The Top 4 Things That Can Go Wrong on Your Production Line

When it comes to consumer preferences and new trends, few industries are changing faster than the consumer packaged goods (CPG) market. To keep up with these new demands, many companies are working to improve the performance of their production line equipment and packaging machinery. But due machines and human error can lead to unexpected roadblocks in the quest to produce higher-quality goods at a faster rate. 

Between malfunctioning equipment that requires expensive repairs, employee injuries, and market fluctuations, your business must be prepared to evolve in the face of industry changes and meet production line complications head-on. By setting a few simple procedures in place and learning to optimize your production line safely, you can be better prepared for any challenges that come your way.

Expecting the Unexpected

Ask any packaging machinery expert; a new landscape is emerging in the CPG industry that has never been encountered before. Unprecedented consumer demand for faster, more convenient product purchasing options like direct shipping and pick-up is forcing manufacturers to get creative, shifting their production lines in the process. 

Even when made with the best intentions, production changes are bound to bring about errors and problems. The best way to be prepared for unexpected issues is to expect the unexpected. Thinking through potential problems and having viable solutions in place in case of an emergency is not just proactive—it’s necessary.

Prepare for the Worst

If you’re trying to increase your production output, preparing to combat worst-case scenarios is a vital part of every growth plan. What happens if your primary packaging machine breaks down in the middle of the day? Or if a crucial member of your production team gets injured on the job? What if your supplier stops making parts for a piece of older equipment? Thinking through these possibilities, and putting practical plans in place to address them when and if they come up, will help you face even the biggest stumbling blocks with confidence.

Install an Emergency Action Plan

Installing a thorough emergency action plan (EAP) for emergencies is a great way to begin fortifying your production line against any problem. Your EAP should outline and organize a plan of action to be followed by all employees in case of a workplace emergency. A good EAP includes instructions for every position, from office assistants and machine operators to managers, and ensures that every member of your team knows his or her role in handling unexpected accidents and injuries. Ultimately, an EAP simplifies what could otherwise be a complicated process of organizing a chaotic situation. 

Combatting 4 Common Production Line Stumbling Blocks

Based on our decades of packaging machinery experience, we’ve identified a few common, but significant problems that even the best production line may encounter. By knowing how to combat them, you’ll be set up for success no matter what Murphy’s Law sends your way.

1. Limited Resources

New staffing strategies and department reorganization can seem like smart ways to try and increase output and raise your bottom line. Without proper time to iron out the technicalities, though, these changes can result in a limited understanding of the time and resources needed to meet lofty goals. If you’re struggling with proper resource allocation in light of production changes, take a step back and rebuild your internal knowledge.

2. Lengthy Changeover Time

The speed of manufacturing line changeovers can make or break your product output. Costly in more ways than one, lengthy changeover time is something no business can afford. If changeover is a current pain point in your production line, take some time to understand the actual operating costs of your facility, get insight from production experts, and analyze the strengths and weaknesses in your production process. Running through these diagnostics allows your team to approach the idea of optimizing your production line with a more informed perspective. 

3. Off-Balance Work Stations

If some lines in your production workflow are being under or overutilized, bottlenecks and breakdowns will occur more often. No one knows manufacturing equipment better than those who operate it, so it’s time to get some insight from your employee. Use your employees’ knowledge to help re-balance the assembly lines and guarantee no area of your production line is being overworked or overlooked.

4. Injuries and Personnel Shortages

These might seem like two separate issues, but we’ve definitely noticed a link between workplace injuries and a lack of appropriate personnel. Due to the current practice of hiring transient workers, it can be challenging to find and keep staff with experience running sophisticated industrial machinery. The complexity of machinery also contributes to injuries. Proper training, competitive compensation, and making sure every employee takes breaks are all good ways to reduce injuries and employee turnover.

Conquer Production Line Problems With INSITE

Is your production line equipped to succeed with the best automated packaging machinery? At INSITE, our top-of-the-line case erectors and case sealers are designed to run smoothly and efficiently. With limited changeover points and 24/7 customer service, we’ll provide you with the tools and support your manufacturing process needs to perform at peak capacity. If you want to ensure you have the best machinery for the job, contact INSITE today to learn more about how we can help you safely optimize your production line. 

What You Should Know Before Investing in New Packaging Machinery

It’s the age-old question of every homeowner, vehicle owner, smartphone user, and determined DIY consumer: how long should you repair and replace parts on an older product, and when should you cave in and invest in something new that will work reliably for many years to come? When it comes to secondary packaging equipment automation, though, this question carries substantially more weight—mostly due to the changeover and updating processes. Let’s take a look at what marks the point when machinery updates are necessary, and what a manufacturer should consider before investing in new equipment.

When Updates Become Necessary

Updating packaging machinery requires ample research, a substantial budget, extensive employee training, and more to be successful. To offset these unavoidable costs, many brands prefer to update parts and fix older equipment rather than immediately upgrade their machines. These efforts can provide a temporary fix. However, the goal of every manufacturer is to develop a faster, more efficient production process to increase their overall return on investment. Think about it this way: putting a new engine in an old car will improve its performance for a while. But in the long run, that car will be outperformed by more modern, superior, faster vehicles 100 percent of the time. 

