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The Complete Guide To Buying Packaging Machinery

Everything You Need to Know About Buying Packaging Machinery

When it comes to buying packaging machinery there are many variables involved. From researching machinery makes, models and brands to choosing a vendor for service, supply and preventative maintenance. Buying packaging machinery is a big investment for your business.

 

When considering the purchase of new packaging machinery, you will want to take the time to do your homework and invest due diligence into the process. If you want to know what types of machinery are available, the materials they run, their proper and safe operating procedures and how to keep them running at peak performance, this guide will provide you with all the information you are looking for and then some.

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Packaging Machinery 101: Safety First

safety box

Safety: KPI Number One

When it comes to preparing for an investment in new packaging machinery, it is always wise to start by educating yourself on the top ten KPIs (or Key Performance Indicators) of your packaging line. Starting with a solid understanding of safety protocols and best practices is a wise place to begin this journey. Before we get started on why safety is the first KPI you should measure and ways to implement it, here are the top 10 packaging line KPIs:

  1. Safety
  2. Quality
  3. On Standard Operating Efficiency
  4. Unscheduled Down Time
  5. Rework
  6. Employee Turnover
  7. Overall Equipment Effectiveness
  8. Inventory Accuracy
  9. Capacity Utilization
  10. Inventory Turns

At the start of your research into purchasing new equipment, the safety concerns surrounding packaging machinery is paramount to this process. Reaching out to a local vendor and requesting information about safety standards for the different types of machinery you will be buying is highly suggested.

 

A risk assessment is a necessary piece of documentation to ensure the safety of your employees. The goal of a risk assessment is to realize hazards, asses and reduce risk and provide documentation that validates the results of said assessment.

 

By conducting a risk assessment, you will help to ensure that your packaging line is run at the optimum levels of safety and that your employees are working with the lowest possible risk to their well being. By using the tools mentioned above and working in tandem with your vendor, you will have effectively ensured the safest workplace possible.

 

When choosing a vendor for your packaging machinery, be sure that safety is of the utmost concern when it comes to their products. While there are multiple important issues that all companies must be concerned with, the safety of your employees and their environment must be the main focus of your packaging line.

 

Once you have completed the entire risk assessment process, you can rest assured that your packaging line will be running as safely as possible. As time goes on, it is a good idea to conduct additional risk assessments on a regular basis. This will prove especially helpful when adding new machinery or rearranging the physical footprint of your current packaging line.

 

machinery-purchase-checklist

Pre-Investment Check List

Next, a pre-investment checklist will provide you with all the bullet points necessary to check off in the buying process of purchasing new packaging machinery. This tool will help you to identify various options for your machinery including dynamics such as size, speed, physical footprint, material specifications, ease of use, durability, additional options and a host of other important considerations that will allow you to pinpoint the perfect machinery for your specific needs.

 

We suggest that you print out the checklist and go over it with a fine-tooth comb. Take the time to really consider each section of the checklist and work with your packaging team to provide the correct answers. Be sure to include those who will be operating your equipment as well as those who will be servicing, supplying and providing preventative maintenance.

LP-Equipment_Purchase_Checklist-2

The Packaging Machinery Pre-Investment Checklist

This FREE checklist is designed to streamline your packaging machinery buying experience. With everything you need to consider in one place, this tool will ensure you get the right machinery for your particular applications!
 
Get My Pre-Investment Checklist

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What Are The Different Types Of Packaging Machinery And Their Uses?

While there are many different types of packaging machinery, the most common include; shrink tunnels, pallet wrappers, case erectors, sealers, carded packaging machines, and form, fill and seal machines. There can be a lot of guesswork when it comes to finding the most reliable packaging machinery from various different brands. However, as a distributor, we offer multiple brands. Each of the brands we offer have their own strengths and weaknesses.

 

It goes without saying that researching a few different brand offerings for each piece of equipment you are planning to invest in is a very important step in this process. This will ensure that you choose the right machine for your company's budget, needs, capabilities and product offerings.

 

Whether you decide to purchase brand new, used or refurbished machinery, it is important to leverage the wisdom in this guide as a light in the dark on your journey to find the right solution for your packaging needs.

 

When considering which machines are the fastest, most reliable, or easiest to repair, we always start by looking at the customer rather than the machine.

 

We recommend service intervals that make sense for the customer. Sometimes that means annual maintenance. Other times it can mean semi-annual or quarterly maintenance. Keeping everything clean and running smoothly is ultimately how any machine can become the fastest or the most reliable.

 

Price is certainly a consideration for all customers, which is why the design of the machine is so important. Fewer parts often equal fewer things to break. Some newer machines don’t have the wear-and-tear that a pneumatic air cylinder might have, for example. Though, sometimes the benefits of the pneumatic air cylinder might justify the expense.

 

It is very important that you work hand-in-hand with a local packaging machinery professional who can help to guide you through the process of selecting the correct equipment for your needs without purchasing options you do not require.

 

It is also well advised to get at least a couple different vendors to provide you with an analysis of your packaging line, machinery, products, materials and the footprint of your physical packaging department.

 

By comparing the information from several different vendors, you will be able to define who has your best interest at heart. Choosing a vendor who takes your unique business needs into consideration rather than simply selling you machinery is an important aspect of choosing a machinery vendor.

Stretch-Wrapper-Investment-Calculator-flip

Pallet Wrappers

 

Pallet wrappers (or stretch wrappers) are ubiquitous in many packaging lines across the globe. Boasting significant cost savings for large operations over manual wrapping, using a pallet wrapper also maximizes the stretch capabilities of your stretch film. This ensures that you save both time and money.

Load Containment

A stretch wrapper will help you to ensure that you are in fact using the correct load containment for your wrapping process. When it comes to load containment, there are three important variables to consider:

  1. The number of wraps or layers on your load.
  2. The wrapping force (i.e., how much force is applied via your stretch film).
  3. The gauge or thickness of your film.

There are several important variables to consider when implementing the proper load containment; primarily, length x width, and height. The larger the width x height, the easier the pallet is contained. With height, things are a bit more dynamic as the height of the pallet can increase or decrease load containment based upon the weight and perimeter. The ease of wrapping depends largely on how the pallet is packed.

 

Types of Pallet Wrappers

First of all, you will need to decide if you want a semi-automatic or automatic stretch wrapping machine*. Space, capital, speed, capability and needs are all important considerations for this decision!  

 

A semi-automatic stretch wrapper is manually placed on a turntable and a piece of wrap is placed at the bottom of the pallet. from there, the machine will wrap the load according to your selections on the machine for load containment. The finished pallet is manually removed from the turntable and the next pallet is moved into place. 

