Eight Things to Consider Before Designing Your Next Packaging Machine

The design of a packaging machine doesn’t need to feel like an insurmountable project.

We know the process of designing a new packaging machine or system can be overwhelming, but we’ve broken down the biggest questions and considerations to make the process easier. This guidance should help put you well on your way to designing an efficient machine that suits your needs.

1. How can I reduce the cost of the overall packaging machine design?

Machine builders are constantly trying to reduce the overall cost of the machine and it’s no easy task. Buying less expensive products risks a loss of performance and finding inexpensive labor can compromise your machine’s quality, which will cost you more in the end.

By designing a machine with motor integrated technology, you’ll save on the cabinet cost, the amount of wiring and the actual wire itself. Because you no longer need two cables per axis or motor, you also only have one power cable going to the machine and therefore further reduces cost. Removing the cabinet also means you no longer need an air conditioning unit to cool it, which is another cost saving. Cabinet-free power supplies are now available in new sizes and with cabinet-free power supply options.

Additionally, some trends indicate people are building machines based on specific container size or the back of a semi-truck. If shipping costs include size and weight, a smaller machine that weighs less will save you money on delivery.

Bosch Rexroth’s IndraDrive Mi is a cabinet-free drive technology that contributes to cost reductions in components, cabinets, wiring and cooling.


2. How can I optimize production per square foot in my packaging operations?

If real estate is a concern, there are options to make a machine smaller and optimize the available area to a maximum. Using motor integrated technology, the machine cabinet can be completely eliminated. This reduces the machine’s footprint and allows for more machines per square foot. More machines mean an increase in plant productivity and might even eliminate the need for another building.

Motor integrated technology may also increase your output which eliminates the need for another machine to fulfill your production schedule. Making the machine more accurate, intelligent and smaller may give you greater benefits than just occupying less space.

3. How can I minimize machine operating and maintenance costs? How can I save energy?

By removing components of a typical machine like the cabinet, air conditioning units, and electrical components such as fuses and contactors, operating costs, energy consumption and maintenance are reduced.

Reduce energy consumption by using products that share DC bus energy instead of burning it through bleeder resistors. Take advantage of IP65 protection and smooth surfaces to better handle the units. Fewer parts mean less maintenance which helps provide either a fixed-price or low cost installation.  

4. If I wanted to add another section to the machine, how can I do this easily?

You may first want to design the complete machine in a modular form – in other words, design for the maximum project. For example, consider infeed, collector, pick and place, carton maker, outfeed and palletizing as one project. Then you

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