When you are planning to purchase a case packer for your needs, you may be scratching your head about how to choose the best case packer for your actual needs.
Don’t worry, I have prepared a checklist for you to escape the anxiety.
Product’s Primary Packaging Styles
The case packer belongs to the secondary packaging machine, and the products already have a layer of primary packaging.
The type of primary packaging will greatly affect the type of case packing equipment.
Common primary packaging types include:
- Aluminum cans
- Blister packs
- Folding cartons
- Glass bottles
- PET bottles
- Plastic bucket
- Plastic wrappers
- Poly bags
When choosing a case packer according to these different primary packaging styles, the first principle is to ensure the gentlest packing, keeping the product lossless throughout the packing process.
Another important question is, many primary packaging styles come in different sizes initially, do you want to handle different sizes of primary packages on a single case packer?
The size of the carton (LxWxD) will also affect your choice of the case packer because the case packer only supports cartons within a certain range of sizes.
You need to confirm with the supplier whether it could be customized if your carton size is out of range.
Case Packing Styles
The three most common case packing styles are:
- Top Load
Bottled, bagged, and canned products are suitable for this type of case packer, as products in these primary packaging are easier to put into the carton from the top.
Moreover, packing from the top could avoid damage to some fragile products.
- Side Load (End Load)
Boxed items are suitable for this type of case packer.
One reason is that this type of primary packaging is easier to push from the side than to load from the top;
The second is because the side load case packer is compatible with more sizes of boxes.
Wraparound case packers are suitable for larger bulk items such as food metal cans, and cheese tins.
Compared to other types of case packing equipment, wrap around case packing machine saves you time, space, and packaging material.
There is also a bottom load case packer, which can be found in foreign markets, but hardly found in the Chinese market.
Sometimes, the case packing machine is part of the carton packaging line, and the orientation of the carton needs to be adjusted to match the upstream production equipment or primary packaging equipment, especially the side load case packer.
The weight of the product should also be within the range supported by the case packer.
For example, a top load case packer usually grabs a set quantity of products into the case by gripper head.
There are four kinds of gripper heads, which are suitable for clamping products of different weights and properties.
It is suitable for grasping products with magnetic force and has the advantage of not hurting the can.
This applies to a wide range of glass bottles, tin cans, plastic bottles, and so on.
- Airbag Clamp
This is suitable for small-diameter products, such as mineral water bottles. As it has strong suction on the airbag gripper head, thus such a head is more suitable for glass bottles that are afraid of falling risk.
- Sponge Suction Cup
This is suitable for packaging bagged products with a relatively flat surface and lightweight.
Many canned, bottled and boxed products need to be arranged and layered in different quantities when packing.
You also need to understand this before purchasing a case packing machine.
When you need to purchase a robotic case packer to pack different types of products into different cartons, it is necessary to have image sensors to identify and track products, and these sensors could also identify packaging defects and reject products with packaging defects.
This prevents defective products from entering the market and preserves the reputation of the client company.
The speed of the case packer must match the speed of the upstream production and primary packaging equipment.
If the speed of the upstream production machine and packaging equipment is not very fast, you could choose a robot case packing machine and an end load case packing machine with a relatively slow packing speed;
If the speed of the upstream production machine and packaging equipment is fast, you could choose a rotary case packer, a continuous motion wraparound case packer, and a soft placement packer with high speed.
The packing machine is a mechanical product, and the product has certain risks, so a safety cover must be added to the machine.
Depending on how easy it is for different case packers to changeover packaging sizes, please refer to the following rankings:
- Robot packing machine
- Drop packer (a type of top load case packer)
- Side load case packer
- Rotary & soft placement packer
- Wraparound case packing machine
Maintenance after purchasing a machine is crucial, so be sure to work with a supplier who could provide after-sales technical support in a timely manner.
Timely troubleshooting prevents prolonged downtime from affecting production and packaging, no wasting time, resources, and money.
The packing machine is only one part of the packaging line.
When purchasing, you need to plan the site according to the machine size provided by the supplier to ensure that the packing machine has enough space for installation.
It is best to send your plant layout to the supplier for design to ensure that everything is fine.
Regarding the configuration of the machine, some customers will have a soft spot for some special brands of PLC, touch screen, or other key parts, which should be brought up in time when communicating with the supplier.
If you talk about it after a period of time, the supplier replies that it cannot be customized, thus wasting your time and energy.
Knowing your budget clearly before purchasing can effectively narrow the target range of the case packer and save you precious time and energy.