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Usually an automatic packing machine is part of the production line at the tail end. There are various types of automatic packing machines to cater to different products. An automatic packing machine used for packing drugs in strips cannot be used for packing items like wafers in sachet or for filling and sealing coco cola in pet bottles. So the automatic packing machine is unique and custom made to fulfill the actual requirement for a product line. Designing such unique automatic packing machine is a challenge. An understanding of the design is utmost interesting.
Essentials for automatic packing machine:
The sole objective of using an automatic packing machine is to design it to carry out the packing, at the same speed of the production line. Designing the machine for a uniform packaging of specific product line is much easier than making most sophisticated one that can cater to the variety of products, even if they are similar. Obviously the automatic packing machine has to be made for the specific product line. Such a machine made for bottling plant may possibly be modified or customized for yet another bottling plant. Similarly there are very many automatic packing machines are for generic range of products like sachet for liquids, food grains etc. Such machines also have to cater for automatic weighing, because it cannot be an isolated activity. Weighing the packages precisely is equally important from the point of quality and cost.
As the design of the automatic packing machines for every product line is unique, some manufacturing facilities rather do their own making the packaging machine in house, instead of depending on the packaging industry to develop. Because the manufacturing of most produces are of not of engineering type, the manufacturer's core competence is limited to their own consumer goods like oil, granule products, grains, and more. Products similar to shrimps, peanuts, seeds, candy, etc fall under this category. It is an advantage for the packaging equipment makers, to make to order. So they do not suffer loss of business. The natural extension of the forward integration may not be feasible in most industries.
Choice of automatic packing machines:
Manufacturers have options to choose from the packing solutions readily available from the packing industry. It could be either an off the-shelf machine or custom made machine, or an in house modified packaging machine. In either case, the criteria to choose the right automatic packing machines are technical capabilities, safety of operators, serviceability, reliability and scope for integration are of major consideration to choose the best that suits, specific needs of the industry.
Versatility of automatic packing machines makers:
Specialized engineering production companies have challenge in making the automatic packing machines that meets the specific requirements for every one of their customers in packaged product manufacturing. Their process of manufacturing of automatic packing machines is almost similar to complex bespoke software development and project management. The only advantage over the I.T. project is the requirement is far more specific and detailed. Thereby the design and development is easier. Still there are exceptional situations that calls for making use of consultants or organization specialized in project managing custom made machines.
Complexities in the design of automatic packing machines. The manufacturing of the product must be well understood with precision. Since the automatic packing machines have to work in synch with the production line, matching the speed to cope up the though put is a critical function that the designer has to take care. While on this, the packaging also has to cater to the weighing of the produces, which could be part of either the production line or the packaging machine. Sealing the sachet or the tetra pack or any other packing material in a secure manner is of importance in ensuring the quality.
Large manufacturing may involve outsourced ancillary add-on s like conveyers and so the scope of the deliverable could become even more complex. The automatic packing machines make use of technology that include robotics, programmable controllers and many more.
It may so happen that the makers of the automatic packing machines could end up doing a contract manufacturing. Agriculture product line may be simply outsourced to take advantage of such an amalgamation. The product management company will rather specialize in marketing than manufacturing. Packaging industry stands to gain advantage from such extended scope of their business.
How does the automatic weighing and packaging machine work:
These machines need integration with the production line and use the best of technology solutions. Integration is achieved jointly by the manufacturer and the packaging industry. The manufacturing process is synchronized with the packaging machines through a thorough analysis of the activities. Engineering personnel play the full role, by optimizing the throughput in such a way that the result is a robust system that will never break. Reliability of such a system is being examined thoroughly at the design stage of the entire scope of implementing the total system, with care. Contribution of modern robotics and sensing devices play major role.
Importance of calibration:
Even after the automatic packing machines are delivered, there will be on-going on-site support that has to be extended to the live operations. Calibrating of the gauges and instruments that are required to assess the velocity of the conveyer, or the precise net weight of the produces are of significant importance.
Readily available packing machines:
The automatic packing machine makers also cater to specific manufacturing industries as there are standards emerging in these. Pharmaceutical industries require standard machines for packaging tablets, palletizing robots are most commonly used for shipping in any industry, High shear mixers, water treatment, tablet tooling, and many more. All these do not anyway so away with the customized solutions for specific requirements. Also many semi-automatic packing machines are made available to address the manufacturers.
Cost of production is crucial aspect to remain competitive in business. The fully automatic packing machine that can also do the weighing of the packed items, before completing the packaging, is still emerging. All in one weighing and automatic packing machine is still in development and so these should become reality in every industry. Although such machines are going to lead to unemployment, it is inevitable to cope up with competition to survive and succeed.