Working With Legacy Equipment

Sometimes, it’s just not feasible to upgrade your packaging machinery, and updating your existing production line to keep things running is the only option. A thorough examination of your current production process can reveal gaps or pain points in your line, as well as ways to increase production line speed and efficiency. With the right care and upkeep, even the oldest machines can perform at peak capacity well beyond their initial lifespan, saving changeover costs and time as a result. 

Existing Considerations

However, just like homes, cars, and cellphones need replacing at a point, your packaging machinery will eventually reach the end of its lifespan and break down. Updates are ultimately inevitable, and a time will come when you’ll need to replace your legacy equipment with more superior packaging machinery. When it does, consider these accompanying factors to make sure you’re on the right track.

What You Package

When weighing the pros and cons of making a substantial investment into new packaging machinery, it’s vital to have a thorough understanding of your products and every aspect of your production line. Would your packaging needs be better met with a glue sealer or a tape sealer? Is your brand doing increasingly more work with private label products? The answers to these packaging questions are crucial to picking the best machinery to help get the job done. 

Staff and Bandwidth

If you run a shop of 25 employees, your bandwidth and potential ROI looks drastically different from that of a large company. It’s wise to factor potential growth into your future packaging needs. However, purchasing machinery that requires more workforce or service than can be accomplished by your current staff will hurt your brand and workforce in the long run. 

For these reasons, it’s critical to keep your capacity in mind when investing in new equipment. If the machines in question require consistent maintenance or a higher number of operators, ask yourself and the rest of your company if you can afford this without placing undue pressure on your team. If the answer is no, then a smaller, more compact or lower-volume machine can probably meet your needs. 

Your Existing Space and Production Line

In an ideal world, the new packaging machinery you purchase would fit seamlessly into your existing operation, optimizing your production line while preserving your workspace. Generally, though, this isn’t the case. You might find machinery that would be ideal for your packaging needs. But if it’s too large for your available floor space, it’s a poor investment. 

No company likes to be limited to its existing capabilities. However, it’s vital to keep a realistic perspective of your space and layout in mind when considering a significant machinery change. 

Supplier Fit

While there may be multiple machinery suppliers who can provide quality packaging machinery, not every supplier is the right one for your brand. Does your machinery run 24/7? If so, an around-the-clock customer service and repair team would be an invaluable resource. Similarly, if you’re a U.S.-based operation, working with a European packaging machinery supplier might be more complicated than choosing to partner with a respected, local company. As you consider who to invest with when it comes to your packaging machinery needs, remember to think beyond the equipment and check the fit of the supplier, too. 

Invest in Quality Packaging Machinery

At INSITE, we understand that investing in new machinery can feel like a leap of faith. For this reason, we work to simplify the packaging automation process as much as possible. Our case erector and case sealer machines utilize clean, minimalistic designs that protect your investment by minimizing changeover. Additionally, our 24/7 customer service team is committed to ensuring your investment performs at peak-capacity, 100 percent of the time. If it’s time to upgrade your equipment, contact us to learn more about why our packaging machinery is your wisest investment.

Reusable Packaging: Yay or Nay?

In recent years, the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry has seen a growing shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly packaging options. Fully recyclable packaging and stand-up pouches in a variety of designs are leading the way. These advancements, coupled with evolving consumer demands and a quickly-changing environment, are prompting a further shift towards the ultimate environmentally-conscious option: reusable packaging. But what exactly is reusable packaging, and is it the best move for your product or brand?

The Rise of Reusable Packaging

Disposable, single-use products like water bottles, plastic-wrapped sandwiches, and plastic utensils are substantial contributors to waste and garbage buildup. Significant efforts are being made towards waste reduction, like the introduction of the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap (FWRR), which hopes to prompt further positive advancement by encouraging CPG suppliers to evaluate their operational processes.

In addition to reducing waste, other concepts are being introduced in hopes of improving economical packaging. Among these efforts is the increasing push towards the use of reusable packaging. Products like durable, multi-use shopping bags, wooden eating utensils, and reusable plastic bags encourage consumers to preserve the environment while saving their budgets—a win/win for many. As the reusable packaging trend continues to grow, several brands are stepping up to take advantage of the environmental shift.

TerraCycle’s Loop Leads the Way in Reusable Packaging

The new kid on the block when it comes to environmental packaging, TerraCycle’s Loop project promises to help eliminate waste from the planet. TerraCycle explains their Loop as a big-picture initiative that begins when a consumer orders products that are delivered to their doorstep in a reusable tote. When the products are gone, the empty package is placed back in the tote, alerting Loop to pick it up. TerraCycle is responsible for sorting and cleaning the reusable items and returning the empty, clean packages to consumers for refilling. The “Loop” is complete when new products arrive at consumers’ homes to refill the now clean containers.

Just one of many brands attempting to make the most of the current environmental shift, TerraCycle is encouraging manufacturers and consumers alike to consider the pros and cons of reusable packaging and other similar endeavors. Understanding the logistics of reusable packaging is crucial in deciding if utilizing it is a good move for any given brand or consumer base.

Advantages of Reusable Packaging

There are significant environmental benefits associated with reusable packaging, chief of which is that it often allows companies to increase their bottom line. Reusable packaging can improve worker and operator safety and reduce injuries of all types by eliminating unnecessary parts of the packaging process. It also reduces waste management costs by minimizing recycling and disposal costs. 

