If you’re running a packaging operation, then you know that the end of the line is where the real work happens. This is where all the products are packaged and ready to go out to stores or customers. But what equipment do you need to make sure your end-of-line packaging system runs as smoothly as possible?
If you’re in the market for a new end-of-line packaging system, it’s important to know what features and functions are essential for your business. This will help ensure that your process runs smoothly and efficiently while meeting the unique needs of your packaging line. Make an informed decision about the machinery you invest in with this guide to the essential equipment for your end-of-line packaging system.
What To Consider When Choosing a System
You need to consider a few things before you can purchase and implement an ideal end-of-line packaging system for your facility. The first is what type of products you’ll be packaging. If you’re packaging heavier items, you’ll need a system that can handle the weight. You’ll also need to consider the size and shape of your products. Some packaging systems are better suited for smaller items, while others can accommodate a variety of sizes.
Another important factor to consider is how fast and flexible your packaging line needs to be. Some systems are designed for high-speed production, which means they won’t be cost-effective for facilities with lower volumes and slower demands. Choosing equipment that accommodates your pace and the range of products you package ensures your system continues to serve the unique needs of your business.
A stretch wrapper is one of the most important pieces of equipment for an end-of-line packaging system. There are both automatic and semi-automatic stretch wrappers available, each with its own benefits. Automatic stretch wrappers can save time and improve efficiency by wrapping products without any human interference. These are best for high-volume applications that need to operate as quickly and independently as possible.
Semi-automatic stretch wrappers require some manual processes, such as loading pallets and product loads, attaching the stretch film to a load before the wrap cycle, or pushing a button to begin operation. However, semi-automatic stretch wrap machines still provide a high degree of speed and accuracy. Whether you choose an automatic or semi-automatic stretch wrapper, it is essential to choose a quality machine that will work well with your existing packaging system.
Both automatic and semi-automatic stretch wrappers include sub-categories of machines: turntable stretch wrappers, vertical rotary arm stretch wrappers, and horizontal stretch wrappers. Each of these equipment types offers unique benefits to best serve specific applications.
Turntable Stretch Wrappers
A turntable stretch wrapper is a type of stretch wrapper that uses a rotating turntable to support and spin the load during the wrap cycle. The turntable can be rotated manually or by a motor, and typically has a capacity of up to 4,400 pounds. Turntable stretch wrappers are typically used for wrapping stable pallet loads that can withstand the motion during the wrapping process.
Turntables are an efficient solution for end-of-line packaging, as they can quickly and easily wrap a variety of different loads. Additionally, turntable stretch wrappers can be customized to meet the specific needs of your packaging operation. For example, precise, programmable containment force settings allow you to achieve consistency and stability for every load you wrap.
You can also choose from a variety of different turntable sizes and speeds. As a result, turntable stretch wrappers are highly versatile and can be adapted to meet the specific needs of your packaging operation.
Vertical Rotary Arm Stretch Wrappers
Automatic and semi-automatic rotary arm stretch wrappers provide a solid, stationary surface for wrapping pallet loads, making them ideal for product loads that are very heavy, very light, or unstable. Semi-automatic rotary arm stretch wrappers can handle loads over 4,400 pounds, which is too heavy of a load for a standard turntable wrapper. However, because vertical rotary arm wrappers keep the product load still during the wrap cycle, they’re also ideal for extremely light or unstable loads that would tip or fall apart on a turntable.
Horizontal Stretch Wrappers
Horizontal stretch wrappers are an excellent option for wrapping long products such as lumber, carpets, and pipes. This type of stretch wrapper uses a conveyor belt to move the product through the wrapping process. As a result, horizontal stretch wrappers can handle longer products that wouldn’t fit on a turntable or vertical rotary arm wrapper.
Case packers are machines that are used to pack products into cases or containers. There are many different types of case packers, each designed to pack in a specific or multiple formats. One major thing to consider when purchasing a case packer is the product format. Multi-format packers that can handle film-only, tray-and-film, pad-and-film, and wrap-around applications with a fast and easy changeover process. In that way, multi-format packers offer more flexibility for your packaging line. These are ideal for facilities that handle a versatile range of products, or facilities seeking the ability to handle new products as client demands evolve.
Palletizers automatically arrange products onto pallets in a pre-determined pattern for easy and secure transport. You can configure your palletizing equipment to handle a wide variety of product shapes and sizes. You can also integrate your palletizer with other automated equipment in your end-of-line packaging system for a smooth and streamlined production line. With their high level of productivity and accuracy, palletizers play a key role in ensuring that your end-of-line packaging system runs smoothly.
Case equipment, such as erectors and sealers, are also an essential part of your end-of-line packaging system. Case erectors are used to form the box, and the adjacent packing line then allows you to load product into the box. Case sealers then apply tape or glue to the top and bottom of the box to create a secure seal. Automating the case handling process helps you improve your production efficiency while ensuring that your products are securely packaged for transport in sturdy, consistent, square cases.
Laser-Guided Vehicles (LGVs)
A laser-guided vehicle (LGV) uses lasers to navigate safely and efficiently throughout your facility. In end-of-line packaging, LGVs are used to transport products from the assembly line to the packaging station. The laser guidance system ensures that the LGV delivers the product to the right location, making the packaging process more efficient. In addition, LGVs can be programmed to follow specific routes, making them versatile and flexible.
End-of-line packaging systems are essential for high-volume packaging operations. Find the right equipment for your unique operation when you work with our team at Robopac USA today.