Comparing Quotes – Tips by Nortech Packaging

When a product manufacturer is planning to purchase a new palletizer, pre-made pouch machine or any other piece of equipment, he is usually asking for multiple quotes. He does this in order to compare and review packaging equipment manufacturers and also to evaluate each proposal.

It is also very probable that he will almost immediately flip to the price. If the price alone is a deal-breaker, he won’t even take into the account the information on the other pages. However, basing a purchasing decision solely on price can eventually cost him more than he thinks.

Comparing Quotes by Nortech Packaging

Meaning behind numbers

So, when you got the quotes, what should you do next? The price may seem high, affordable or too low at first, but don’t let that stop you from investigating deeper. What is really included in those numbers and what is not? If you do an ‘’apples-to-apples’’ comparison you can eliminate any unanticipated surprises after the purchase and determine the best value for your needs. This is the way to avoid changes in orders, delays, and additional costs.

Each manufacturer has different company protocols and different interpretations of what is being requested. Therefore the prices vary. There are three common ways packaging machines are quoted:

  • Package lump sum deal comprised of a base machine with a host of options and services added in
  • Bare-bones machine with an à la carte list of available ancillary equipment and services
  • Hybrid package solution that provides some options with the machine and offers additional ancillary equipment and services for separate purchases

It is very important to know exactly what is (and isn’t) included in the price. Did you know that ancillary equipment and services can raise the level of investment by up to 30%, or more, depending on the application and machine? In order to help you compare and understand multiple packaging equipment quotes, we recommend breaking down the sections of a quote and putting them into a vendor comparison matrix.  Sections to include in a matrix include:

  • Machine
  • Machine Options
  • Factory Acceptance Test
  • Freight
  • Installation
  • Spare Parts Kit
  • Training
  • Maintenance Plan

Devil is in the Details

Once you have a vendor comparison matrix, the next step is to research deeper to understand what is included in each of the numbers. Lack of detail can stall the purchasing process, and it can cause confusion in the future, especially if it’s not clear what is and was not included in the final number.

Look for these critical elements in a quote when you compare packaging equipment manufacturers:

  • Breakdown of all system components along with an understanding of how the machine is assembled and the general quality of the build.
  • Detailed lists of the specific mechanical, electrical and pneumatic components to be used.
  • What type of electrical controls (PLC/HMI) are being proposed, do they meet both your line needs as well as your existing control structure?
  • Step-by-step walk-through of the method of operation.
  • Information regarding the machine’s specific features and benefits.
  • Machine frame and structure type.
  • Packaging machine’s utility requirements. If other options are available does it identify them?
  • Parts warranty and time frame.
  • Is there a guarantee on system performance?
  • Supplier’s payment terms.
  • System delivery schedule.
  • System testing and acceptance protocols. What can you expect at the FAT? Are both parties in agreement with the testing and acceptance protocols?
  • Is system testing included in the price?
  • What services are available after installation (i.e., parts, technicians, preventive maintenance, and special programs)?

Quote Details Nortech Packaging

If you are the equipment purchasing manager, these guidelines should help you to easily identify the machine being proposed, the packaging machine manufacturer’s level of expertise, and the true cost of each proposal.

So, if you are in the search for the best packaging machine manufacturer, don’t forget to get a quote from us. We are certain that Nortech Packaging will be your final choice.

Pouch Packaging: Options and Sequence of Operation

Convenience is one of the most appreciated values in today’s modern and fast-paced world, which is why the usage of flexible pouches is an ongoing prominent trend in product packaging. Global market demand for pouches is projected to rise 6.2% annually to $37.3 billion in 2018. Food is the largest and most developed market for pouch, followed by pharma/medical and beverage.

Large companies are turning to simple, traditional bag types; pillow style bags and stick-packs. A simplified packaging process provides savings and efficiency increment, which further contributes to a larger bottom line.

This package format is lightweight, convenient, and it complements consumers’ on-the-go lifestyles which is why more consumers are choosing pouches over the traditional glass, paper and metal packaging, and even rigid plastics.

All about the pouch by Nortech Packaging

Pouch is a simple packaging format, yet the pouch packaging processes aren’t as simple as they might appear. In order to choose a right pouch packaging solution you must take into account the nature of a product. Regarding that, this blog post will go through all the steps in pouch packaging process and various optional additions to that process, depending on your packaging needs.  We decided to use the examples based on Nortech Packaging’s ROO-100 preformed pouch fill & seal packaging solution.

The pouch magazine

Pouch magazine is the first station in the pouch packaging process. The magazine consists of the servo driven lugged conveyor and auto- adjustable symmetrical guides. The operator places a stack of pouches in the magazine cells, where the pouch accurate positioning is assured with the guides and lug relative positions. Based on the pouch starving sensor signal, the servo is indexing the belt in order to bring next cell filled with pouches into the loading position.