 

An automatic stretch wrapper takes a pallet and automatically puts it in the wrap zone where it is wrapped based upon the settings of the control system. When completed, the pallet moves down a conveyor to the end of your packaging line. As your fully wrapped pallet completes its journey, the next pallet is automatically being conveyed into the wrap zone.

 

*There is also another option called "simple automation" which is available from select vendors. This form of simplified automation allows for what is called "cut and clamp capabilities" which means that your machine operators are not required to get off their fork trucks to operate the control panel. This form of automation allows the equipment operator to drop the pallet onto the wrapper while the machine pushes it onto a roller conveyor.

 

Pallet Wrapper Dynamics

In addition to the types of pallet wrapping machines mentioned above, there are different types of wrappers with different functionality. When trying to figure out which pallet wrapper would best suit your needs, you will want to research the following kinds of equipment: turntable wrapper, straddle wrapper, orbital wrapper or ring straddle wrapper.

 

Each of these machines wraps pallets in a completely different way and offer different variables to their load containment. Each type of machine is also meant for different applications. Reviewing the specs for each kind of machine and how the machinery is operated via video or live demonstration is highly recommended.

 

1. Turntable Wrapper

With this particular machine, the pallet is put on a turntable that spins while a wrap delivery system allocates the stretch wrap to the load being wrapped. The wrap delivery system generally begins at the bottom of the load and wraps up to the top and back to the bottom. Turntable wrappers are one of the most popular kinds of stretch wrapping machine and can be set up to work well with various types of applications.

 

2. Straddle Wrapper

With straddle stretch wrappers the load stays immobile while a wrap delivery system spins around the load being packaged. This kind of wrapper can wrap unstable, light weight, and heavier loads and is capable of wrapping from low to high volumes.

 

3. Orbital Wrapper

An orbital wrapper (also known as a "ringer") wraps a pallet by going over and under the load being packaged as the load travels on a conveyor into the machine. Orbital wrappers are primarily used for packaging flattened or oddly shaped items such as pipes, rolled carpets, windows, etc.

 

4. Ring Straddle Wrapper

Ring straddle wrappers are fast wrappers which are generally able to wrap 200 loads per hour. These machines are often found in the toiletry and beverage industries. They are extremely specialized devices and only make up a small portion of the stretch wrapping machines currently in use.

Straddle pallet wrappers allow for the load to stay still while the wrap delivery system spins around the pallet. It then pistons up and down while the film is evenly distributed around the pallet.


Pallet Wrappers VS Manual Wrapping

A fair amount of companies choose to utilize a stretch wrap dispenser and manual labor to wrap their pallets in lieu of a machine. And while many companies assume that they are saving money by using human labor versus purchasing a pallet wrapper, this is often not the case.

 

Depending on what you are paying your employees who manually wrap your pallets in addition to the number of employees you employ for this task, you could actually be losing money with a significantly higher TCO (or total cost of ownership).

 

Hand stretching is far slower and a human can only stretch the wrap at an average of 10% to 20%. Machine applied stretch wrap applies 200% to 300% to the stretch length consistently! Getting a quote for a pallet wrapper and looking at the TCO (total cost of ownership) of each option is an important comparison to make.

 

What Are The Most Reliable Stretch Wrappers?

When it comes to stretch wrappers, Lantech is our go-to source for all things stretch wrapping machinery. Their reliability is second to none. They are the best in the industry for this particular type of equipment. They archive the records of all of their various models, which makes service calls an absolute breeze.

 

Their machines are famous for peak performance that goes on for decades (when coupled with proper usage and a quality preventative maintenance program). Lantech is capable of accessing extremely antiquated information from as long as 35 years ago.

 

They are able to provide documentation on everything that went into the equipment. Many competitors do not keep records in this fashion. This is but one of the multiple reasons they are the rock stars of pallet wrappers. Take their famous Q-300 model for example:

Lantech Stretch Wrappers Q300

Lantech Q 300

Specifications

  • Peak Production Speed Up to 25-35 loads/hr
  • Load Size Diagonal (Recommended) 1829 mm (72")
  • Maximum Load Wrap Height 2032 mm (80")
  • Maximum Load Weight 1814 kg (4000 lbs)
Load Handling
  • Turntable Speed (Variable) 12 RPM
  • Turntable Size 1651 mm (65") diameter
  • Turntable Drive 3/4 HP TEFC
Warranty:
  • 5 Years. Unlimited Cycles. All components covered


• Maximum versatility. Wraps large, tall, heavy or fragile loads including doors, windows and more!
• Choose from hundreds of options to customize your machine to meet your specific requirements.
• The utmost in safety. No pinch points or trip hazards. All motors and wires are completely enclosed.
• Intuitive controls require little or no training

Base Price Starting At $10,395

What Are The Different Types Of Machine Stretch Films?

Machine stretch film was created to be used by a stretch wrap machine. It has the upper hand over hand film in various ways including but not limited to; quicker and greater efficiency in packaging, lower material spend, greater safety and superior load containment. It also comes on larger, much heavier rolls, making it a poor choice for manual wrapping!

There are several kinds of machine stretch films which we will review next.

 

Cast Stretch Film

Cast stretch film is made by applying a comprehensive manufacturing operation called cast extrusion. This action mandates the continual thrusting of a thermoplastic substrate into a flat die and onto a cooled roll.

 

The film gauge is resolved by how quickly the casting roll drags the plastic away from the die. This treatment causes cast films to boast superior clarity, allowing for end users to observe the wrapped objects easily through the film. This film stretches easier due to the molecules being aligned as they are extruded.

 

Cast stretch film is exceedingly quiet when being removed from the roll and is fairly simple to stretch. Cast stretch film also provides two-sided cling that grants wrapped products the ability to remain tightly secured during transportation.

 

While cast stretch film has multiple fantastic attributes such as a more affordable cost than blown film, it is not as durable as blown film in sustaining strength or protection against tearing. Cast stretch film is generally able to stretch with ease, but does not have as robust of a stretch memory as some other films.

 

Blown Stretch Film

Blown stretch film is created through a function called blown extrusion. This operation involves plastic melt being pushed into a circular slit die which in turn results in a refined tube. Next, air is pushed into the tube granting the volume of air enclosed to expand the tube to the optimal width.

 

The very tall tube is topped with an air ring which is then blown onto the substrate to chill. This operation of chilling the material provides the blown film with greater strength and more flexibility than other wraps.

 

As blown film is generally stronger than the majority of other stretch wraps, it also boasts a greater resistance to tearing. This is advantageous when containing loads that have pointy edges, making them vulnerable to collapsing thinner films. Blown films provide a high degree of memory when stretched. This means that packages remain secured.

