The importance of streamlined, high-quality packaging should not be underestimated. Not only can it be a way for customers to correctly identify your brand, but if it’s done well, it can help keep your business running efficiently. Of course, for this to happen, you need the right packaging machinery and equipment.
Having suitable packaging equipment and efficient processes in place can save your company and staff valuable time. So, how do you choose the best packaging machinery for your business and products? Consider your requirements, consult with the professionals, and determine the best solution that will integrate well with your current processes. There are many options for packaging equipment; considering the machinery is a significant investment, making the right decision is vital for your business. Take the time to find the best option for your company and your product.
Below, we look at the important questions to ask when looking for new packaging equipment and machinery to implement into your business’ operations process.
What Are Your Packaging Needs?
Once you know your packaging needs down to every detail, purchasing packaging equipment and machinery is easier. This way, your packaging partner will understand your best options for equipment that will suit your requirements without being wasteful. There are a few basic questions to answer that will help you narrow down your needs:
- What products are you packaging?
- How much will you be producing?
- What are your current packaging pain points?
- How do you want things to change?
- Are you looking for a new packaging style or do you just want to increase productivity?
- What are the maximum/minimum sizes of packaging you will be processing?
- What are your output speed requirements for the smallest and largest sizes?
- What types of packaging will the machinery need to handle?
- How was your packaging previously handled?
What Is Your Main Goal For Purchasing New Equipment?
Do you simply need to increase efficiency, or are you upscaling your company and aiming to enter a new or more extensive market? Are your production needs the same for all your products? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you find the right machinery to suit your needs.
Are You Doing A Complete Overhaul Of Your Machinery?
If your packaging needs a complete overhaul with new equipment and processes, you will also need to train your staff. In this case, it’s also a good idea to find peers in your field that may have experience with specific machinery and find out what works best for them and what does not. Searching for reviews on equipment and brands is key to choosing the best vendor and machinery for your needs. Another question to ask is do you have enough space for new packaging equipment and the new process involved? For example, will the staff easily move around the new machinery and will it be considered a safe workspace? Make sure to optimize your space so that your packaging process is seamless and doesn’t interfere with other business operations.
Are You Upgrading Your Equipment?
If you’re looking to upgrade, call in your key employees who have been working with your packaging process to date and learn from them. Find out how you can improve the packaging process and equipment and what they suggest can help move forward.
Have You Created A User Requirements Specification Document?
Having a straightforward document will help vendors understand your needs, determine what equipment is best for your packaging needs, and quote accordingly.
Make sure you define the following:
- Your warehouse environment
- If you have any component brands you’d prefer them to use
- Compliance with local safety and electrical standards
- Documentation required (user’s manual, maintenance schedule, drawings, copy of programs)
- Performance warranty
Determine The Price And Costs Involved
The cost of the equipment you need is, of course, an essential factor when deciding on changing your packaging process. Still, it shouldn’t be the most crucial consideration—choosing a vendor that will give you good after-sales support will most likely come at a slightly higher price, but it may be more important than saving some money. The reason for this is that you may need help after you’ve bought your new equipment. This support comes in handy with things like understanding the documentation, technical support, dealing with spare parts or locating components when the time comes, changing parts when needed, software updates, staff training, and problems with performance. And if you have a good relationship with a reputable vendor that can help you in your time of need, it is worth paying for.
Are There Financing Options?
There are options to help finance your new machinery. Your first option is to purchase the equipment outright and find finance options from your bank. The bank will usually finance more than the value, including integration, shipping, and commissioning. The second option is to lease the machinery, which helps with short-term cash flow, but you won’t own the equipment.
What Safety Standards Should Be Considered?
Don’t forget to ensure your vendor gives you all the local safety standards for the different types of equipment you are buying. This way, you can consider the necessary safety zones needed in your workspace, such as a sensor for movement in specific areas or override buttons to cut the power. In addition, staff training is key to keeping your operations safe and compliant.
There are many different options when it comes to choosing packaging machinery. Whatever you choose, you will find that consulting the experts automating this process will save you time and money for your company—Find out more about how your packaging partners at Hughes can help.
How Hughes Enterprises Can Help
Hughes Enterprises specializes in designing and implementing suitable packaging equipment solutions in such areas as: case sealing; case packing; case erecting and case forming; strapping; stretch wrapping; labeling; marking; and shrink wrap.
If you need an automated packaging system or process you’d like to implement, the Hughes team can help. Hughes’ expert packaging consultants provide you with automation and integration in your packaging and shipping lines. Even if you need a unique approach to help your packaging stand out from competitors, or you need equipment that can withstand extreme environments, we’re ready to provide you with the best options to meet your packaging needs.
With decades of experience in packaging, we’re ready to help with even the most unusual circumstances or unexpected challenges. Call us at (267) 409-6100 or contact us for more information.