What You Should Know Before Investing in New Packaging Machinery

Published October 25, 2019

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.

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