Most valuable to big brands and CPG manufacturers, though, are the environmental benefits offered by reusable packaging. Although the specific advantages can vary, most reusable packaging materials bring with them a reduction in the need for landfills and disposal sites, more local community support, and reduced emissions and energy consumption for the company.

Potential Challenges of Reusable Packaging

The advantages of utilizing reusable packing are many, but it also presents new challenges for CPG manufacturers and consumers alike throughout the production and distribution processes. Quickly changing consumer trends force brands to pass front-end costs on to consumers. With reusable packaging continuing to rise and initiatives like Loop gaining popularity, these front-end costs will likely include deposits on reusable containers. Higher fees can deter consumers from purchasing or subscribing to a specific product, potentially outweighing the benefits of using reusable packaging in the first place. 

In addition to higher consumer costs, the complicated logistics required to coordinate reusable packaging initiatives requires substantial time and a large budget. Finally, the current lack of efficiency in environmental packaging efforts means reusable packaging might not be worth the time and funds needed to execute this type of large-scale attempt until further advances are made.

What Packaging Changes Mean for the CPG Industry

Most manufacturers and consumers agree that reducing emissions and improving environmental efforts are weighty causes. However, the path to environmentally-friendly manufacturing and packaging processes is not yet clear. Being prepared for the continued evolution of reusable packaging is key to successfully navigating this shift. Staying up-to-date on packaging trends isn’t enough. And remaking the wheel is a poor use of resources. Instead, success in the face of change takes an unwavering commitment to high-quality products and a willingness to grow with one’s customers.

Embrace Better Packaging With the Right Manufacturer

At INSITE, we’re passionate about leveraging technological advances wherever possible to make our machines simpler and smarter so you can be prepared for every packaging advancement. We designed our case erecting and case sealing machines to deliver only the best performance, and we also provide 24/7 customer service. If you aren’t sure your current manufacturer can prepare you to embrace packaging changes with confidence, contact INSITE today.

Packaging Machinery 101: 5 Terms You Should Know

No matter the topic of conversation, it’s easy to tell a subject matter expert from a novice. Experts possess an in-depth understanding of terminology, trade secrets, acronyms, and the latest industry news. Expertise helps any given brand set itself apart as an authority. This status ultimately encourages customers to work with you.

When was the last time you refreshed your knowledge of some essential terms in the automated packaging machinery industry? More than just knowing these terms, it’s vital to recognize their role in the automated machinery process. Let’s take a quick trip back to the basics and begin building your industry authority from the ground up.

Active Case Squaring

A vital part of any top-of-the-line case erector, active case squaring technology helps ensure consistently square cases, every time. At INSITE, our active case squaring design is simple, straightforward, and intelligent. Photo eyes ensure all cases are squared before they’re sealed. If a case is skewed, the independently driven side belts on our machines respond with a microburst of speed to adjust the case, making it square every time. To see INSITE’s active case squaring in action, check out this video

Benefits of Active Case Squaring 

Without active case squaring, square corners are not guaranteed—and you might wind up with inconsistent cases. This results in poor weight distribution and can lead to pallet collapse during packaging and shipping. Not only can this inefficiency severely impact the speed of your production process, but it can affect your budget and machine maintenance needs as well.

Case Hand and Machine Hand

Automated packaging machinery has dominant “hands” that help determine how a machine operates. Machines can be left hand oriented or right hand oriented. There is no right or wrong orientation; most producers choose machine hand dominance depending on their production line and product flow.

Hand dominance also comes into play when considering the erecting and sealing of your custom cases. Determining how the major panel is oriented when the case is in a knocked-down position, case hands are also either left or right hand oriented. This knowledge helps ensure cases will be correctly assembled before traveling down production and packaging lines.  

Dominant Hand 

Most case erector manufacturers require consistent case and machine hands (i.e., a left-handed RSC requires a left-handed case erector, and vice versa). Sticking with the same orientation seems like a no-brainer—but mistakes in equipment ordering and installation do happen. Without proper setup and orientation, you could wind up damaging your production processes.


Changeover is the process of switching from the production of one product or part number to another on a certain line or machine. Likewise, changeover time is the amount of time between the last good piece or product in the run just completed and the first good piece from the process after the changeover. While it’s not possible to eliminate changeover time entirely, it is possible to manage and reduce timelines. Start by making sure you’re familiar with the needs and general changeover times of your secondary packaging machinery.

Managing Changeover

Often, the more changeover points an automated packaging machine requires, the less efficient it is and the more expensive to operate and maintain it will be. By understanding your machines’ potential points of changeover and the time it takes for these changes to occur, you’ll be better able to manage the production process and anticipate points of delay or breakdown.


Smart use of robotics allows us to get rid of many of the parts and mechanisms in run-of-the-mill case erectors and replace them with a reliable SCARA robot. SCARA is a simple, smart robotics system with a wide range of capabilities. Designed to follow its own software-written path, the SCARA system offers a smart, simple solution for manufacturers struggling with their packaging equipment. At INSITE, we made this change and haven’t looked back, relying on a SCARA robot to meet our pick-and-pass needs.

The Importance of SCARA Systems

 A single SCARA robot offers a reliable alternative to more complex machinery. Implementing a SCARA robotics system can allow for the replacement of many other parts and mechanisms, simplifying your production line and saving you money in the long run.

