Choosing packaging machinery includes an assessment of technical capabilities, labor requirements, worker safety, maintainability, serviceability, reliability, ability to integrate into the packaging line, capital cost, floorspace, flexibility (change-over, materials, multiple products, etc.), energy requirements, quality of outgoing packages, qualifications (for food, pharmaceuticals, etc.), throughput, efficiency, productivity, ergonomics, return on investment, etc.
Packaging machinery can be:
purchased as standard, off-the-shelf equipment
purchased custom-made or custom-tailored to specific operations
manufactured or modified by in-house engineers and maintenance staff
Efforts at packaging line automation increasingly use programmable logic controllers and robotics.
Packaging machines may be of the following general types:
Accumulating and collating machines
Blister packs, skin packs and vacuum packaging machines
Bottle caps equipment, over-capping, lidding, closing, seaming and sealing machines
Box, case, tray, and carrier forming, packing, unpacking, closing, and sealing machines
Cleaning, sterilizing, cooling and drying machines
Coding, printing, marking, stamping, and imprinting machines
Conveyor belts, accumulating and related machines
Feeding, orienting, placing and related machines
Filling machines: handling dry, powdered, solid, liquid, gas, or viscous products
Inspecting: visual, sound, metal detecting, etc.
Orienting, unscrambling machines
Package filling and closing machines
Palletizing, depalletizing, unit load assembly
Product identification: labeling, marking, etc.
Sealing machines: heat sealer or glue units
Weighing machines: check weigher, multihead weigher
Wrapping machines: stretch wrapping, shrink wrap, banding
Form, fill and seal machines
Other specialty machinery: slitters, perforating, laser cutters, parts attachment, etc.