Streamlining Packaging: Automated Packaging Equipment Guide

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The manufacturing industry is leagues above where it was even fifty years ago. Numerous processes that once required manual completion are now fully automated. One of those processes that was once a huge time-sink within manufacturing is packaging.

Manufacturers must meet strict packaging standards to ensure that their products stay fresh, look professional, and remain safe during transport. But with the latest automated packaging equipment, even the most complex packaging processes are streamlined and hassle-free.

Discover the ins and outs of automated packaging systems: what they are, the most common solutions today, and how they can benefit your production line.

What Is Automated Packaging Equipment?

Automated packaging equipment reduces or eliminates the manual procedures involved in packaging goods during production.

As a manufacturing professional, you know the importance of reliable packaging within your product line. The right packaging:

  • Safeguards your products
  • Prepares products for transport
  • Reflects your brand
  • Displays important product information
  • Protects your company against liability

Packaging is a process you don’t want to cut corners on, but it can take up a lot of your manufacturing time. Manual packaging also leaves room for human error. One packaging slip-up could lead to an expensive product liability case.

Incorporating automated packaging equipment into your workflow could eliminate many of these problems. Numerous types of packaging equipment exist across the market to meet the diverse needs of manufacturers.

You can choose equipment that seamlessly integrates into your packaging lines, uses precise mechanisms to safely package goods according to your standards, and even saves your business money over time.

Types of Automated Packaging Equipment

different food products in vacuum packs

Every business has unique packaging needs and processes, so you’ll need a customized solution that performs your exact packaging processes. Working with an automated packaging engineer, you can tailor any of the following common types of equipment to your business’s needs.

Filling Machines

Filling machines automate the process of filling containers, cans, pouches, and bottles with liquids or other materials. These machines have sensors that measure the precise weight, volume, unit count, or fill level for each product. They can fill containers of any size, ranging from small vials to large barrels, and assist with void fill for transportation.

Sealing Machines

Sealing machines can apply adhesives or use vacuum or heat sealing to close packaging. They meet the strictest standards to perfectly seal packaging and safeguard it against external contaminants. Food and beverage manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies rely on sealing machines to keep their products fresh, dry, and clean from the end of the production line to the customer’s door.

Labeling Machines

Labeling machines apply your branding and identifying information to products. As you know, accurate labels are vital to your company’s product regulatory compliance. Your products must indicate information like:

  • Ingredients
  • Expiration date
  • Safety warnings
  • Usage instructions

With the help of masterfully engineered labeling machines, you can ensure that every product in your packaging line receives accurate, clear, and precise labels that protect your company against liability.

Industrial Palletizers

Industrial palletizers sort, transfer, and stack goods of any shape or size onto pallets, preparing them for transportation. These machines save your employees a significant amount of time and labor while ensuring the uniform placement and distribution of goods on pallets. They typically include an arm tool that grabs products from a conveyor belt and precisely positions them on pallets.

Robotic Packaging Systems

Robotic packaging systems can include any machines that use programmable robotic arms, allowing them to complete complex, dexterous tasks previously reserved for humans. These intelligent machines can perform tasks ranging from labeling items and moving objects to sealing packages and filling containers.

Benefits of Automated Packaging Equipment

man working on food production line

Automatic packaging equipment can solve many efficiency and accuracy problems within your manufacturing processes while preventing costly packaging mistakes. By incorporating automated equipment into your packaging lines, you can benefit from:

Increased Efficiency

Automated packaging equipment works at maximum efficiency 24/7. It can streamline your production time, allowing you to churn out more products without paying workers for more hours.

Cost Savings

Robotic packaging systems lower your operating costs. On average, one machine can complete the work of five employees. You can move these employees to higher-level tasks that require critical thinking, reducing your costs in the packaging line.

Consistency and Accuracy

Automatic packaging equipment doesn’t leave room for human error. It completes the same processes over and over to the exact same standards each time. You don’t need to worry about missing steps or inhibiting quality due to fatigue.

