How to Optimize Floor Space Without Sacrificing Packaging Line Performance

23 March 2016 //

Equipment PurchasingProject Planning

Everyone knows making a square peg fit into a round hole never works, but the same doesn’t necessarily hold true when choosing packaging equipment to fit within a tight building layout. If your facility’s space is hindering you from automating your packaging line, you may need to reconsider your equipment provider and their approach to modular design, as well as reassess your line’s order of operations.

Machine Modularity

Equipment with a modular design offers flexibility and efficiency for your packaging lines. Also, by using a proven modular design to create a made-to-order machine, you can avoid customization that requires substantial financial and time commitments.

A common misconception about modular design is that it can’t accommodate products needing larger equipment footprints. This, however, is not the case:

Carpet rolls, padding, insulation, or other building products are typically conveyed straight in an inline machine. That same machine can be designed as a side feed or u-shaped configuration to minimize its footprint]

Trayed products require additional tray forming machinery be added to the bundler. To adapt to restrictive layouts, tray feeders can be designed as inline or side feed.

Bagged products, such as pet foods, coffees or stacks of absorbent pads use tight wrap technologies to address their lack of rigidity, and often require an additional layer of wrapping. More wrapping means more machine space, unless the machine is designed using a U- or Z-shape.

Download our packaging system upgrade worksheet here to learn how to start planning a new system for your line. »

Order of Operations

While moving product directly from Point A to Point B may be the fastest and most efficient, it’s not always the most practical due to electrical or architectural obstructions. Your equipment provider may be able to add ancillary equipment to overcome these types of obstacles; however, you may have to account for a film hoist or a print-and-apply station that add points of product movement and increases demands on your space.

Before considering ancillary equipment – or any equipment – put first things first. Make sure to provide application engineers with the most up-to-date building layout drawings so they can fully comprehend your workflow processes and provide the most logical solutions to tight space concerns.

Putting a square peg in a round hole is impossible, but finding equipment to fit and perform in a cramped facility space isn’t when you make smart choices – including working with the experts at EDL. Contact us today to discuss how we can help solve your space challenges.