Pouch feed

The servo driven three head rotary unit to utilize vacuum suction cups to pick a pouch from the magazine, and deliver into the pouch carrier system. Based on the pouch registration sensor signal, servo calculates necessary correction which assures accurate pouch positioning in the grippers.

Pouch carrier systems

In order to be transferred through the machine for different operations, a pouch has to be secured between two grippers. This unique design utilizes two servo driven synchronized chain track, where each supports one of the grippers. If filled pouches are way too heavy, the machine can be built with conveyer which will provide additional support for the pouch from the bottom.

Pouch opening station

By applying vacuum suction cups in the pouch area above a zipper,the pouch is then pre-opened enough to insert mechanical fingers. After inserted, fingers are used to pinch each side of a pouch moving it apart, assuring positive zipper pouch opening.

Pouch filling station

Filling tube moves slightly into the pouch to assure that pouch will form properly to eliminate product spillage. Optionally, additional filling station(s) can be added. For products like chip and snack, we recommend using nitrogen gas flushing. Snack bags are designed to protect delicate foods inside from both physical damage and oxygen exposure. The nitrogen replaces the oxygen and cushions the contents. Unlike oxygen, nitrogen doesn’t react with foods, so they stay fresher longer. Nitrogen doesn’t affect the flavor or texture of the food, so it’s perfect for food preservation. So, chips and snack bags are not filled with nitrogen gas just to look bigger.

Products infeed options are various and they largely depend on a type of product.

For powder and non-free-flowing solids like ground coffee or flour, we recommend auger filler. This system allows you to control dust during the filling operation. Auger fillers are mostly used in conjunction with a weighing instrument in order to compensate for changes in the bulk density of the product. The fillers of this type are suitable for filling products at both low and medium speeds.

Volumetric cup filler is recommended for free-flowing solids like rice, candies or frozen peas or powders that don’t generate dust. Volumetric cup fillers measure out a product in a cup, with specific predetermined volume. This type of filler is suitable for precise filling of products at both low and high speeds.

For packaging applications where measuring needs precision and accuracy, we recommend vibratory fillers. They provide you with accuracy, speed, and versatility across a comprehensive line of linear net weigh feeders.

Multi-head weighers can also bring improvements to your product packing line. Improved weighing accuracy means more packs per kg of product. You can deliver more packs per shift due to fast calculation time. Self-tuning vibration system optimizes product flow and simple, tool-free cleaning shortens weighing machine downtime

For sensitive and fragile products that demand delicate product handling, we recommend robotic infeed. Robotic arm with appropriate end-of-arm-tooling can be integrated with ROO100 for achieving careful and reliable product handling.

 

Sealing station

The top side of a pouch is sealed with the hot sealing bar. Pouch cooling of a pouch area that got heated from sealing is also an option. To get rid of an excessive air in the bag you can enhance your packaging solution with deflators. Sponge or rubber loop deflators push the air out just prior to sealing.

ROO100 Nortech Packaging

 

 After sealing options

Metal detector: To detect unwanted particles, the metal detector can be integrated before or after pouch fill & seal machine.

Checkweigher can be integrated after pouch fill & seal machine for improved measuring control

Scrap pouches can be removed with the help of a reject station that can be integrated after pouch fill & seal machine.

Labeler can also be integrated after sealing station

Our Case Packer and Palletizer can also be integrated with ROO100 for full shipping and end of the line solutions

Washdown: Washdown construction is especially important in the food industry. Packaging solutions in the food industry should feature a washdown structure with NEMA 4x enclosures. This means that the machine can be cleaned with a spray of water without worrying about electric components or rust.

To improve product settlement inside a pre-made pouch after filling we recommend vibratory settlers.

Whole punch / Die cut: Pouches are usually hanged on the shelves in the store; this is why almost all pouches need to have a hang hole. Punching or cutting a hang hole can also be a feature of ROO-100.

Due to the rising popularity of pouch packaging format, you can find a lot of pouch fill&seal machines on the market. However, not all of them are equally good as a solution. Pouch machines are usually large and they demand a lot of floor space, which makes them unsuitable for smaller facilities. ROO-100 with its compact footprint is the smallest pouch machine on the market. Changeover for some pouch machines can last up to half an hour which results in unnecessary downtime. With ROO-100 you can change between pouch sizes in 30 seconds! Besides being the most compact machine on the market, ROO-100 is also the most affordable one. As mentioned above, it can be built and integrated with a variety of options and systems according to your specific needs. Get a quote and check why do we refer to ROO-100 as a “world’s new champion in flexible packaging!”