Buying a quality packaging machine for the first time can be a daunting task. There are many packaging equipment manufacturers, and even similar machines from different manufacturers can vary widely in price. Use the following five tips to guide the buying process to a successful conclusion.
1: Keep it simple
Complexity and reliability are at variance. Ask the OEM for its design strategy. Do the words sound simple? Open the control cabinet. Compare the differences in appearance and number of ingredients between suppliers. Is one clean and organized and the other cluttered?
2: Be open to packaging suggestions
Some customers come to the OEM and say; We want to run this same bottle. Climax advises clients to be open to alternatives. A slightly different width, length, can or bottle type may work better than the original. This does not mean that the origin is always rejected. It’s not like that. Just be open to discussing options. In addition, manufacturers are expected to provide samples. Work with the manufacturer on any required improvements or engineering.
3: Adjust the machine design to the highest volume package
Many first-time buyers have a packaging machine large enough to handle all their bottles or cans from large to narrow. On the surface it makes sense – buy a machine and automate the entire operation. The problem with this method is that more pack samples will make the packaging machine more expensive to handle.
A more efficient strategy for purchasing the first machine is to scale the machine to a high-volume package – the size that requires the most automation. The machine will be optimized for bread and butter package sizes and will run the fastest, use the least amount of material, and be the most cost-effective to operate. Maybe continue the semi-automated operation for other sizes of packs or consider another machine down the road.
4: Work with an OEM that understands the application
There is both an art and a science to making a machine that will run for years without problems. Work with a manufacturer with a track record of success in the same if not the same product application. This manufacturer knows what it needs to be successful in that application.
5: Without tool change and other important operation strategies
Being able to efficiently run multiple bottles, cans and case sizes on one machine – the same width and different lengths – gives the organization more flexibility. A quick way to “switch” machines between different pack patterns is to have the operator switch between different grids and lift the cups without the need for wrenches, screwdrivers and other tools. It’s called tool-less changeover and it’s essential to the organization because it’s fast, efficient, and doesn’t require removing maintenance personnel from more urgent tasks to replace a part.
Each application has its own uniqueness. However, there are similarities. Use these five tips to help guide your purchasing decision successfully.