Becoming an Industry Leader

Building a reputation as an industry leader in secondary packaging requires more than a deep understanding of the latest terminology. It takes innovation, brand collaboration, and a willingness to adapt to the industry as new trends emerge and consumer desires evolve. To meet these changes head on and make the most of them to help your business grow, you need superior machinery. 

Lead the Way With INSITE

No matter what your packaging needs may be,  INSITE is eager to help further establish your brand as an authority and leader within your industry. Through our streamlined machine design, unbeatable customer service, and commitment to packaging excellence, we’ll work together to highlight your expertise. Read more about becoming an expert in all things packaging automation here, or give us a call today. We’ll make sure you’re equipped with the best equipment for the job.

5 Ways to Create a Safer Production Process

Every manufacturing crew dreads the moment the department “days without incident” counter drops from triple or quadruple digits back to zero. Injuries are a serious matter, especially when your company prides itself on prioritizing employee and operator safety. If your company already has safety measures in place, double-checking them on a regular basis is vital to the continued safety of your workforce. 

No matter how vigilant companies are in their efforts to provide a safe, injury-free workplace, there’s always room for improvement. How can your company improve its existing machine manufacturing procedures to keep workplace safety a high priority?

Planning for Accidents

It’s impossible to avoid accidents and injuries altogether. However, emergency action plans, up-to-date machinery, and continued employee training all work together to create a safer production process. The first step in minimizing injuries and prioritizing safety isn’t OSHA compliance, or switching out old machinery for streamlined equipment. Instead, the best way to plan for accidents is to first create a company-wide culture of safety.

The shift from compliance to a true workplace safety mindset doesn’t happen overnight. It requires intentional time, effort, and training to cultivate this kind of atmosphere. Once the shift happens, though, employee safety and workplace efficiency can be maximized in the long run. An effective way to jumpstart the mindset shift from squeaking past compliance regulations to having a genuine desire for safety to prevail is to introduce emergency action plans (EAP’s) to the workplace.

The Necessity of EAP’s

A written document required by particular OSHA standards, an EAP should outline and organize a plan of action to be followed by all employees in the case of a workplace emergency. Covering every position from office assistants and machine operators to managers, having a working EAP in place ensures that every member of your team knows his or her role in handling unplanned accidents and injuries. In addition to ensuring OSHA compliance, EAP’s smartly simplify what could otherwise be a complex process of organizing a chaotic situation. With your employees invested in their own safety and the safety of others, your production line will be better prepared to take emergencies seriously. 

Keep Your Employees Safer With These 5 Tips

In addition to having a working EAP in place and regularly running through the EAP in preparation for a real workplace emergency, there are a few more measures you can implement to make your production operations safer. Here are a few tips to help ensure that your workplace and production processes are equipped to handle unplanned situations.

Enforce Breaks

In the midst of a busy production day, it’s easy to forget a lunch break or neglect to take those quick 15 minutes to relax and refocus on the task at hand. However, when employees skip these needed times of rest, productivity decreases, stress increases, and accidents can happen. Even when breaks aren’t legally required on a certain shift, employers often choose to give them because they understand that performance is better when employees are cared for. If your employees are neglecting their break time, encourage them to start taking them to give their minds and bodies the rest they need to work efficiently.

Request Feedback

No one knows the ins-and-outs of a given machine better than the operators and employees who work with them regularly. If you have doubts regarding the safety of your existing production process, ask your machinery operators for feedback and areas of potential improvement. You may find that they have safety concerns that could easily be addressed with a switch in procedure.

Utilize Smarter Robotics Systems

One of the most effective ways to eliminate injuries is to keep your machinery and robotics systems running at full capacity. Missing software updates or choosing not to replace parts when new pieces are needed will undoubtedly leave gaps in efficiency and make your employees more vulnerable to accidents and machine malfunctions. If it’s time for a complete changeover, upgrading to cutting-edge machinery will only better your workplace.

Encourage Continuing Education

While machinery and robotics updates are crucial to ensuring a safer production process, these changes will mean little if employees don’t receive proper training to use them well. Consider bringing in a representative from your machinery company to train employees on new equipment, or dedicating time on a monthly basis to instruct or refresh employees, broadening their understanding of the machinery and your industry as a whole. 

Make Time for Safety

Although machinery updates and employee training go a long way in creating a safety-minded culture, continue the dedication to safety by sharing tips and training at company meetings, weekly check-in’s, and any other appropriate events. Even small, quick tips, like encouraging crews to remember ear and eye protection, refreshing where fire extinguishers are located, and making sure employees can locate emergency exits, go a long way in reinforcing workplace safety.

Prioritize Operator Safety With Certified Packaging Machinery

Safer production processes rely on simple, smart machines. If you have doubts about the safety of your automated packaging machinery, consider INSITE. Our advanced robotics systems, intentional designs, and 24/7 customer service can streamline your packaging operations while protecting the health and safety of your operators. Contact us today to learn more about how you can start creating a safer production process. 