 

Unfortunately, blown film is more expensive and has poorer transparency compared to other films. It also produces what some consider an annoying level of noise when compared to other similar substrates.

 

Pre-Stretch Film

Pre-stretched film is expanded near its breaking point before it is wrapped onto rolls. This film does not necessitate as much energy as other stretch films to achieve the same wrapping force. Pre-stretched film consumption often uses around 50% less material than other stretch films, making for significant cost reductions in material spend.

Sealers

Sealers are the machines in your packaging line that sit prior to the heat tunnel for shrink film applications. A conveyor sends your products down a line where they are placed inside of a shrink film bag. Next, the products pass under a heating element which descends from above, clamping down upon the bag and sealing it.
 
This takes place on both sides of your product producing contents that are now loosely sealed inside of a shrink film bag. Finally, the product moves into the heat tunnel where the film is heated, uniformly wrapping the shrink film around your product.

L Bar Sealers

 

L Bar and L Sealers are the same device. They are referred to in these names because the two seal arms look like an “L”. These are manual machines and they are available in a variety of sizes. This type of sealer requires an operator to load the product into the film and then pull or activate the frame to come down and seal the film. Some L sealers have an automated conveyor that the package sits on so when the seal bar comes up, the conveyor takes the package and introduces it to the shrink tunnel.

 

Some of the more common options available for these machines are:

  • Combo tunnel and sealer on a common frame. This eliminates an extra electrical drop and is typically more compact.
  • Magnetic hold down. This allows good pressure on the seal frame to ensure a good seal.
  • Hot knife vs. Hot Wire: The hot knife is maintained at a constant temperature and is always the correct temperature to seal the film. As for the hot wire, it gets activated and is impulse past the optimal sealing temp and then hits the optimal temp as it cools off. A hot knife negates the need to replace the wires but if the Teflon coating gets scratched on the hot knife, it can be costly to replace.
  • Inverting head:  allows for a more convenient way to introduce the package into the film as it keeps the film open. Unless adjustable, this may require a larger film to run.
 

Lap Seal vs. Side Seal Machines

 

This is basically a material consumption vs. flexibility decision. Depending on the unique requirements of your packaging line, one option may be a better choice than the other. Be sure to discuss each option with your packaging machinery vendor.

 

Lap Sealers

EXTREME-LAP-SEAL

  • Lap Seal Machines are scrapless systems
  • Offer significant savings in film usage, reducing material cost for every product that you wrap
  • This savings can range from 10% to 30%
  • Environmentally friendly (no scrap)
  • Important for your sustainability program
  • Eliminate the need to collect and dispose of the scrap
  • Require special tooling for each product  (a film forming plow)
  • This is an expense
  • Use singlewound shrink film, rather than centerfolded film
  • Requires longer lead time and potentially higher inventory
  • Require a specific film width for each set of tooling

Side Sealers

Kallfass 1

Allow for easy product changeovers
  • Don’t require product specific change parts
  • Generate scrap, which you pay for and must dispose of
  • Allows flexibility of shrink film selection
  • You can substitute a wider than necessary film width if you are in a jam, but you will generate extra scrap and extra cost.

 

If you produce many SKU’s, need lots of flexibility, have lots of short runs, a side sealer might be for you.  If you have sustained runs of specific products, a lap sealer could save you a lot of money

No matter what you are choosing when making an equipment purchase, its always best to have a knowledgeable Equipment Specialist on your side. Talk to a packaging professional to find the optimal equipment for your needs.

Shrink Tunnel

Shrink Tunnels

Shrink tunnels are a staple of countless packaging lines. When set up with the right temperature settings, they are packaging powerhouses and a sight to behold. They work by conveying products that have been placed inside of a shrink bag made from shrink film through a heated tunnel that causes the heat-sensitive film to shrink uniformly around the product inside.

Airflow from the machine prevents the products from getting too hot. If a product is particularly sensitive, special heat-sensing tapes are run through the machine to detect if the product is appropriate for packaging with a heat tunnel. If the tapes detect that a heat tunnel is not appropriate for packaging your product, other options can be suggested by your local packaging professionals.

How Much Does A Shrink Tunnel Cost?

There are various elements of a shrink tunnel that will effect the total purchase price of the machine. From the type and gauge of shrink film that you choose run to the optional items you add-on to the machine, there are various things that can increase or decrease your total purchase price.

Below is an example that will give you a solid understanding of the total cost of a tunnel. Keep in mind, higher speeds and different options bring on different models and larger investments. 

 

Kallfass COMPACT 650 S

Compact and energy saving shrink tunnel with patented ring nozzle heating system and especially effective regulation of the air volume. Equipped with a plastic mesh conveyor, for low maintenance and superior shrink results. This tunnel is ideally suitable for the shrinkage of small to medium size products with medium capacity requirements.

Included Features:

  • Variable transport speed and blower speed
  • Maintenance free plastic mesh conveyor
  • Automatic cool down with automatic power shut off
  • Energy saving two (2) stage heating system
  • Wear free heating system without contactors
  • Tornado style air flow system to prevent dog ears and burn outs

Base Machine Cost (Includes NO additional options): $21,900

Technical Specifications:

  • Maximum Speeds: 100 PPM
  • Clearance in Height: 8” max.
  • Maximum Product Dimensions: approx. 22” W x 7” H x random length
  • Conveyor Speed: 115 feet per minute
  • Voltage: 208V – 480V, 3 Phase with Ground (specify with order)


Additional Options:

  • Clearance in height 12” or 16” \ $1,500
  • Special color (structure lacquer, monochromatic) $500
  • Tunnel casters $500
  • Plugs for power and signal connection to machine $ 500
  • Lockable cover for controls $ 300
  • Tunnel chamber with window and light $ 2,400

Types Of Shrink Materials Used

Shink tunnels generally use three basic types of shrink films. These include polyolefin, polyvinylchloride, and polyethylene. Each type of film has its own unique formulations and differences from one film to the next.

Depending on what type of product you are packaging, certain films may be better than others. For example, while only some types of PVC are certified food grade, all polyolefin films are food grade and FDA approved.  

 

Environmental Concerns

For those who have concerns about the environmental impact of the materials that shrink tunnels run (shrink film is a type of plastic) it would do you well to understand a very important fact..

Shrink film is currently the most environmentally friendly material for the applications it is used for and IT. IS. RECYCLABLE...

 

Shrink films take up less space on our store shelves as well as within our landfills. Their carbon footprint is significantly less than other alternatives such as glass, metal, cardboard and paper.

