A plant manager has much to weigh when selecting equipment for the packaging line. From entire filling machines and equipment to individual pumps or hoppers, the choice is not always a simple one. However, there are some key considerations that can help narrow your options down and make the decision easier.
Scope of Production
Are you a small business providing a single product to a small market? Or are you serving a global market with numerous high-demand products? If your facility is aiming for short production runs of a small inventory, you likely don’t need a large, elaborate and expensive machine when a simpler one will do. Besides costing less, it’ll take up a smaller footprint in your facility and be easier for workers to use or maintain.
Custom or Off-the-Shelf?
The decision between buying a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) model or commissioning for custom gear is a common question when purchasing industrial equipment. Customized packaging equipment can be valuable for streamlining production or meeting specifications, but this comes at a cost in time and money. That cost is compounded by the need for custom training and maintenance solutions.
Certain products and industries have strict safety standards for packaging and handling. In particular, government programs like the FDA mandate that food and pharmaceutical products must be approved for use before going on the market—this includes regulations for packaging materials and methods. Make sure with the supplier that the equipment you’re considering is deemed to be sufficient for any safety standards your products are subject to.
Along with being safe for handling your products, the machinery you choose needs to be safe for your employees to work with or around it. This includes establishing safe zones for operators and sufficient floor space for other workers to move around the machine while it’s operating. Additionally, the equipment should have a “safe mode” that is easily engaged in case of maintenance or emergency.