4 New Packaging Trends to Watch

When was the last time you enjoyed a container of yogurt with toppings kept conveniently dry in a separate part of the package? Or can you recall the first time a product label caught your attention thanks to its eye-catching logo? Although no specific product or CPG brand may come to mind, the well-integrated concepts of compartmentalization and graphic branding have slowly been incorporated into countless products throughout the CPG industry. Today, consumers think little about these “common” designs. In the 1990s, however, they were the hottest trends in packaging. 

If today’s packaging design trends will become the standard for tomorrow, staying up-to-date on emerging packaging trends is vital to the success of every player in the CPG game. Is it worth buying into the hype of passing trends? And if so, is your brand making the most of today’s top packaging trends?

Why CPG Providers Can’t Ignore Trends

It’s easy to discard packaging design trends as fads that will fade from significance over the coming weeks and months. However, the root of what drives trends cannot be ignored. Evolving preferences not only steer the consumer industry from one focus to another, but they also play a deciding role in manufacturing offerings and trade goods. Anticipating these trends—and meeting the new demands before your competition—is key to success. 

The Industry-Wide Environmental Shift

First, let’s talk about a larger, lasting event we’ve been noticing. With big brands like Mondi and Werner & Mertz leading the way towards 100-percent recyclable product packaging, environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging has been the hottest topic on the market for a while. To adjust to this enduring shift, CPG retailers and providers must be willing to evolve. That means making time to reflect on production processes and taking steps to incorporate organic and recyclable materials into your packaging operations as appropriate. 

Although the task can seem daunting, these steps don’t have to be grand gestures. Small changes, like switching out plastic-based packing materials for biodegradable cornstarch or mushroom packaging, can go a long way. These efforts make a difference in reducing the environmental footprint brands leave and can even encourage consumers to shift their partnerships towards businesses that support sustainable practices. 

4 Trends To Watch

CPG brands are also utilizing new packaging options to build on existing sustainability and environmentally-friendly efforts. These new trends are designed using cutting-edge technologies and innovations to offer increased function and minimize waste, making packaging designs more creative than ever before. 

Flexible Packaging

Expected to hit nearly $100 billion by the end of this year, flexible packaging is taking the CPG industry by storm. This type of packaging is usually used in the form of pouches and bags. Brands are finding that products packaged and sold in flexible packaging are easier to store, display, and recycle. Consumers also enjoy the perks of flexible packaging, which include less required storage space and easy transportation.

See-Through Packaging

Transparent or translucent packaging continues to be a popular choice among product packagers. By allowing customers to actually glimpse the intended products, instead of a branded photo or list of ingredients, see-through packaging builds trust and showcases products more authentically. Another advantage offered by transparent packaging is its versatility in materials. See-through packaging can be crafted from plastic, biodegradable paper, glass, and just about any other material that offers increased visibility of the product. 

Standup Pouches

One of the fastest-growing flexible packaging segments, standup pouches are durable, convenient, and often resealable. We expect standup pouches to continue rising in popularity thanks to their design potential, wide range of uses, and low manufacturing costs, which make them a viable packaging solution for countless products.

Reusable packaging

It’s no secret that consumers like to save money or feel that they’re getting a good deal. For example, would you rather buy a plastic bag that can be used to pack one on-the-go meal or resealable bags that can be rinsed and reused? Redesigning packaging to make it reusable not only makes for a more sustainable packaging process, but it’s also attractive to both consumers and manufacturers, thanks to its durability. 

Incorporating Packaging Trends Into Product Offerings

To make the most of evolving trends, it’s vital to know your audience. Are your customers in need of packaging design changes? Do you package products that could benefit from transparent or reusable packaging? Could your packaging process be made easier by adopting standup packaging options? 

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, take some time to analyze your current packaging operations to ensure these changes would be supported. Are there areas in your product line or your production line that can be tweaked to increase efficiency or places you could implement simpler changes to stay ahead? 

After considering a grander plan for modifying your product offerings, consult your best customers to make sure these are services or options they would use. By testing out the waters on a smaller scale, you’ll learn what works, and maybe more importantly, what doesn’t—so your production line can be set up for success in the long run.

Stay Ahead of the Trends With the Right Manufacturer

At INSITE, we make it a habit to stay on top of the latest packaging trends. Not only does this help us continue to innovate our own machinery, but it also allows us to understand what our customers are facing—and how we can best support them. 

Are you searching for simple, smart, automated packaging solutions? Contact INSITE today. We’re excited to meet your packaging equipment needs and help you prepare to conquer any and every emerging trend. With 24/7 customer support, streamlined equipment designs, and over 50 years of industry experience, we’ll provide you with the expertise and equipment you need to get the job done.

4 Tips to Speed Up Your Packaging Process

As new e-commerce developments like subscription boxes, pick-up options for consumer goods, and overnight shipping push product manufacturers to send out better products at an increased rate, a streamlined packaging process is more crucial than ever. 

The final step in a production line, a packaging process consists of the organization, packing, sealing, and labeling of consumer products in strategically constructed cartons for distribution. An efficient packaging process can be a manufacturer’s greatest asset in meeting increased demand—or their greatest downfall if not well utilized. Are you making the most of your packaging process?

Evaluating Your Existing Processes

A thorough examination of your current packaging process should be conducted to help identify existing strengths and weaknesses. Take the time to review your packaging stations and equipment (including corrugated cases, sealant, and fillers), as well as any automated processes being implemented. Are enough employees stationed along your packaging line? Do your cases take too much time to erect and seal? Is filler being overutilized when a simple change in product packaging could eliminate much of this waste? 