 

WHY? Glad you asked... The weight and size of materials like glass, metal and paper add significant additional shipping costs and further negative influence on the environment to every single item shipped in the world. 

 

While this may be a hard pill to swallow, the unfortunate truth is that the science of sustainability not only supports these claims, but puts them front and center of the climate debate to those who have ears to listen...

 

In fact a 2014 study conducted by the Franklin Associates discovered that using packaging alternatives in the United States other than the plastics currently used and researched in the study (stretch, shrink, caps and beverage containers, bagging, rigid) would increase energy usage by 80%. The impact of greenhouse gas emissions would increase by over 130%...

 

What many people are unaware of is that most shrink film is actually recyclable as they are made of recyclable plastics. Many people assume that shrink film is not recyclable because although the plastic IS recyclable, most towns do not have the proper infrastructure and recycling facilities to handle soft plastics. However, there are companies in the waste management industry such as Rubicon who offer recycling services and programs specifically for the recycling of shrink films.

 

Furthermore, depending on the volume of films you are using, you may actually be able to turn a profit from recycling them!

 

Spotlight: Light Gauge Printed Shrink Film

Light gauge printed shrink film is (as the name implies) a lighter thickness of printed shrink film. Boasting all the benefits of regular printed shrink film, the one major added benefit from light gauge printed shrink film is that by utilizing less material, you get all the best elements of printed shrink but with a lower price point and environmental impact.

 

What are the benefits of light gauge printed shrink film?

 

Greater Shelf Appeal

When you have your products packaged in printed shrink film, they will most certainly stand out among your competitors products who utilize clear shrink film or other non-printed packaging materials. In our modern world where every brand is vying for the attention of the consumer, printed shrink film gives you an upper hand in shelf appeal over those who do not use eye catching graphics on their packaging materials. 

 

High Visibility

Because of the ability to use high contrast full color imagery from the bold inks used in light gauge printed shrink film, products packaged with this material are far more visually pleasing than regular clear shrink films and other non printed packaging materials.

 

Blocks out individual UPCs

Low gauge printed shrink film is also useful for blocking out individual UPCs while showcasing printed content on all sides of a multipack. For some multipacks, it is often used to eliminate expensive and less sustainable options such as paperboard boxes. This makes for a more simplified packaging process and also provides a nicer looking multipack when compared to competitors who use clear shrink film and other non-printed packaging substrates.

What Are The Most Reliable Shrink Tunnels?

While there are multiple OEMs producing shrink tunnels, we have found that the most reliable shrink tunnels are produced by Kallfass and Extreme. Both feature extremely high-quality parts and materials and are considered leaders of the pack when it comes to this particular type of packaging machinery.

Our team finds that the Kallfass Universa 500 and Servos machines rate as the best overall.

 

Common Shrink Tunnel Issues & Possible Fixes

As with any type of machinery, shrink tunnels and the materials run through them have common issues that can arise due to certain variables such as temperature. Here are a few of the most common problems that arise when the temperature is not optimized correctly.

 

Flat Films Not Coming Off The Roll

○ When layers of flat film stick together, it’s called “blocking.” Usually, the film has been in excessive storage temperatures, which causes it to fuse together.

 

Jagged Seals Or Incomplete Cut-Offs

○ Seals that look torn, incomplete, or jagged suggest that seal temperatures are too low. Try turning the heat up at 25°F increments until the film has a clean seal and sharp cut-off.

 

● Shrink Bags Take Too Long To Seal

○ Dwell time (how long it takes for the film to seal when the seal jaws are closed) varies. If dwell times are rising, it suggests that the temperature is too low, and vice versa.

 

Strands Known As “Angel Hair” Start Showing Up Near The Seal

○ Strands that look like hair can appear between the sealed shrink film and the sealing mechanism. These are caused by the sealing wire or seal bar not being hot enough.

 

● Smoking Film Or Build Up

○ Smoking and polymer build-up on a pad demonstrate excessive heat. Worn pads can also create polymer buildup and smoking. It’s best to reduce excessive sealing head pressure and align them.

 

Of course, for every problem, there is a solution and for these issues above, honing in the correct temperature will largely fix all of them.

 

Temperature Restrictions On Shrink Film

 

What temperature should you store your shrink film at?

When storing your shrink film prior to use, make sure that you have a general idea of the best practices for the extremes of both summer and winter storage. During these times of the year, temperature restrictions are of utmost importance for these materials. If shrink film gets too hot, it can melt and stick to itself. If shrink film gets too cold, it can become brittle and crack.

 

Overall, shrink film is best stored in temperatures between 30 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Naturally, summer and winter are the seasons which require you to be most attentive to your storage environment.

 

What temperature should you should you run shrink film at in your heat tunnel?

The inside of your heat tunnel is an important dynamic to have locked in prior to packaging your product. The correct temperature for your product depends on which kind of substrate is being utilized. Furthermore, the appropriate heat for your product also depends on the gauge of your shrink film. More often than not, the most typical type of material run through a heat tunnel is 45 - 75 gauge PVC or polyolefin shrink film.

 

Let's run over a hypothetical situation that will allow you to better understand heat restrictions for your shrink films as they are passing through your heat tunnel. Say you are currently running a 75 gauge PVC shrink film:

 

An appropriate setting for PVC would be between 215 – 235 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, if you are going to use a polyolefin film with a gauge of 75, then an appropriate temperature for your heat tunnel would be about 255 – 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind, these are just ballpark figures and depending on the dynamics of your equipment, materials and product, your actual settings may vary.

Visual-Blister-Machine-2

Carded Packaging Machines

Carded packaging machines place the products they are packaging into a plastic shell that is backed either with a piece of blister board or another piece of plastic. The three types of carded packaging include blister packs, skin packs, and clamshells. Blister packs and skin packs feature plastic shells that are fitted with blister board backers while clamshells are made entirely out of plastic shells that close like their namesake shellfish.

Blister Pack Machines

Blister Package | Buying Packaging Machinery | Industrial Packaging

Blister pack machines come in automatic and semi-automatic models. They feature rotating sections that hold the plastic portion of the blister pack in place. As the portion of the machine that rotates spins around, the empty plastic shells are either manually or automatically filled with the products to be placed inside. Next, the blister board backers are placed on the back of the plastic shell either by hand or by machine with an adhesive and the blister pack is completed.

 

Skin Pack Machines

Skin Pack

While skin packs and blister packs share some similarities, the machine that creates the two items are very different from each other. Skin pack machines feature a platform where the blister board or backing substrate rests. The objects to be packaged are then placed upon the board. The machine then applies a heated layer of soft plastic that forms itself over the objects.

