Being in the packaging industry has taught us that beginners often go through a lot of guesswork trying to find the right equipment for their facilities. Unfortunately, this is quite common, and it is not their fault either.
When you look up packaging equipment, you will realize that there are many types. Under this are brand names, series, and different levels of automation. Therefore, it is easy for any beginner to get lost in the sea of machines.
If this is you, we offer some clarity with the following information. First, it is essential to note that you do not need every single piece of equipment you come across. Not only is this impractical, but it is also expensive.
Secondly, your facility will determine the type and number of machines you need. To lay a primary line, we discuss the most common types of packaging equipment you will find in almost every facility globally.
Types of Packaging Equipment
Without interjecting brand names and levels of automation, the following are the most common types of packaging equipment that suit almost any facility.
As the name suggests, baggers or bagging machines pour the products into bags. Some bagging machines come with automatic bag openers. If not, you can pair baggers with bag-opening equipment or manually open the bags.
Baggers are ideal for many facilities because they ensure you get consistent amounts of products every time. This uniformity is quite desirable and something you cannot consistently achieve with manual labor.
Often, you can adjust the number of products that go into a bag because many baggers accept a wide range of bag sizes. In addition, they are compact in structure and, some come with wheels at the bases to ease movement around the facility.
2. Filling Machines
Similar to baggers, filling machines pour liquids and gels into bottles, jars, and other types of containers. Often, filling machines are paired with capping or sealing machines to close the jar once it has the liquid.
There are various advantages of filling machines. First, you can expect a consistent amount of liquid for every container. This eliminates varying levels, creating desirable uniformity.
Secondly, you eliminate spilling, which is a common problem with manual labor. This means fewer costs.
And finally, good filling machines offer excellent speed, increasing productivity in the facility. Compared to manual labor, they can do a lot in a day with reliable consistency and fewer chances of spilling.
Wrappers put various products together in preparation for shipping. Wrappers often use film but can use other packaging materials to achieve this function. In addition, there are many types of wrappers.
Shrink wrappers are the most common. They use shrinkwrap, which stretches to bundle the items together, offering a ‘shrink’ effect. It is commonly used for pallet wrapping and is an excellent alternative to applying the film by hand.
You may also come across flow wrappers. These are commonly used for all types of food products. This is because flow wrapper has easy tear rigid edges that consumers prefer in food packaging. In addition, they are high-speed and can complete 80 products per minute.
4. Taping Machines
Taping machines are often used to seal corrugated boxes and cardboard boxes. As the name suggests, they apply tape to the closed flaps of the boxes. Spending on the equipment, they can apply one or multiple strips in various directions.
The smaller equivalent of tapers is a tape gun. These require manual labor and are not as efficient for industries with high product volumes. The best thing about taping machines is that they offer consistency, ensuring each case matches.
Additionally, taping machines reduce error, which in turn reduces wastage. The taping process can result in a lot of waste. But with a taping machine, you improve efficiency and reduce waste. This also means savings for you.
Sealers are common in flexible packaging applications. They permanently close the opening of different packaging, enclosing the contents securely. They are fast, and therefore, ideal for high-volume output.
There are many types of sealers, but the most common is the heat sealer. A heat sealer uses heat to melt plastic, wrapping film, or an adhesive to seal a package.
It is common to find many products in the food, pharmaceutical, and retail industry with seals from a heat sealer. Heat sealers prevent contamination and tampering of the products.
Shrinkwrap sealers are a common type of heat sealer. They use heat to mend the shrink wrap materials together. The heat also cuts off excess packaging materials, creating a better-looking package.
6. Weighing Machines
Weight machines weigh the products after the packaging as a form of quality check. Most weighing machines use a conveyor belt to check the weight of the product. The machine accurately matches the weight of the product as it passes on the conveyor.
You or an employee presets the desired weight. If the products do not reach or exceed the desired weight, the conveyor automatically stops. Weighers ensure that your products reach the desired weight.
This machine reduces errors in terms of over-packaged and under-packaged items. In addition, it goes a long way in retaining uniformity and ensuring that retailers do not receive varying weights in products.
Bundlers pack multiple items together to make them easier to transport. Additionally, bundling helps save space in shipping vehicles, ensure that you ship more, and go on fewer trips.
Bundlers come in various sizes, depending on your needs. There are high-performance bundlers that can withstand heavy volumes and retain faster speeds. These are ideal for larger facilities with more demands.
In addition, there are smaller bundlers that pack fewer items but retain good speeds. Bundlers often use a polythene strapping wrapped tightly around the items to keep them together. Automatic versions of this machine can do more than one strap per second.
To Conclude, these are the basics of packaging equipment. Often, almost all types of industries will need one or more of this equipment to increase productivity. When you figure out which ones you need, you can research considerations such as brand, price, and level of automation.