The answers to these and other relevant questions will help determine the health of your packaging line and also reveal areas of potential growth. Understandably, it can be difficult to be critics of our own work. If this sort of evaluation seems daunting, consider consulting a packaging expert to provide an outside opinion of your existing packaging process. 

As you continue to evaluate your packaging processing, take these additional factors into account before instituting a packaging change. 

Your Industry and Market Niche

A manufacturer for Amazon, which packs and ships a wide variety of product types across the globe, would have a vastly different packaging process than a manufacturer of one product that ships to a specific customer type. Amazon’s packing process would require a wide range of case sizes and various fillers to accommodate many products. In contrast, packaging one kind of product and shipping to a single location or customer type requires a simpler process. With this in mind, your packaging evaluation process may vary depending on the nature of your product and customer base.

The Value of the Unboxing Process

As influencer marketing continues to rise, coupled with the increase in e-commerce shopping, the “unboxing” process now carries significant weight in customer satisfaction and reordering potential. For example, apparel, which is not likely to break or be damaged during transport, is easily packaged in plastic shipping bags. However, shipping the same clothing item in a branded box, smartly packaged with colored tissue paper and a printed thank-you note, will be better received by the customer. Is a more pleasant unboxing process worth the extra cost? Depending on your industry and product base, the answer may be a resounding yes. 

4 Ways to Increase Your Packaging Efficiency

Now that your existing packaging process has been examined, it’s time to implement relevant changes to your production line. Here are a few actionable improvements you might make to your packaging process.

Increased Automation

Automating packaging operations is a modern way to bring your current packaging process into the technological age. Especially if your current packaging process relies heavily on manpower, turning to efficient automation is an ideal solution for decreasing manual labor and cutting costs. Although it requires a substantial investment upfront, automated packaging is key to keeping up with increasing consumer demands. 

Machinery Updates

If you’ve made past changes to increase your packaging efficiency through automation, machinery updates and maintenance are crucial to keep your line operating at maximum output. Changeover is essential to maintain the health of your packaging process, but it can be a daunting process. Consider our list of helpful tips for handling machinery changeover with ease. 

Better Employee Training

Although a reliable workforce is essential to a successful production line, training—or a lack of it—can make or break your packaging process. By offering continued training on machinery updates, industry changes, and emerging technologies, you are investing not just in your employees, but in your business, and the return employees ultimately yield.

Request Feedback

No one knows the ins and outs of your packaging process like the operators on your production line. As you consider making changes to speed up your packaging process, ask for feedback from your seasoned staff. Odds are, they will have valuable suggestions that not only make their jobs easier but also aid in the efficiency and speed of your packaging line. 

Make the Most of Your Packaging Process With INSITE

If you are searching for a smarter solution to your existing case erecting or case sealing needs, consider INSITE. Our focus on providing quality machines and unmatchable customer service allows us to reduce and eliminate costs that customers shouldn’t have to incur when purchasing a standardized packaging machine. Reach out today to learn more about how INSITE can improve your packaging process. 


The Heavy Duty Corrugated Packaging Market Continues to Grow

In light of rising e-commerce sales, the continued increase in subscription box services, the expansion of curbside pickup and delivery offerings, and other developments in the packaging and delivery sphere, the corrugated packaging market is perfectly positioned for further growth. With demand increasing for corrugated material, the heavy duty corrugated packaging market is currently estimated to be valued at over $17 billion. The industry is projected to expand by 5 percent over the course of the next decade. 

Which Industries Are Experiencing the Most Growth?

Nearly a quarter of the worldwide heavy duty packaging market is found in Europe. What’s driving all that business? Food. The European Corrugated Packaging Association FEFCO reports that as much as 40 percent of corrugated products are used by the food industry. 

Heavy duty corrugated cases are also often used to ship varied consumer goods like cosmetics, beverages, household wares, and even pet food. Since e-commerce sellers like Amazon are only continuing to increase in popularity, the demand for pallet boxes and heavy duty corrugated packaging has risen drastically. It seems clear that heavy duty corrugated packaging will remain in high demand for years to come. 

Key Players

A number of brands are setting themselves apart in the heavy duty corrugated packaging market, actively acquiring corrugate and expanding their reach in new and developing markets like Latin America and the Asia Pacific region. The Mondi Group, Smurfit Kappa Group, and DS Smith are currently at the forefront. Other key market players include VPK Packaging Group, International Paper Company, WestRock Company, Georgia Pacific, LLC, Pratt Industries, Inc., Oji Holdings Corporation, Smurfit Kappa Group Plc., and more. 

Which Types of Corrugated Packages Are in High Demand?

The favored product in the heavy duty corrugated packaging market, corrugated boxes are durable and ideal for transportation. Flexible in size, shape, and capacity, corrugated boxes can allow for lower overhead costs, and their versatility makes them useful for a variety of shipping and packaging needs.

Accounting for more than a quarter of the total market share in 2019, pallet boxes are also in high demand. Environmentally-friendly (when compared to plastic-based packaging), biodegradable, and recyclable, heavy duty corrugated boxes and pallet boxes are finding increasing popularity as the corrugated packaging market continues to grow.