Vacuum sealing is occasionally implemented to ensure a tight fit. The substrate then bonds to the heat-seal coating on the cardboard.

 

Clamshell Machines

Clamshell Packaging

There is a distinct difference between clamshells and blister packs. Clamshells are one-piece molded plastic with a hinge. They can be sealed with a variety of methods including buttons, pressed fit closures, staples, heat, RF, etc. The big factor is closing the lid automatically which can be done but this requires a lot more space.

 

Why Carded Packaging?

For many products, carded packaging such as blister packs, skin packs and clamshells simply make the most sense. For some products, these packaging supplies offer a visual appeal or safety dynamics you could not get otherwise. 

 

For example, blister packs are commonly used to package fishing lures as they offer protection from the hooks while simultaneously providing a clear window to view the product contained within.

 

Skin packaging adds a certain shelf appeal to tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, and hammers. As skin packs are often sealed to match the shape of the product within, they allow potential buyers to more closely inspect the contents of the package physically while also holding the items within securely.

 

Finally, blister board backers can be printed with an eye-catching array of graphics, text, imagery and photographic elements that can be merchandised in retail situations vertically with the addition of a die-cutting hole. These dynamics allow for unique presentations in retail settings that will help your product stick out from the rest.

Additionally, you can choose to have a front facing board with multiple colors while having a more simplified rear-facing board with a single color, potentially reducing overall packaging costs.

 

Is Carded Packaging Right For You? If So Which Type?

When your company is trying to figure out which type of packaging supplies are right for your business and products, you may want to contact an expert and get an audit of both your packaging machinery and the products that you are packaging.

 

You may find that blister packaging is a perfect fit for all of your products. On the other hand, if your products come in various shapes and sizes you may want to use a combination of skin, blister and clamshell packaging to ensure that each product is packaged correctly.

 

Speaking with a packaging specialist will help you to identify the best option(s) based upon your budget and the related dynamics of your packaging line. An analysis of your packaging processes may also offer the opportunity to save money while reducing your impact on the environment.

Case Erectors And Form, Fill And Seal Machines

 

Case Erectors

 
Case erectors are machines that unfold or erect cardboard boxes to be filled with product. There are manual, semi-automatic and automatic versions of this type of machine. On a manual machine, a human is required to unfold the box, fold and or tape the flaps of the box into form by hand or by a taping machine and the box is then sent down a conveyor or handed off to the next employee. 
 
Semi-automatic erectors, complete the second and/or third steps automatically via a conveyor belt that moves the box through areas that force it into the correct shape. The erected box is then moved into a pile by conveyor or by hand.
 
An automatic case erector uses mechanical elements such as a robotic arm to remove a box from a pile, unfold it and place it onto an automated conveyor belt. The box then travels the conveyor and it is filled with product and sealed either mechanically or by simple human interaction.
 

Form, Fill and Seal Machines

 
Form, fill and seal machines do exactly what their name implies. At one end of the machine is a roll of substrate, IE: soft plastic. The machine pulls the substrate down a conveyor and forms it into the shape of a container (such as a pouch).
 
Next, the machine pulls each container further down the line and funnels are used to slip contents such as food, liquids or powders into the newly formed containers.
 
These containers are then sealed shut with heating elements before they pass to the end of the machine and are conveyed into a cardboard box or similar container for transportation and shipping.
 

Collaborative Robots

A collaborative robot (or CO-BOT) is a robot made to interact and coexist with human counterparts in a shared physical space. 

 

A collaborative robot is a single or double robotic arm that can be trained to mimic motions or gestures. These robots can repeat the task over and over again. Some of these robots will improve upon the trained motions. After learning from the repetition of movements, they can learn to do better work.

 

These co-bots are also designed with safety measures. They have sensors which detect when a human counterpart enters a collaborative space. When this happens, the robot will slow down or come to a complete stop. When the human leaves the collaborative space, the robot continues to work.

 

Many companies use collaborative packaging robots to generate efficiencies in their operations. Collaborative packaging robots help companies get their products onto store shelves.

 

Collaborative packaging robots can be automated to increase their own productivity. They can adapt to constant changes in the consumer market. Co-pack robots are an excellent choice for many sorting and packaging responsibilities. They give their human counterparts the ability to focus on other work while they complete the more simple and repetitive work.

"We have been purchasing packaging materials from Industrial Packaging for over 40 years. Needless to say, we have found them to be creative, competitive and dependable."

Jeff, Vice President of Sales, Ampac Enterprises

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What Benefits Does Packaging Machinery Offer?

While it is technically possible to run a packaging department almost exclusively on human physical labor, most of the time it is neither a good or correct solution.

 

It is true that packaging machinery comes with a significant up-front financial cost, but the dividends that a quality packaging line with robust machinery can payout are worth their weight in gold. Below, we will take a look at the many benefits of using packaging machinery on your packaging line.

Production

When it comes to producing a large number of quality products, a robust packaging line can make or break a company. This is especially true if you are producing a high volume of products in a short amount of time.

 

Sure, you can lean heavily on manual labor, packing tables, cardboard boxes, tape and hand film. That being said, is it really a sound investment if your volume is more than your team can manage consistently?

 

Investing tens, hundreds or in some cases millions, of dollars into packaging machinery can be daunting, but the money that this machinery can save for your company over the longterm can make the investment worth it.

 

Furthermore, with financing and leasing options, getting your hands on the packaging equipment you need to take your production and your company to the next level is easier than it has ever been in the history of packaging.

 

Total Cost of Ownership

The total cost of ownership is one of the most important dynamics to consider when you are weighing your options in regards to your packaging department. With the right packaging machinery, you will require a smaller labor force, therefore paying out significantly fewer wages.

 

Indeed, packaging machinery can come with a relatively large price tag, but when you take the total cost of ownership of a semi or fully automated packaging line and compare it to a warehouse full of manual laborers, the numbers begin to lean in the direction of machinery as the most viable option for success.

 

Taking the time to compare what you are paying for your labor force (not only in money and time but also in regards to hiring, firing, sick time and vacation) to a primarily mechanized line may surprise you. Chances are, you may very well find that in reality, a machinery driven packaging line with a few well trained and dedicated operators is the better choice both financially and logistics wise.

 

In other cases, you may find that right now is not the time to seek out the investment, but its worth reviewing on a regular basis to make sure you are considering your overall costs and your future business goals and expectations.

Speed

Packaging machinery allows you to package more products per hour than physical labor. When the speed of getting your product to market is an important dynamic for your business, ensuring that you are running packaging machinery vs. physical labor is extremely important.

Human beings simply cannot package products as quickly or efficiently as an automated or semi-automated mechanical packaging line.

