Selecting a packaging machine can be tough. If this is your first investment in packaging automation, you might not 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.
While selecting a packaging machine, it can be overwhelming. Machinery is easily known as the best way to package your products. So how do you know what to do next? I'm going to help by breaking it down into 5 points for selecting a packaging machine to make it as stress-free as possible.
1. Packaging Speed
How quickly and how much product you intend to put out each day affects how you choose to package your product.
Because all machines have their perks, your decision should be based on labor, production goals, footprint and SKU variation, all of which will affect your output.
If you have a small variety of products and need high volume output, the incredibly efficient SN: Horizontal Form-Fill-Seal machine is perfect.
If you need quick changeover and a small footprint, you might consider a premade pouch machine. The PSG LEE Premade Pouch Packaging Machine's user-friendly touchscreen allows for changeover and troubleshooting in minutes!
Of course, once you've considered speed, you'll start thinking about training your staff to use the machinery.
2. Training Your Staff
The type of machine you select will affect the amount of employee training hours and education level needed to operate the machine.
For example, a Premade Pouch Machine does not require much initial training. However, it does need someone to keep the infeed conveyor full of empty pouches.
Form-Fill-Seal equipment requires a bit more training and operator knowledge. Then once it 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.
3. Equipment Maintenance
Maintenance is a factor to consider when you're reviewing your current packaging process.
It is important to not only focus on the initial machine and installation costs, but also ensure you are concentrating on operator training, spare parts on hand and properly maintaining your machine.
While some machines may have a bigger price tag up front, they will probably pay off significantly in the long run.
Faster speeds, high efficiencies, less maintenance and quick changeover all will save you significant time and money in the long run.
Ensure you are focusing on ROI, not just upfront costs!
4. Varieties of Packages
Knowing your company's goals, consumer, and shelf presence, will aid you in your journey of locating the perfect machine. If you are packing several different SKU's per day, then pre-made pouches are your go-to! Need to pack more than one type of pouch? Let's chat about your options.
If you are focusing on limited SKU's and require a high output, then you should consider using Form-Fill-Seal equipment to suit your needs. Of course, if you are in need of some assistance don't hesitate to contact us! We are always thrilled to discuss your pouches and products!
5. Packaging Waste & Disposal
Your machine and packaging options will produce varying amounts of waste. In an era where companies are trying to reduce waste when and where ever possible, both for financial and environmental reasons.
Being hyper-aware of waste management is an essential key to success. Our equipment is designed with recyclable and compostable material in mind!
Form-Fill-Seal machines create some waste during setup, alignment, and changeover, as well as any excess film trimmed during production. This varies greatly so it is important to discuss this when looking at a FFS option.
The Premade Pouch machine may be a better option if you are looking to cut waste and cost while maximizing flexibility. The PSG LEE has a built-in feature to maximize efficiency and minimize waste. If a pouch does not open then the product will not drop and it will not be sealed, this allows it to automatically be rejected and 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 reduces cost in manufacturing.
Keep in mind, in general, selecting packaging equipment and flexible packaging is far superior to rigid packaging when it comes to waste, transportation, storage, and the overall environment.