There are common packaging machine purchase mistakes that packaging machine buyers make time and time again.
This is particularly important when purchasing packing equipment. You are about to make a large financial commitment to machinery that will influence your business’s bottom line for years, if not decades.
Get the most out of your money.
Also, in many packaging machine applications, you are also committing to specific packaging material. This means that the packaging machine you purchase will be dedicated to running that packaging material.
This packaging material will then have to be purchased from a specific supplier at often premium prices.
In light of this, we will discuss five issues that often prevent customers from realizing the full benefits of their packaging automation investments.
Redesigns or changes made after the purchase
Unanticipated configuration modifications and redesigns after machine construction has begun are major causes of cost overruns (and delays) in packing machine projects.
Things like these commonly occur when crucial aspects of a project are left unclear or are altered at the last minute.
Unanticipated configuration modifications and redesigns are a leading cause of packing machine project cost overruns (and delays).
The vast majority of packing machines are made to order according to your precise requirements. Even if modifications are easily implemented, after production of the machine has begun, you may expect to pay for each one you ask for.
Change orders that need extensive reprogramming, reengineering, or reconfiguration of critical components may significantly raise project costs and extend the timeline by several weeks or months. That’s bad news for everyone involved.
So, what is the solution? It’s crucial to outline the project’s scope and objectives early on, ideally before requesting a quote from a packaging machine manufacturer.
When it comes to important details like bag sizes, kinds, needed machine speeds, and system setup, it’s best to have early conversations and agreements between team members.
Moreover, it’s often helpful to work with a packaging machinery integrator who can help you navigate the complexities of specifying, designing, and installing your packing machines.
One way to evaluate the value of an investment is to calculate its return. An automated packing machine is a significant financial investment, thus calculating the return on that investment is crucial.
Even though it’s usually a smart idea, there are circumstances when it isn’t. This includes when a company’s throughput demands aren’t high enough or when the process is too intricate to automate affordably. All of this information is easily calculated by machines.
Where do you even begin?
For starters, you need accurate information about your present packaging process, which can be obtained by keeping tabs on several critical KPIs. Do so now if you haven’t already.
Here are the minimal metrics we suggest keeping an eye on for calculating return on investment in capital equipment:
How many products are you packaging per minute, hour, or shift?
What percentage of products are being rejected by your current packaging process?
How much do you now invest in labor expenses for packaging? It’s important to factor in not only salaries but also the expense of benefits.
How much packaging material are you using, and how much of it is wasted?
Forgetting to set up the necessary equipment
Now that your packing machine has been built and tested, it may be sent to your facility. I can tell you’re psyched. And yet, are you ready? You may believe this to be true, but there might be some considerations you have overlooked.
We often encounter the following issues during the commissioning of new equipment at a customer site, all of which increase direct and indirect expenses to the client:
Insufficient planning of the packing process as a whole
To what extent will conveyors be used for infeed and discharge? Is there a downstream process that will be using your product?
The new packaging system’s role in the whole procedure and the responsibilities of each involved party need to be made crystal clear. Plus, an installation plan must be set and coordinated with other trades to avoid conflicts.
Failing to adequately prepare the packaging area
The packaging area should be prepared for the new packing machine long before it arrives. This includes ensuring there is proper ventilation, level floors, and three-phase power if needed.
Ignoring equipment integration
Sometimes, packaging machine manufacturers will offer to take care of the integration for an additional fee. If this is the case, be sure to ask lots of questions and get references.
If you’re planning to do it yourself, start by ensuring that the packaging machine will have a dedicated power circuit and that all packaging materials—including film, boxes, and bags—are compatible with the packaging machine.
Unprepared to carry and connect equipment at your facility
Having a team of experts that can handle the packaging equipment would be helpful. Do you have one? Have you thought about how you’ll get the machinery from your dock to its new location?
These are just a few of the questions you should have answers to before packaging machinery is delivered.
The failure to budget for repairs and maintenance in the future
All packaging machines will eventually require some service or another, so it’s important to factor those costs into the budget.
However, this does not imply an absence of anything. High-wear components should be stocked, and regular maintenance should be scheduled.
Under-resourced or poorly-trained employees
The new packing equipment has been set up, tested, and is now ready to go into operation.
Who will operate and troubleshoot the packaging equipment after the factory specialists have left? How good are they with technology? If they can’t be taught, is it possible to train them?
If you’re running in shifts, each shift needs a sufficient number of qualified employees to keep things running well.
Although human interaction is usually unnecessary with today’s packaging machines, the few occasions when it is required need highly skilled operators. If they aren’t, machine breakdowns will occur, and you’ll see a direct impact on your bottom line.
As part of the installation and commissioning process, several manufacturers of packing equipment also provide instructions. Unless you already have a skilled crew, you should definitely take use of it.
Investing in packaging machinery is a big decision. By taking the time to do your homework and avoid these mistakes, you can be sure that you’re making the best decision for your company.
Not fully utilizing the machine’s capabilities
Many packaging machines come with a variety of features and functions that can save time and money. But if you’re not using them, you’re not getting the most out of your investment.
Be sure to ask about all the features when you’re considering a packaging machine purchase, and don’t be afraid to get demonstrations of how they work. You may be surprised at how much easier and more efficient your packaging line can be.
If you’re not using all the features of your packaging machine, you’re not getting the most out of your investment. Be sure to ask about all the features when you purchase a packaging machine, and don’t be afraid to get demonstrations of how they work.
You may be surprised at how much easier and more efficient your packaging line can be.
Forgetting about routine machine checks
Preventive maintenance is essential for keeping packing equipment in good working order after it has entered production at your business.
If you get a high-quality machine, you won’t have to spend as much money on upkeep and repairs. But like a vehicle, it has to be serviced twice a year for optimal durability and function.
Manufacturers of packing machines often provide on-site inspections by a certified technician as part of preventative maintenance packages that are offered annually or biannually.
Having this kind of assurance often comes at an additional cost, but it may be well worth it if it allows you to rest easy and budget your maintenance spending more effectively.
Not every packaging machine is the same. Different models have different capabilities, and each one is designed for a specific type of packaging. That’s why it’s important to consult with an expert before making a purchase.
An experienced packaging machinery dealer will be able to guide you to the perfect machine for your packaging needs. They will also be able to provide you with information about the different types of packaging machines that are available on the market.
When you’re considering a packaging machine purchase, be sure to consult with an expert first like Spack Machine.
We will be able to guide you to the perfect machine for your packaging needs and provide you with information about the different types of packaging machines that are available on the market. With our help, you can avoid making costly mistakes when purchasing packing equipment.