As more brands step up recycling efforts to reduce their environmental footprint and we see tighter regulations on plastic-based packaging, packaging materials like heavy duty corrugate are being chosen over other products. As a result of these changes, this past year has also prompted major price increases in the global heavy duty corrugated packaging market.

Global Impact on Market Increases

The increased demand for heavy duty corrugated packaging has led to an industry-wide shortage of heavy duty corrugated material, kickstarting the supply and demand cycle. As a result, countries like China, India, and Brazil are seeing fast growth in their corrugated packaging markets. This is prepping them to support much of the heavy duty corrugated packaging market growth within the next ten years. 

The biggest contributor to the market increases is China, which is predicted to rise as much as 6 percent within the next ten years. Developing countries like Mexico are contributing to the increased demand for heavy duty corrugated packaging, driving market growth and raising the price of corrugate. 

Representing one-fourth of the global heavy duty corrugated packaging market, Europe is another key player at this time. We also expect to see the United States heavy duty corrugated packaging market expand, thanks to our high number of convenience and superstores. 

How Your Business Can Prepare for Corrugated Packaging Increases 

As the heavy duty corrugated packaging market continues to grow, prices will keep rising. Prepare to see increases from vendors and increased packaging demands from customers. To combat this, take the time to examine your packaging process step-by-step, checking for areas of inefficiencies or gaps in the process. Ensuring that your production line is streamlined saves time and money, which can be funneled into other parts of your budget and used to help offset price increases.

While prices are rising, there is good news for CPG suppliers and producers, too. Higher prices are the result of increased demand, meaning expanding business opportunities. Is your marketing top-notch? Are you effectively reaching your targeted customer base? The answers to these questions will help reveal how prepared your business is to answer increased demands for your services. 

Get Ready for Growth With INSITE

No matter what your packaging needs may be, it’s vital that your business is prepared for the predicted growth in the heavy duty corrugated packaging market. INSITE is eager to support your packaging process through our thoughtful machine design, quality customer service, and unbeatable advice. Give us a call today—we’ll make sure you’re ready to grow with the right equipment.

Trend Alert: Opaque Packaging Film

In addition to providing innovative packaging machinery, we’re dedicated to keeping you up to date on the latest and greatest packaging trends. In the past few years, we’ve seen the rise of textured packaging, logo-heavy design, eco-friendly materials, and more. Each of these trends has brought something new and exciting to the secondary packaging industry. 

Today, we’re taking a look at another popular trend taking over the market: opaque packaging films. This type of packaging has become particularly useful to brands whose increasingly popular online offerings package and ship diverse products. As the secondary packaging industry continues to grow, we expect opaque packaging films to stick around. Here’s what you need to know about this developing trend. 

Opaque Packaging Film Basics

Opaque films offer a more cost-effective alternative to traditional corrugated boxes and fillers. By wrapping items closer to their real forms instead of packaging them in corrugated boxes, opaque films cut out bulky packages and eliminate other packing materials such as fillers and tape. And since this material is not transparent, the privacy of the item remains intact. 

Benefits of Opaque Packaging Film

The introduction of opaque packaging films could be a predictor of a brighter, greener future for e-commerce packaging. Not only does utilizing opaque packaging cut unnecessary materials from the production and packaging processes, but it also reduces shipping costs, saves space (both on the packaging and distribution sides), and minimizes labor time and cost throughout the entire packaging process. And while more traditional packing methods like bubble wrap or styrofoam peanuts require conscious cleanup, opaque packaging requires minimal consumer time to clean up, making for a more enjoyable experience at the end of the line.

In years past, corrugated boxes have been king when it comes to high-end packaging and safe shipping. In addition to their sturdiness, boxes offered the ability to safely conceal whatever items were packed inside, protecting buyer privacy and purchases. Every product has a downside, though, and corrugated packaging does produce some waste. Although recycling and economically friendly packaging have led to reduced cardboard waste, both the corrugated materials that make the box and the fillers inside (whether they be tissue paper, styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, etc.) contribute to waste and have caused some brands to rethink their existing packaging processes. 

Double-Check the Fit

Although an increasing number of e-commerce brands are switching to opaque packaging film, this trending packaging method is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every product. Take the time to review your product, consumer base, and shipping methods carefully to determine if utilizing opaque packaging film would be beneficial to your brand. That being said, there are a number of items that are well-suited to this kind of packaging.


While transparent packaging film reveals the nature of any and all items packed in it, opaque packaging films offer a safer way to ship valuables. While the shape of whatever is packed will still be visible, opaque films keep casual handlers from knowing the exact contents of a package. So not only does this solution minimize waste created by large boxes and filler material, but it also offers consumers peace of mind knowing their important items are protected. 

Weather-Sensitive Items 

Harsh UV rays and high or low temperatures can significantly affect the lifespan and usability of shipped items. With this in mind, opaque packaging film offers a solution that transparent packaging film can’t—by minimizing exposure to elements that might otherwise damage shipped items. Products made from wood or other materials that could fade, warp, discolor, or otherwise degrade in severe weather can benefit immensely from opaque packaging. 

Important Documents

Just like packing and shipping valuables in opaque packaging film allows these items to remain private, opaque packaging films can also be useful to maintain the anonymity of important documents. If tamper-evident shipping mailing envelopes aren’t available or packagers need another method of protecting sensitive documents, opaque packaging film is a handy solution. 