 

Reliability

Packaging machinery does not take sick, personal or vacation time. While downtime may occur due to mechanical failure or a broken part, these issues are easily remedied, and are few and far between when you plan your downtime. When coupled with a regular preventative maintenance program, a mechanical packaging line can save you thousands of wasted dollars and hours per year.

 

An Eye Towards The Future

As packaging machinery technology advances, we are going to see major leaps in speed, quality and most importantly, automation. Packaging machinery is going to the robots  and they are going to become the norm on the best packaging lines throughout the world for various reasons. The better prepared you are for this transition, the better off your company will be.

 

Production line automation allows companies to leverage ingenuity and efficiency without sacrificing craftsmanship or quality. With an automated production line, you never have to worry about employees getting sick, you can rest assured that production levels will remain high, and you can feel confident knowing that the end product will be made to a consistently higher standard.

 

Robotic packaging automation, in particular, mimics human movements to take the human being out of the process without sacrificing the yield of the process. This does not eliminate the need for good staff. Instead, it provides an opportunity to remove the repetitive, unskilled tasks that many humans find boring and unfulfilling yet are critical to meeting production needs.

 

In other words, robotic packaging automation provides an opportunity to maximize your staff while maintaining or increasing productivity. That’s a win/win situation for you, your employees and your company.

The Packaging Machinery Pre-Investment Checklist

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What Is The Cost Of Using Packaging Machinery?

In order to understand the cost of your packaging machinery, you must first understand your particular needs, the type of machine you require and the additional options you want for your specific applications. It is important to also consider adding a contracted preventative maintenance plan or hiring a dedicated service technician to plan your downtime on your own terms.

 

With all of these factors in mind, the truth is that the cost of your packaging machinery is extremely case sensitive. Which is to say, the expense associated with your packaging line may vary greatly from your competitors. As each packaging line is unique with their own array of machinery, materials, energy requirements, operators, geographical location and etc., the cost associated from one line to the next is rarely identical.

 

In the section below, we will take a look at the various dynamics of a packaging line and the associated costs related to purchasing machinery, materials and the other elements needed to properly run your equipment. There are 3 steps here, so be sure to swipe or click across them all.

Steps To Understanding The Cost of Packaging Machinery

Ask Questions

Step 1. 7 Questions To Ask

  1. When you think of cost, what is the first thing that comes to mind?
    • Price of purchase?
    • Cost of ownership?
    • Cash?
  2. Is the purchase price more important to you than the performance of the machine?
    • If so, will it still be in 3-5 years?
  3. How often will you be using the machine?
    • Twice a week?
    • 24/7?
  4. How capable are your internal maintenance technician(s)?
  5. Can you work with sophisticated equipment or do you need basic controls?
  6. Are your machine operators going to be assigned mainly to this line, or will they move around?
  7. Do you like to be on the leading edge of technology, or would you rather leave the newest packaging technologies to the adventurers in your industry?
Wondering business man with a question mark isolated over white
Materials Usage

Step 2. Determine Your Film Usage

Next, you’ll need to become more familiar with the math involved in your packaging materials. Lets take shrink film for example. Price per roll is an important dynamic to consider, however, your price per package is even more important. Understanding what each package costs, how to calculate it and how you can save money will put you in a much better position to budget appropriately and maximize cost efficiency.

 

The math starts with a determination of your actual film usage and then leads into your actual cost per package:

 

Film length divided by film cut-off, minus the rewrap percentage, equals your film usage. Let’s say, for example, that your film length is the standard 4,375 feet per roll for 60-gauge center-folded film. Converted to inches, that is 52,500. Assume the film cut-off is 11 inches. If you divide this, it comes to roughly 4,772 packages per roll. Subtract the rewrap percentage of, say, 3%, and you get roughly 4,629 packages per roll of film.

 

MATH EQUATION:

4,375 feet per roll = 52,500 inches per roll

52,500 ÷ 11 inches of film cut-off = 4,772.73 packages per roll

4,772 × .03 re-wrap percentage = 143.16

4,772 - 143.16 = 4,629.57 packages per roll of film

discount symbol illustration isolated over a white background
Price Per Package

Step 3. Determine Your Price Per Package

This is much simpler math, as it’s just how much each roll costs you to purchase, divided by your film usage. So let’s say you are paying $128 per roll of film. Divide this number by 4,629 packages and then multiply by 1,000. You come up with a true package cost of $27.65 per thousand packages.

 

MATH EQUATION:

$128 per roll

4,629.57 packages per roll

128 ÷ 4,629.57 = .2765

.2765 × 1,000 = $27.65 per thousand packages

 

Use these calculations to formulate a solid expectation of your shrink wrap package price. Then consider the following tips for reducing that number.

Reduce-manufacturing-costs

Negotiate Your Equipment Costs

When meeting with your sales rep, ask about special offers, rebates and additional opportunities to reduce the cost of your purchase. Packaging machinery is a big investment and there may be various ways in which you can reduce the price of your purchase.

 

Keep It Simple

When buying a packaging machine you are likely going to get an offer from various sales reps. Unfortunately, many sales professionals will try to sell you a Cadillac when all you really need is a Toyota. When getting quotes from your chosen vendors be sure to ask about getting a base machine with no bells and whistles and only adding the options you actually need to successfully package your products.

 

It is also important to ask for quotes from several different manufacturers. Sometimes you can get a virtually identical offering from one company that is thousands of dollars less than their competitors despite any major difference between theirs and the other vendors machinery.

 

Truth be told, sometimes you are simply paying extra for a brand name. When it comes to packaging equipment, buying a product because it is the most famous brand in the industry does not always translate to the best packaged goods.  You may actually get a better machine from a lesser known brand that packages your product perfectly.

 

Weigh Your Options

There are several dynamics for purchasing packaging machinery and their associated operation that is not a cookie-cutter solution for every business. There are some aspects of buying and running packaging machinery in which there are at least two options. One option may be right for your business and wrong for the next. These include:

 

  1. Buying new, used or refurbished equipment. Each of these options come with very different price points and their own major strengths and weaknesses. As for which is right for you, this will largely depend on your budget, products and the materials you choose to run on your equipment.

  2. Hiring versus contracting technical service. For some companies with large productions and a packaging line that runs 24/7, a dedicated in house service technician may be a good investment, but it is not the best fit or the right choice for all companies.

  3. Working with a distributor versus buying direct. Each of these options has various pros and cons. Which makes the most sense for your business? That is entirely dependent upon your unique needs. Getting quotes from both a distributor and an OEM will allow you to compare the pros and cons of each and make an educated decision on which vendor is a better fit for your company.

