.  Is the beverage going to be sold on a regional level?  Is expansion expected or desired?  Working from the twenty bottles per minute number, the packaging machinery manufacturer also needs to understand where the company expects to be in the future, to allow room for the equipment to grow with the company.

Following the production or demand analysis, the manufacturer of the equipment will want to understand how much space is available for equipment as well as how much labor will be used by the packaging company.  Visiting the production floor can be beneficial for both the manufacturer and the packager, allowing both to understand the space available and the possible layouts for the equipment.  Understanding the labor available or the labor desired will help to choose secondary equipment such as loading turntables, laning conveyors, case packers, pallet wrappers and more.  In our example, the packager has ample production space behind a tasting room and will have several employees available to help prepare product for shipping.

Once all the information is gathered - and the necessary information will vary from project to project - the machinery manufacturer can present the best options for the specific project.  In our example, the packager may want to use a rinsing machine to remove dust and debris from glass bottles before the beverage is introduced.  Either an overflow filler or a gravity filler will work with the distilled spirit and the bottle sizes.  A bartop corker, capsule placer and capsule spinner can help to seal the bottles, and a labeler to apply the wrap around the bottle can be placed on the line as well.  Given the space and the availability of labor, an inline system with power conveyors will work well for this project.  Even with the labor available, some options for the line may include a laning conveyor to help load bottles onto the packaging line as well as an accumulating turntable to assist with the manual packing of bottles at the end of the line.

The above line in this case is one of the ideal packaging solutions based on the needs and desires of the packager.  Of course, other options are available, and other factors - including budget - may result in re-designing the line layout and the machinery being used several times over before a solution that suits both parties is found.  So while Liquid Packaging Solutions, as packaging machinery manufacturers, will assist in answering the question of what equipment is really necessary for any given project, in the end, the packager will help just as much in answering that question after taking advantage of the knowledge and experience offered by our staff.

For questions about packaging machinery or to consult with a Packaging Specialist regarding a line layout, contact our offices toll free at 1-888-393-3693.