When you decide to buy new packaging equipment, especially for the first time, you must plan wisely. Otherwise, you will fall victim to what is known as scope creep. This is when the scope of your project keeps growing because you failed to plan well from the beginning. And as it grows, so do costs associated with the project. To avoid falling victim to scope creep when you buy and install packaging equipment, keep the following five things in mind.
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1. The Properties of Your Product
Any packaging equipment that you buy must match the properties your product. For instance, assume that your product creates dust. In such a case, any equipment that you buy must control certain environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity. If it does not, you must alter the machine down the line, leading to increased costs.
2. The Packaging Material You Will Use
Besides matching your product’s properties, the equipment must also match the type of packaging material you intend to use. If the equipment seals the material using heat, it must do so at the correct temperature and for the right amount of time.
Otherwise, the material will melt during the packaging process. Likewise, equipment that stretches the material must do so using the right amount of force. Or, the material will rip during either the packaging process or when you are transporting it.
3. Your Production Goals
Your equipment may fit both the product and packaging material yet still fall short of your production goals. Its speed may be wanting. So, before you purchase, define your output goals. How many packages will you package every day, shift, or hour?
For high production volumes, you need high-speed equipment or even multiple streams of equipment. However, keep in mind that such equipment is usually expensive that its slower counterpart.
4. The Equipment’s Changeover Capability
Equipment that has changeover capability packages different objects of the same width but different length. Better still, it does so without having to use any tools or to install any new equipment. The machine’s operator simply pulls a switch and alters the pack pattern.
For instance, you can quickly and effectively run bottles and cans on the same production line. As a result, you increase your output. In addition, maintenance personnel no longer need to modify machines to alter their production capabilities.
5. The Right OEM
Different OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) have different levels of experience, track records, and design strategies. As a result, the OEM you choose determines both the complexity and reliability of the packaging equipment. When choosing an OEM, keep in mind that the more complex the equipment, the harder it is to operate, repair, and maintain.
So, work with an OEM that has a simple yet effective design strategy. However, ensure that the OEM’s strategy, though simple, still offers the best primary and secondary packaging solutions for your application.
To buy the right packaging equipment, ensure that it matches the properties of your product and make sure the equipment to your production goals. For high output, go for high-speed equipment even though it might be a little more expensive. Also consider buying equipment with tool-less change and choose the right OEM for your specific application.