 

Preventative Maintenance

A preventative maintenance plan is an additional cost to consider when buying packaging equipment, but it will save you thousands of dollars. When parts wear out, they can cause breakdowns that may result in extensive downtime and lead to highly costly repairs. If you are on top of regular maintenance, you will reduce the risk of more damage.

 

Damage may occur to other parts of your machinery when a worn out part fails, let alone the risk of injury to your workforce. A regular preventative maintenance plan will greatly reduce downtime, keep your machinery running at peak performance and ensure quick repairs and service calls.

 

Try Different Material Formulations

A different material formulation may reduce your cost on the machinery that runs it. IE: stretch wrappers and shrink machinery. What many companies often overlook is that there could be more than one kind of material that works for a particular product.

 

Get A Machinery Analysis

Bring in a rep from a couple of different vendors and have them run an analysis of your current packaging line. This will give both of you a large collection of valuable information about your particular packaging process such as your current equipment, materials, and procedures. This information will allow you and your rep to find ways to improve upon your current processes before upgrading to new machinery.

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What Other Considerations Are Important For Purchasing Packaging Machinery?

It is important to identify some specifics about your product to be packaged before buying a piece of packaging machinery. For example, the materials that you will be running on your line are an important consideration when planning to buy new equipment.

 

If you are going to be buying shrink film machinery, you will want to look at all the different kinds of shrink film as well as the various gauges of films that are available. Choosing the wrong type, gauge and size of the film can cost your business thousands of dollars over time.

 

Some of the packaging considerations you’ll need to be aware of include:

 

  • What type of product you are packaging
  • The product’s weight, shape, and dimensions
  • Your objectives for color and labeling
  • Whether the film can be printed to meet your needs
  • How the product will be packaged into the flexible film (manually or via machine, and what type of machine)
  • The product’s journey from creation to shipment to the shelf and beyond
  • Whether it will be handled often and/or subject to rough handling
  • The types of climates/environments it will experience
  • Whether it requires specific film additives to keep it fresh (e.g., oxygen or moisture barrier)
  • Requirements for anti-tampering and security of the finished good

 

Key Consideration: Working With A Distributor VS. Buying Direct

When you are trying to figure out where you should buy your packaging machinery from, choosing to go direct to the manufacturer is a common choice. After all, who knows their machinery better than the people who are building said machines? You can be sure that the manufacturer knows their equipment inside and out. As such, they should be able to answer your most discerning questions.

 

That being said, the manufacturer will obviously be biased when answering questions like "which is the best brand of packaging machinery to buy" or "which manufacturer offers the best service"?

 

Now, just as there are various ups and downs when buying from an OEM, so it is with a distributor. From cost of goods to customer service and quality in repair work, distributors have their strengths and weaknesses.

 

Depending on various factors including your geographical location, budget restraints and other dynamics such as your production lines current infrastructure, a distributor may or may not be the best choice for your company.

 

There is an absolute myriad of considerations when choosing packaging equipment and materials are one of the most important items to consider. In addition to packaging machinery and materials, the environment and atmosphere also are important dynamics to ponder. Working with a distributor will allow you to review a plethora of options and they will be able to help you acquire the right information, advice and products for your needs.

 

Key Consideration: Extreme Temperatures
Extreme heat or cold must be offset by heating or cooling systems where extreme temperatures are the norm. Whether this means you live in a place where it is always one extreme or the next, or if you live in an area that can see both extremes throughout the year, ensuring that you have the proper heating and cooling systems in place is something to take seriously.

 

 

Key Consideration: Environmental Concerns

When it comes to the environment and packaging machinery, one thing is for sure. You do not want to run pneumatic machinery. Pneumatic technology is not only extremely outdated, but it is also bad for the environment as it uses an excessive amount of electricity.

 

Some machines have completely eliminated pneumatic components all together which results in huge cost savings as compressed air is one of the costliest utilities in a plant.

 

Benefits of using non-pneumatic machinery includes:

 

  • Top level performance with light gauge films, as well as, PE films.
  • No Product/No Bag. So, you’re not disposing of material.
  • 10-15% film savings on average.
  • Energy regeneration with every cycle.

 

Since air cylinders wear, eliminating pneumatics will reduce purchasing replacements and the disposal of them as well. Some non-pneumatic machines also offer what is called “servo technology” which does not require you to add additional floor space and multiple conveyors to get the correct spacing between products.

 

Other machines also offer what is known as “lean technology” which eliminates film breaks. This means you don’t have to re-wrap loads and throw extra material away. Typically, machines with lean technology use less material with a special metered film delivery system.

 

In addition to negating or removing pneumatic technology from your packaging line, being sure to run environmentally friendly materials is also an important consideration.

 

While much of the metals that make up packaging machinery can be recycled, certain materials can not or simply are not recycled.

 

When choosing materials for your packaging it is important to consider using flexible packaging materials like shrink film and stretch film in place of high carbon footprint items such as glass, metal, and cardboard.

 

While also being considerably cheaper than these other materials, shrink film and stretch film are in fact completely recyclable. And with a significantly lower carbon footprint than the aforementioned alternatives, flexible packaging materials are in fact a far better choice for the environment.

 

Key Consideration: Moving Your Production Line

Depending on the types of machinery you are running and how said equipment is laid out, it would be wise to create a plan for moving the right equipment at the right time. Depending on the size, electrical requirements, physical location on your line and weight of your machinery, some planning ahead of time is an important dynamic of this process.

 

Reaching out to your packaging machinery and materials representative to help you formulate a plan based on the dynamics above will allow you to take a preemptive strike against unnecessary or repetitive actions during the transportation and installation of your machinery in its new location.

 

Depending on the flow of your packaging line, certain machinery should be installed first to ensure an efficient and timely installation. As for which machine you should move first, well, this is case sensitive for every business and should be decided by you and your technical service contact.

 

Key Consideration: Should You Buy Or Lease Your Machinery?

Buying new machinery is a big investment for many companies and often times buyers are unsure or uneducated about the process. One very important consideration to think of right off the bat is, should you buy or lease the machinery you are planing to acquire?

 

The truth is neither option is one size fits all. Each has their own pros an cons and a different set of applications and line dynamics that would suggest one superior to the other. Ultimately your unique needs, layout and budget will determine which option is best for your business.

 

There are however some considerations to ponder that will help you to decide which option is best for your packaging line and the unique applications in which it is involved. So with that in mind, lets review a few key elements of choosing to buy or lease your packaging machinery.

