5 Things to Consider When Selecting Packaging Equipment

5 Things to Consider for Select Packaging Equipment. You’ve crunched the numbers and weighed the pros and cons. You've considered all the alternative options. You know it is time to invest in Capital Equipment and take your business to the next level.

The next step is choosing the machine. K-Flex Packaging Systems is here to make choosing the right equipment as stress-free as possible!

Read below for the 5 key items to ensure a successful packaging machine purchase for your business!


5 Things to Consider for Select Packaging

speed of packaging equipment matters

How quickly and how much product you intend to put out each day, is going to affect what machine you should consider. If this is your first investment in packaging machinery, maybe you don’t need to spring for the big guns just yet. So don’t be intimidated and think that bigger is always better. Start where you can, and allow yourself time to grow.

Form-Fill-Seal is the fastest available packaging option. However, the flexibility of the Premade Pouch Machine is gaining appeal in the packaging community. Because both machines have their perks, your decision should be based on production speed required, labor and SKU variation.

The PSG LEE is a copackers dream as you can change from one SKU to the other in minutes via the touchscreen. On the other hand, If you plan on running a limited variety and need high volumes, the SN Horizontal Form-Fill-Seal is a better option for those needs.

The style of pouch also plays a crucial role here. Currently trending are shaped and fitment pouches. Considering your desired pouch style can help guide your equipment selection. For more on this, see number five.

2. Waste and Waste Disposal 

compacted waste

waste is an inevitable part of packaging to consider

When working in the manufacturing industry, we have to be hyper aware of waste management. We have entered an era where companies are trying to reduce waste where possible, for both financial and environmental reasons. Because your machine and package options will produce varying amounts of waste, consider your waste goals.

Form-Fill-Seal machine creates some waste during setup, alignment and changeover, as well as any excess film trimmed during production. In contrast, if you are interested in reducing waste and costs associated with it, the Premade Pouch machine may be a better option for you. The PSG LEE has a built in feature to maximize efficiency and minimize waste. If the pouch doesn’t open, product will not drop and the seal bars will not seal that specific pouch so it can be reused.

PPi Technologies Group's SECAMP program is a 6 point strategy that relates to using less energy or clean energy, fewer packaging materials, and reduce costs in the manufacturing warehousing and distribution of Stand-Up Pouches.

3. Overhead and Operating Costs

one hundred dollar bills

consider costs of operation and maintenance

As with any large purchase, you want to consider not only the initial cost of your packaging machine, but the cost of operation and maintenance. While some machines may have a bigger price tag up front, they may run smoother and have better efficiencies.  Make sure to focus on your ROI. A more expensive machine, could increase your profitability dramatically. 

There are a few more operating costs to consider when choosing your machine. Keep in mind the cost of any other materials needed to run your machine such as rollstock film or premade pouches. Also, consider the materials needed to produce your pouches and products, and the labor required to operate the line.

4. Staff Training

image | Pouch Packaging Machines | K-Flex Packaging Systems with PPi Technologies

consider costs of training and continued labor

The type of machine you select will greatly impact the amount of training, education level, and employee hours needed to operate the machine. For example, a Form-Fill-Seal machine will require considerably more training than a Premade Pouch Machine.

On a Premade Pouch Machine, someone is needed to keep the infeed conveyor full of empty pouches. However, once the Form-Fill-Seal machine is configured, the operator is free to concentrate on other company tasks. Some options for minimizing downtime and maximizing production include automatic splicing for film and zippers and end-of-line case packing solutions. In order to set you and your team up for success, PPi Technologies Group offers several training options on the equipment you purchase.

5. Variety of Packaging

images of variety of packages

consider variety of packaging you will be using

The diversity of your company's products and goals can help determine which machine is best fit for your packaging operation. If you pack several different SKU’s per day, the premade pouch may work for you, as the Form-Fill-Seal machine takes more time for set up and changeover. On the other hand, if you focus on one product line per day, and need high output, the Form-Fill-Seal will better meet your needs. Make sure to discuss all your SKU's with us and provide the output you are looking for.

Bonus Point #6: Quiz Your Vendor

When talking to machine vendor's here are some questions you should ask. How many machines do they have in the field? Can you speak to current customers and go see their equipment? What does the vendor’s service and support look like after the sale? Do they have in-house engineering? How quickly can you get spare parts? What training programs do they have?

We hope the consideration of these 5 key points make your decision making process less stressful and more exciting. You are making a crucial decision to grow your business, and K-Flex Packaging Systems is here to support you along the way!

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