Packaging Machines Selection Criteria


Packaging Machines selection criteria differs from company to company, sometimes there are multiple teams looking after the selection and acquisition of capital goods and sometimes the business owner takes the decision at a short notice.

Many companies put a lot of emphasis on tender & contract management and on many other occasions, the whole procurement process is based on assumptions with very little clarity.

A well balanced approach is extremely important to ensure the best outcome for everyone. When purchasing capital equipment, selection of a supplier is governed largely by following considerations:

  • Payback period / duration: Typically 3-5 years in food industry is considered good and reasonable time-frame for justifying new investment in capital equipment.
  • Operating characteristics of the equipment, Total cost to company, Total life-cycle costs etc.
  • Engineering features of the equipment, including compatibility with existing equipment.
  • Various qualitative considerations as well as the past performance of the supplier, previous experience with the machinery, technical advances etc.

Operating characteristics should rank pretty high in selecting the equipment. Design and operating features can differ substantially among the available machines.

The request for quotation and specifications sheet should be pretty succinct and clear in terms of requirements and should be compatible with the buyer’s existing equipment, process, and plant layout.

The new equipment should be built in accordance with Occupational Health & Safety requirements and abide by the local and industry applicable standards and regulations.

When making the decision for packaging machines, one should try and follow the below points…

  •  Always remember Simpler is better!
  • Reliability & Performance metrics Speed, Wastages, Uptime, Quality of final packs, Change over time, available options, capability to handle different materials, labor savings, skill availability and capability requirement to run and maintain the machine, ease of cleaning, flexibility to handle different sizes, types of packs etc.
  • Quality & Sanitary Requirements Clean Room, Aseptic Filling
  • Total Cost of Ownership Initial cost, after sales service & support costs, Repair and downtime costs, Utility & consumable costs, Spare parts & Response time from manufacturer / supplier
  • Integration with upstream & downstream equipment
  • Type of final bag / pack / end product / flexibility in terms of change.
  • Multiple function Machines, Technology Trends like Ultrasonic Sealing, better sealing technologies, advanced servo technology, PackML compatibility, better diagnostic features, Remote assistance, connectivity with other machines / networks, IOT, M2M etc
  • Design Requirements basis Country OR Company / Industry Standards requirement
  • References, Brand name, Inter-personal rapport.
  • Space Constrain, Lead time, Costs constrains and other limitations.
  • Focus on materials, capability to handle sub-optimum material on the new machines etc.
  • After Sales and Service Support.
  • Know your operation and see where it fits in present & future.
  • Match the equipment to your company’s technical capabilities.

The machine that’s ultimately best for you is dependent on what industry you’re in and, perhaps more so, what product you are trying to package.

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