 

1. Focus on Your Overall Needs and Time frame.

Capital investments should be made strategically and with the future in mind. Some of the things you'll want to consider when vetting leasing new packaging machinery over financing include how much you plan to use the machinery, how many machines you will be looking to acquire, potential investors in your business and last but not least, your balance sheets.

 

2. What is Your Budget?

Does it make more sense to buy your machinery outright or do you need to start out with leasing based on your budget? In evaluating/making a purchasing decision on equipment, people sometimes confuse the ability to justify the purchase with the ability to pay for the purchase. The ability to justify the purchase (ROI) is based on a business decision that the payback meets your requirements for investment.

 

3. What Type of Technology Do You Need?

If you want to have the best machinery on the market, you may have to do a little extra digging to find newer technologies that offer the best lease options for your business. That isn't to say that they won't be available, it just may take some extra legwork and research. Therefore, having a supplier that has experience in equipment leasing within the packaging industry is important.

How To Choose A Packaging Machinery And Materials Supplier:

When it comes to choosing a supplier for your packaging materials and machinery, it is important to do your homework and ask yourself a few questions. You should investigate at least three different suppliers and learn about several important dynamics from each of them.

 

Location: It is a good idea to choose a packaging machinery supplier who is relatively close to your geographical location or can easily travel to you. This will have an impact on your business when there is a need for repairs or emergency service for your equipment. Pick a supplier who is in another country and you may find yourself dead in the water for days on end. Choosing a supplier with technicians who are local is always a smart idea. When it comes to your materials, you don't have to be as worried about the physical location as most supplies can be shipped timely.

 

Technicians: It is important to choose a packaging machine supplier with experienced and certified technicians who are professionally trained to work on your packaging equipment. Without the proper certifications, you are taking a chance with your equipment. You could end up paying big when risking service with non-certified techs.

 

Customer Service: It may be tempting to source the cheapest packaging materials in an attempt to save money, but if you buy from a company with poor customer service, you may end up losing the anticipated savings anyway. Poor service often means lost dollars. Check out reviews of each vendor and if possible, reach out to current customers and ask about their vendor's customer service and if they would recommend buying from them.

 

Cost: There is an old saying in the packaging industry and that is "shrink film is shrink film". While there are some brands with flashy marketing and sales gimmicks with a premium price, chances are, there are several less costly alternatives that are of equal quality. If you are looking for comparisons, there are generally low-cost films that have lower clarity and higher-cost films that will shine more and have better clarity. Choosing an inexpensive film may cost you in shelf presence.

 

Snake oil and elevator pitches can blur the line between reality and illusion. At the end of the day, you will want to purchase from an honest supplier who carries multiple offerings at different price points and provides superior customer service.

 

Parts: Depending on how often your machinery is running, your downtime due to repair needs or emergency service will vary. As time is money, it is important to ask your machine supplier about lead times, parts availability and preventative maintenance programs.

 

Ask each potential vendor what their average response times for emergency calls are. In most cases, it should not be more than 24-48 hours.

Which Packaging Materials Should You Use?

Different types of machinery require different types of materials and utilize different amounts of materials based on the make and model of equipment. For example, while you can save money upfront by purchasing a manual L-Bar Sealer, your cost of goods will likely be higher as a more expensive automatic sealer will generally use less material than the manual machine because the machine will generally be optimized to do so.

 

That being said, the quantity of product that you will be producing must also be taken into consideration. An automatic sealer won't be the right machine for a small business that is only running a couple thousand items or less each week.

 

This is due to the fact that each model is designed to work with specific maximum and minimum capabilities and materials. Every machine is different. Your packaging line's unique needs must be taken into consideration when choosing the appropriate machine for your application. This can result in higher production costs if your choice of machinery cannot run thinner gauge shrink film. Using thinner gauges of shrink film can result in significant cost savings.

Conclusion:

 

Buying packaging machinery is a major investment. The various dynamics of choosing machinery include; safety, budget, physical layout, electrical supply, materials and a whole host of considerations that can make your head spin.

 

When moving forward with the buying process it is important start by reviewing the appropriate KPIs with an emphasis on safety first. Next, you will want to be sure to complete the packaging machinery pre-investment check list. After filling out the information in this valuable tool and getting your results back, you will want to move on to getting quotes from at least two or three vendors.

 

Getting an analysis of your packaging department and collecting data on your current machinery, manual labor, materials, physical footprint, electrical requirements, production levels, types of products and the other important dynamics of running a safe and productive packaging line is key.

 

Once you have been able to fully analyze every aspect of your packaging line, asking for quotes from each of the vendors you are giving an opportunity to quote will provide you with peace of mind that you are going get the best deal and receive the best of what each vendor has to offer.

 

In addition to requesting information and pricing on the packaging machinery you are looking to purchase, be sure to also acquire information about the cost of service, installation, any training available, supply and repairs. Ideally, you should consider getting a quote for a long-term preventative maintenance plan as this type of program will ensure that your machinery is always running at peak performance and that downtime will be limited when it does occur.

 

Once you have chosen a vendor to buy from, meeting with your representative and reviewing the machinery offerings that they have will allow you to open a conversation about pricing. Here you can ask about special offers, rebates, additional options, leasing versus buying and other related dynamics that will help you to get the best price and best plan implemented for your specific budgetary restraints and packaging line needs.

 

Finally, it would do you well to schedule quarterly, bi-annual or annual meetings for review with your chosen vendor's sales representative and one of their maintenance technicians.

 

This will allow you to review data from one meeting to the next and identify places where your machinery and materials that could be improved upon to further reduce your cost of production, increase speed to market, create greater efficiency and produce superior performance on your packaging lines KPIs.

 

Once you have purchased your new machinery and have worked with your chosen vendor to install the machinery, train your operators and all else has been said and done, be sure to schedule your first review before your representative leaves your building.

 

If you heed the information in this guide, we assure you that you will make the best possible choice of packaging machinery for your packaging department. Furthermore, you will be able to ensure the purchase and implementation of the best materials for your products and may rest assured that you have done everything in your power to have the best possible packaging line for your business.

 

Should we not have produced answers to some of your questions or content that is crucial to your particular needs in regard to buying new machinery, contact us directly. Your voice can help others in your position in the future!

 

Our dedicated packaging professionals can and will answer any questions that have not been answered by this guide. In addition to what you have read here we invite you to peruse our blog which is absolutely packed to the brim with useful information, free tools and quality content that will make for a highly useful adjunct to this guide.

 

Last but not least, you will find a selection of free tools below that will help you on your journey to finding the best packaging machinery for your packaging line.

 

From all of us here at Industrial Packaging, we wish you well on your quest and again would implore you to contact us if you need anything else that you could not find in this guide.

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