Reduced Labor Requirements

Robotic packaging equipment lifts heavy pallets and bulky packages with ease. Your employees can switch to less labor-intensive tasks, preventing injuries.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Automated Packaging Equipment

When you source your packaging equipment from an automation engineering company, it will work with you to develop custom equipment that perfectly integrates into your packaging line. Your engineering representative will discuss all of the following factors as part of your custom equipment development.

Production Capacity

How many products do you currently package each hour? Your packaging equipment will meet or, more likely, exceed that figure. Your engineer will program your machinery to achieve your goals for production capacity.

Packaging Requirements

Your company must meet strict packaging standards to protect your products from all possible contaminants during storage and transportation. Your engineer will customize your automated packaging equipment to meet every precise requirement.

Space Constraints

Packaging equipment doesn’t have to be bulky. Your engineer can create a solution that perfectly meets your space constraints. You won’t have to worry about reconfiguring your packaging lines or removing other machinery to make room for your new equipment.

Budget Considerations

Over time, your automated packaging equipment will deliver an excellent return on investment by lowering your labor costs. While these machines do require a significant upfront investment, your engineer will work with you to find a solution that meets any budget constraints.

In What Applications Is Automated Packaging Equipment Commonly Used?

syringe vials and different vitamins on table

Automated packaging equipment solves packaging inefficiencies in a range of manufacturing industries, including:

Food and Beverage Industry

Precise packaging protocols are just as important as high-quality product manufacturing within the food and beverage industry. Incorrect packaging could lead a product to spoil faster than the expiration date suggests. Worse, it could allow for the infiltration of bacteria like E. coli, leading to expensive recalls and liability issues.

However, food and beverage manufacturers can rely on automated packaging equipment to reduce risk and adhere to precise food packaging standards.

Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry must meet strict standards for packaging and transportation. Many pharmaceutical manufacturers have switched to automated packaging equipment to eliminate human error within the sealing and preservation process.

Packaging machines seal capsules between aluminum foil strips and wrap them in protective films, all while maintaining a sterile environment.

Cosmetics Industry

Automated packaging equipment can also meet the packaging needs of the cosmetic industry. Many cosmetics use shrink-wrapped packaging or require small, intricate packaging maneuvers to create a tight seal around the product. Well-engineered packaging equipment has the dexterity to seal and wrap these products according to strict manufacturing guidelines.

E-commerce Industry

E-commerce products require secure and protective packaging that safeguards the product during transportation, whether across town or across the globe. Automated packaging equipment can eliminate the manual labor involved in preparing goods for transportation.

Manufacturing Facilities

Robotic packaging machines are completely customizable and can meet the diverse needs of manufacturing facilities in virtually any industry.

What Maintenance and Servicing Procedures Are Required?

Keeping up with maintenance and servicing on your new automated packaging equipment helps protect your investment and ensures that the machinery operates to the highest standards at all times.

Routine Maintenance Procedures

Your equipment engineer will detail the exact maintenance procedures and schedule you should follow to keep your machinery in the best condition. Procedures may include:

  • Frequent inspections
  • Regular oil changes
  • Regular replacement of parts after deterioration

Following these protocols will prevent breakdowns and help your machinery last as long as possible.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

You can refer back to the original manufacturer for assistance with breakdowns or malfunctions. Many packaging solution companies offer long-term after-sale support for troubleshooting and repair issues. Don’t attempt repairs on your own unless you’re familiar with the mechanics of your machinery.

Importance of Regular Servicing

Aside from the maintenance tasks you perform yourself, schedule professional maintenance and inspections at least annually. Your equipment engineer can evaluate the performance of your automated packaging equipment and ensure that it operates exactly as it should. They can identify minor issues before they turn into costly breakdowns and keep your equipment in the best shape.

TDI Packsys: Your Solution for Custom Automated Packaging Equipment

TDI Packsys is a leading provider of automated performance packaging solutions. Our automated machinery uses state-of-the-art engineering that meets the highest standards for quality, performance, and pricing.

We will customize your packaging solutions according to your company’s exact protocols and compliance regulations. Our automation solutions include:

Contact us today at 877-834-6750 to learn more about our custom automated packaging equipment.

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