Elementary Dear Watson – Common Equipment in a Packaging System

by | EPIC Systems, Inc

If you have any experience in a manufacturing facility this post may strike you as elementary. However there are many companies that are currently packaging all of their product by hand – This post is for you. I get calls on a frequent basis where a small business is growing and they need a way to package their products faster, and they do not know where to begin.

A typical fully automated packaging system has a few common pieces of equipment. Let’s start at the beginning and work our way to the end of the line.

Dealitizing: Most commonly, empty bottles or containers come in on a pallet or randomly oriented in a large basket called a gaylord. The depalitizing operation in a packaging system is responsible for “feeding the line” with empty containers. Depaletizing does not typically apply to bag and pouch operations.

Filling: Fillers can come in a verity of different styles and brands. There are two main types of liquid fillers are: in-line and rotary. Applications which require higher speeds typically are better served using a rotary filler, while lower speed applications are more suited toward inline fillers. Dry applications also have several types of fillers, common types include: auger fillers, volumetric fillers, vibratory fillers, and net weigh fillers.

Capping / Sealing: After the product is filled into is container type, the product will be either capped, lidded or sealed. Bottles are typically capped, pouches are typically sealed, and pails are typically lidded.

Labeling: Once the product is capped or sealed, it passes through a labeler. As it’s name foreshadows, the labeler applies a label to a product. The most common type of label is called a pressure sensitive label – it’s a fancy way of saying “it’s a stick-on label”. Other common types of labels are hot and cold glue labels.

Case Packing: Once the product is filled, sealed and labeled it is ready to be packed in cases for easier bulk handling. Like any other piece of equipment there are multiple ways to pack product in a case. Two common ways are by using a robotic case packer or using a drop case packer.

Palletizing: After cases are packed and sealed they are oriented and packed onto a pallet. This can be accomplished using a robotic palletizer or a mechanical palletizer.

Stretch wrapping: Once the pallet is fully packed the final step in an automated packaging system is a stretch wrapper. This piece of equipment dispenses plastic wrap around the packed load to secure if for shipment.

There is more equipment that can be integrated into a packaging line, however most automated packaging lines contain these elements. To learn more about automated packaging systems call EPIC Packaging Systems today. 314-806-1678

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