Things to take note before buying a packaging machine
Purchasing a packaging machine can allow a business to increase production operations with cost savings in the long run. With the correct specifications, the machines can increase the efficiency of the overall production line and reduce lead time. However, packaging machines is a huge investment that requires careful decision-making.
This article will explore the critical factors to consider before purchasing packaging machinery.
Understanding the Packaging Requirements
What are the pain points that are needed to be solved with new machinery? Here are some questions to ask before narrowing down a selection:
Dependability: Does the packaging machine be required to operate 24/7? Or a semi-automatic bagging machine with one operator to manage the flow? Although many modern machines can multi-task, a business model can change in the long run to meet market opportunities. Don’t decide on the latest all-in-one machine because of its specifications but talk to different suppliers to gauge what works for the business.
Speed: Speed rates are measured by how many bags per minute (bpm). Does the production line need three times the speed to meet the demand? Plan with forecasted sales for the next five years to determine the purchase requirements to support the targets. For example, a vertical form fill seal packaging machine can pack 100 bags of food or non-food products per minute. A point to note is that the quicker the output and quality of the machine, the more investment is required.
What are the dimensions of the item? Are the products powder, liquid, or solid? The right packaging machinery should first meet the requirements of the products. In addition, also consider what packaging materials will be used with the machines. An example of the packing of granular items such as coffee beans or pet food is purchasing a linear compact premade pouch machine instead of a liquid-and-paste packaging machine.
For products that require to be packed in different styles, opt for a flexible packaging machine that allows configuration to meet different bag requirements. We will share more on the different types of bags below:
Pillow bags: Also known as centre seal pouches, they are the most common packaging method due to their economical and flexible form, and it is easily customisable. It is commonly used in food industries.
Sachets: Also known as 4-side seal pouches, they are an economical leak-proof product that is slim and compact. They are often used for liquid and powder items such as coffee and snacks.
Gusset bags: A gusset is similar to a pillow bag but with more capacity. Bottom gusset pouches are more popular as they can stand upright on a shelf. They are also oxygen and moisture-resistant.
For preventive damage, use secondary packaging to hold products together, such as paperboard cartons and air pillow packaging.
Cost of a Packaging Machine
Aside from the initial cost of the investment, there are other long-term costs to consider, such as maintenance and operation fees, labour, electricity consumption, and depreciation. Identify the budget for the packaging machine and whether to pay entirely in cash or in instalments. Leasing the asset allows more cash flow for the business but would increase overall costs with the additional interest rates by the end of the lease. Arrange for the vendor representative to visit the production area and analyse the packaging line for them to make the best recommendation.
How much floor space can the production area accommodate for new packaging equipment? Some machines may take up more vertical space, while others require a wider extension floor area.
Allocate enough room for the production staff to move around easily without hazard issues. If the facility needs more space, consider outsourcing the supply chain via contract packaging.
Many organisations take ESG matters seriously, requesting suppliers and distributors within their supply chain declare their ESG practices. Rather than being reactive to such policies, be proactive when purchasing and ensure keeping the environment clean by reducing waste output. The rotary compact premade pouch machine is known to reduce waste as they have an automated sensor detector to ensure goods are filled correctly.
All machinery comes with inherent risk, and it is recommended to do a risk assessment to ensure the safety of employees and their working environment. To create a safe space, go through all the safety measures with the packaging vendor. Protect employees and minimise workplace accidents with workplace safety equipment.
Good After-Sales Support Team
Find out if the packaging vendor has an after-sales service team to assist with all related queries after the purchase, such as organising training for the staff to operate the machine efficiently, emergency maintenance, or availability of spare parts to ensure that the machine works optimally.
Obtain quotes from different vendors and review various types of packaging machines that best meet operational requirements. Review each step carefully with detailed research before buying a packaging machine.