Successful Machines Set Up for Opaque Packaging Films

When using opaque films, it’s vital to have your production line precisely orchestrated to run this trendy packaging component successfully. Many top-of-the-line industrial packaging machines use photoelectric sensors to determine when packaging is in the proper place to be sealed. By emitting a light beam that notices when an item interrupts it, these sensors use a receiver that tells the machines when and where to create a seal. Clear packaging films make this easy, but opaque films can confuse the sensors, making proper sealing difficult. If your sealers use photoelectric sensors, consider the effect opaque packaging film might have on the rest of your production line and the changes you may have to make before adding it to your offerings.

Stay On Top of Packaging Trends With INSITE

Stick with us, and we’ll keep you in the know about exciting new developments in the CPG and secondary packaging industries. And if you’re looking for ways to streamline your production process, consider INSITE. Our innovative case sealers offer clean, minimalistic designs that are safe, dependable, efficient to operate, and effortless to maintain. Contact us today to learn more about how INSITE’s case sealers can improve your packaging operations. 


How Manufacturer’s Joints Affect Corrugated Fiberboard Performance

Would a doctor ever advise a runner to sign up for a marathon shortly after diagnosing him or her with debilitating arthritis? Just like healthy joints are crucial to a runner’s success, the manufacturer’s joints of your corrugated cases play a pivotal role in maintaining lifespan and performance, as well as in ensuring the overall health of your packaging process. If the wrong type or a poorly sealed joint is used during the case erection process, that case could fail during sealing or distribution, damaging your product and ultimately hurting your bottom line. To help avoid these types of inefficiencies, we’ve put together some information on the all-important manufacturer’s joint.

What Are Manufacturer’s Joints?

A manufacturer’s joint is an even piece of corrugated fiberboard that has been cut, slotted, and scored for the purpose of holding the two ends of a box blank together. When a case is assembled correctly, this joint forms a tight seal with the help of staples, glue, or tape. Crucial to protecting your product during the packaging and distribution processes, these joints can (literally) make or break the structural integrity of your case.

Categorized into three common types, manufacturer’s joints are used to help seal a majority of cases constructed from corrugated fiberboard and other similar materials. Each type of joint comes with different strengths and considerations that make it more useful for certain products and machines.

Types of Manufacturer’s Joints

Stitched Joints 

The original joint type, stitched joints utilize staples or other fasteners to join case tabs together at the edges. 

Glued Joint

Effective but more costly, hot-melt glue joints use liquid adhesive to join case tabs. Typically, cases will have glue tabs on one end of the box blank that can be adhered to either the outside or inside of the case. This is the more commonly used joint in today’s manufacturing world.

Taped Joint

Often used to seal cases made with no tabs at all, tape joints require a certain amount of overlap (usually 1¼ inch) to provide an effective seal.

If you’re unsure how to select the most effective corrugated material for your products, take a quick peek at our blog post regarding corrugated cardboard types. 

How Manufacturing Joints Affect the Lifespan of Cases

If our imaginary runner were to attempt to complete a marathon with unbearable arthritis, he would not only inflict further damage on his body, making any future races improbable; he’d be ill-equipped to finish his initial race. In the same way, using poorly constructed corrugated boxes with improperly sealed manufacturer’s joints does not only fail to properly protect your products – it also informs potential customers that any future purchases might be distributed with similar results, encouraging them to turn to your competitors.  

These joints also play a large role in the case erecting process, determining how and which case erectors work most cohesively with your existing production line. Converting case blanks into fully erected, bottom-sealed cases may not sound like a difficult process, but if you’ve ever struggled to open a package or to construct a perfectly square case, you know that the joints that support cases, and the machines that assemble them, are no small part of any case.

How Case Lifespan Affects the Secondary Packaging Ecosystem

The performance of a case is significantly impacted by the conditions that case encounters throughout the production, packaging, and distribution processes. Some factors like stacking, time, humidity, and third-party impact are hard to foresee. Others, however, we can predict and plan for accordingly when evaluating the lifespan and performance requirements of corrugated materials. 

Consider the processes you currently have in place concerning your packaging method, packed product weight per case, pallet size, overhang, gaping between pallet slats, and mode of pallet transportation. If your cases are being erected with the wrong manufacturer’s joints, just one of these external factors could completely alter the performance of your case, limiting the effectiveness of your entire packaging system. 

To ensure that your cases perform to their highest potential, evaluate your packaging equipment, product design and fit, and distribution process. Since these aspects of production play a key role in determining the lifespan of your case, they should be thoroughly examined to ensure that no point in the process is hindering case performance in any way. In addition to revealing points of weakness, an examination on this level can also reveal strengths in your production, packaging, and distribution processes that might confirm that your cases are set up with the manufacturer’s joints that best benefit your packaging process. 

Maximize Your Case Performance With INSITE

At INSITE, packaging is in our DNA. If you seek practical, cost-effective solutions for your case erecting or case sealing needs, you’ve come to the right place. Our website isn’t just our storefront; it’s also a great place to get general information about what we do, specific help, advice, or product information. Feel free to send us a message, and our stellar customer service will get back to you almost as fast as our products can revolutionize your packaging process.