As a company grows, eventually the owners must decide if they can continue to fill their containers by hand, or if the time has come to invest in filling equipment that can automate some or all of their production systems. Of the many factors that go into making such a significant financial decision, perhaps the one that people consider first is the effect of speed on their bottom line. Ideally, the cost of the machinery you purchase is more than offset by your increase in production, whether that increase comes from automating filling, labeling, capping, conveyance, or any combination of these.
Not only does speed increase the total number of units you can sell, it can position you to capture a larger portion of your market. In a recent interview, CBD American Shaman founder and CEO Vince Sanders credited automation with their ability to meet demand after experiencing a 500% growth in sales in 2018, all while improving packaging quality standards. Without the boost in speed from his filling equipment, he might have lost a significant portion of his sales to competitors.
As important as speed is, however, it is only one of many benefits of automatic packaging machinery. Here are some others to consider:
Getting liquid into containers can be done more neatly and precisely with the correct machinery. This helps avoid the waste and messiness of product missing the mark or dripping down the outside of the container, especially as workers grow more fatigued over the course of the day. Machines can also ensure that the exact amount of product is filled each time, whether that is determined by weight or volume, which can be crucial for medical applications.
Sometimes appearance is most important to sales, such as when bottles of your product are lined up on store shelves. Then an overflow filler can guarantee that they are all filled to a uniform level, and it won’t look as though some bottles contain more product than others.
Labeling by hand can be a tedious and painstaking process. Not only does each label need to be applied levelly to the right spot, but the worker also needs to avoid wrinkles and creases as they smooth it into place. Mistakes are easy to make, and the waste of supplies is the price paid to avoid an unprofessional appearance. Not only can automatic packing machinery apply labels precisely and quickly, it opens the door for other options, such as shrink sleeve labeling and custom-shaped containers, which have increased sales and customer engagement for many brands.
Conveyance systems, including turntables and conveyor systems, can reduce the amount of lifting and carrying needed to fill your containers and bring them from one station to another, which in turn can reduce the risk of worker injury. Other machinery like hand-held chuck cappers can help prevent the hand strain that occurs when workers have to tighten caps and lids themselves.
Automatic machinery removes human contact from much of the filling process, resulting in a safer product for the food, beverage and medical industries. The benefit also goes both ways, as workers can keep a greater distance between themselves and strong chemicals that are being filled. The machines can also help your company meet federal safety standards regarding tamper-resistant packaging, allowing for techniques such as induction sealing.
With automatic systems, there can be a risk of not choosing the right equipment for your product and for your stage of growth. This can be avoided by seeking out a manufacturer who is invested in the long-term success of their customers, and who wants to remain a trusted partner with them long past the point of sale. When choosing a manufacturer, ask them:
- Will you take the time to consult with me about my filling needs?
- Will you help me determine the amount of automation that is right for my business now? Can you build a system that can grow with me over time?
- Can you guarantee the quality and durability of your machines?
- Do you have spare parts on hand? If we need technical help, how easy is it to reach you, and how quickly do you respond?
Changing over to automatic machinery can be a big decision, but with guidance from a trusted supplier and a full understanding of the benefits available, you can make the choice that is best for your company.
Let Apex Help You
Apex offers all of our clients customized solutions to their filling needs. Call us at 219-575-7493 or visit our page here to discuss the best equipment choices for you.