2020 will go down in the books as the year COVID-19 changed everything. Virtually no industry was untouched. Some benefited, but many did not.
As a packaging OEM with a medical device practice that includes syringe, test kit and PPE packaging, we've had a front row seat to Operation WARP Speed. Medical device producers, scrambling to deliver equipment to front-line workers under previously unheard-of time pressure, have had to press the envelope of traditional packaging approaches. Little can be done in that time frame to accelerate the production of new packaging machines. Instead, producers have looked to work arounds and embraced changing customer requirements to meet that demand.
We’ll focus our discussion in three areas that have made a difference in the short run: alternative packaging methods employed, automation, and individual versus bulk product packaging.
Avoid harmful bacteria buildup on your packaging machine by following sanitation requirements. Machine designs should not allow moisture collection and other harmful particulates. A particular emphasis should be put on points of product contact where the exposed product can be compromised.
Washdown machine design and sanitary machine design are not the same.
And the design you need depends on what type of product you are packaging and its accompanying health and safety requirements.
Understanding the difference between the two designs will not only help guarantee your line passes inspection and the delivery of a safe product to consumers, but also can save you money on your machine purchase.
Packaged meatballs are one of the leading products for an industry-leading meat manufacturer.
Their product flies off grocery store shelves, and they’d like to expand into convenience stores and dollar stores. And while they do sell their meatballs in club stores, their current packaging simply isn’t efficient.
To tackle the introduction of meatballs to convenience and dollar stores, along with revamping of their club store packaging, they teamed up with Harpak-ULMA to design the proper packaging for each store.
Investing in a new packaging line requires a considerable amount of due diligence. It’s a significant expense, and an asset you expect to utilize for a long time. Maybe a very long time.
Downtime, the term coined to reflect when a production line is not producing product, is estimated by The International Society of Automation (ISA) to cost the manufacturing industry nearly $650 billion every year. While downtime can occur at any point in a production process, we’ll explore what producers can do to help minimize the risk and impact of downtime in the packaging phase of production. Good packaging machine and automation design works to prevent planned or unplanned downtime, and packaging process analysis can help identify potential downtime risks and improvement opportunities. Equipment designs that minimize the impact of tool changeovers, consumable replenishment, washdown, and other planned maintenance activities are an important piece of this puzzle. However, the unpredictable nature of unplanned downtime combined with many interrelated causation factors makes this a cause-celebre for most producers.
As a marketer looking to drive sales, your packaging designs likely focus on product differentiation, consumer convenience, and consumer expectations. Designing the package can be an artistic experience. However, you need to also be aware of the manufacturability of your design and your engineering team’s goals.
Brands that sell similar products compete for the same consumer’s money on the shelf (or webpage). Your packaging could make or break that consumer’s decision to buy your product or your competitors at the point of purchase.