Five General (But Important) Considerations When Purchasing Packaging Machinery

The term packaging machinery includes a vast number of different pieces of equipment. Packaging machinery may refer to multihead weigher , turntables, power conveyors, liquid fillers, capping equipment or any other number of machines. Each category of machine will also include several different options, at the very least. For example, capping machines may refer to tabletop chuck cappers, automatic spindle cappers, ROPP cappers, snap cappers or custom capping equipment. The term packaging machinery may also refer to a complete packaging line, manufactured for a specific project. In other words, the term packaging machinery is a very general term. When companies begin to look for packaging machinery, very seldom – if ever – will two companies be looking for the same exact thing. But, even being a general term, there are several considerations that should always be taken into account when searching for the perfect solution for any packaging project.

1. PRODUCT

The first consideration when searching for packaging machinery for any project is the product itself. The equipment must be able to handle the product to be packaged. Of course, the main focus of this analysis will be the filling machines, as they are usually the only piece of machinery to actually come into contact with the product. The filling machine chosen will need to be able to handle the viscosity of the product, along with any other unique product characteristics. But to stop the analysis at the filling machine would be an error for a number of different products. For example, certain corrosive chemicals simply do not interact well with stainless steel, the go to construction material for most packaging machines. Obviously a stainless steel liquid filler would be a poor choice for packaging such a product. Taking into account product splashes, spills, human error and similar circumstances, stainless steel would also be a poor choice for power conveyors, turntables and other equipment on a packaging line for corrosive chemicals. Alternative construction material, HDPE in the case of many corrosive chemicals, should be used for any piece of packaging equipment that may be harmed by the product or product fumes to ensure a long and efficient life for the machinery.

2. PACKAGE

Once the equipment is sure to handle the product, the packager must turn to the actual package chosen to hold the product. Whether a bottle and cap or some other container and closure, the machinery must be able to handle each component of the package. For automatic machinery, the focus here will be on the conveyor system and, to a lesser extent, each machine through which the bottle or other container will pass. Obviously, the conveyor system must be able to efficiently transfer containers from one packaging stage to the next but all other machines must also be able to handle the container in their own way. Rinsing machines need to stabilize and often invert bottles or containers. Capping machines also need to stabilize bottles and adjust the torque or other capping mechanism to consistently and reliable seal those bottles. Labelers need the ability to orient and consistently place the labels in the correct position. For this reason, it is a necessity to choose the container and closure prior to choosing the packaging equipment.