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Five Questions to Ask when Buying New Packaging Equipment for Your Business

Five Questions to Ask when Buying New Packaging Equipment for Your Business

The right case sealing equipment can boost productivity and profits while reducing labor costs and minimizing risks to employees. Using the wrong equipment becomes a hindrance and a waste of money, but how do you identify the best sealing system for your needs from the many options on the market? Here are five questions to ask when buying a new case sealer for your business. These questions will help you determine which models are and aren’t a fit with your needs. 

What Are the Statistics? 

In general, you need to seal at least 150 cases a day to see a decent return on the investment for packaging equipment. The equipment could be semi-automatic or fully automatic.  

Any packaging machine will be designed to handle a specific size package or range of sizes. To determine the range of sizes your equipment will need to handle, do an inventory of the case sizes you use. Then, create a list of the entire range of dimensions and weights that those packages holdOnce you know this information, verify that any case sealer you’re looking at can handle all of these packages. This includes both their dimensions and weights. If you have unusually large or small packages, you might have to pay for customized packaging equipment. 

How Much Variety Would the Packaging Equipment Face? 

When searching for case sealing equipment, you also have to know how much variety the packaging equipment will face. Are you going to need to set up the equipment every time you switch packaging sizes, or can the equipment automatically adjust as it receives cases? If cases of different sizes will randomly pass through the production line, then you want to pay more for smarter equipment that can automatically adjust. Conversely, if the case sizes are uniform or rarely change, then a standard, manually adjusted unit is all you will need. 

What Type of Environment Will It Operate In? 

The case sealer needs to both work well in the intended environment and maintain environmental standards necessary for the safety and quality of your product. For example, equipment in a high humidity environment, the equipment should be made from stainless steel, so it won’t rust. In a food production environment, the cleanliness of stainless steel is also a selling point. In a normal working environment, then enameled steel is fine. 

Another environmental factor to consider is the space you have available for the equipment. Case sealers come in a wide range of sizes, and that includes height. Don’t forget to have space to walk around the unit to load tape or repair it. 

How Easy Is It to Support and Maintain? 

Don’t make a decision based on the purchase price or functional requirements. After all, the case sealer is going to be one of the hardest working pieces of equipment on your assembly line. After finding a machine with a good price point, consider these questions: How easy is it to add tape and other materials? How easy is it to maintain? How often does this model break down? How easy is it to get replacement parts or service? Can you move it wherever it is needed? Can you still use it if it isn’t part of a conveyor system? Can you get the equipment customized or get assistance with upgrades? It is important to consider functionality features of the equipment before purchase so that you don’t end up paying more in labor because the cheap machine requires maintenance. 

What Is the Company’s Reputation? 

Research the company that sells the product’s reputation and that of their products. How safe are their products? Do they actually deliver the level of service they promise? Do they offer you consulting regarding packaging? Do they install it for free or a reasonable fee? What kind of training do they offer? The ideal supplier provides full support with qualified technicians whenever you encounter problems. 

Packaging equipment is an important investment in the productivity of your facility. To get the right packaging equipment, consider these five questions, and you will easily find the best fit for your company. 

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by Harvey Carr // Harvey Carr is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.