Flexible Machines?


And we’re back for round two! My last blog post was about consumer trends and its effects on the primary and secondary packaging industry. I’m not going to talk about that again because that would be boring and old information. I think we would all agree that watching paint dry would be more fun than listening to me go into a 400/500 word post about that topic. Instead I want to show how my previous blog post correlates with businesses who manufacture packaging equipment. Because, it’s like the domino effect, one thing happens, and then the surrounding things are affected, whether that’s good or bad is dependent on who is holding those dominoes . Plus, not only are people talking about it but I am seeing it take place in front of my very own eyes.

Now that we are seeing new package designs and the process in which machinery makes these changes, older equipment is not able to “flex” to meet different packaging specs. A lot of companies have relied on their equipment to do one function for so long and may not have thought about providing a more customized manufacturing line/s. This affects companies that do a lot of specialty packaging and also custom manufacturing where they have multiple lines that can be changed to fit customer needs.
Consumer packaged goods continue to evolve in regards to packaging and new materials being used are incorporated. Companies that are involved in custom manufacturing and have the ability to customize their lines in the plant will see the importance of acquiring more flexible machinery.

Not only is packaging changing but consumer demand is at an all-time high especially in the e-commerce industry. Look at how many business/transactions are being done on Amazon.com. According to Business Insider, amazon averages 306 transactions per second (at their peak in 2012) now if we turn that into days it’s about 26 million. It’s almost unfathomable to think about all of those packages being sent out and the logistics involved with tracking/shipping them. A more up to date number shows that Amazon ships 1.6 million packages a day according to ParcelHero and while they are shipping goods all over the United States they have shipped enough cardboard to cover over 24,000 square miles meaning it could cover West Virginia or possibly South Carolina (30,000 square miles). As things change like e-commerce continuing to grow at high rates and company’s changing their product packaging in order to meet consumer trends, newer machinery with more flexibility is needed. Demand for more machinery that can meet the needs of new CPG packaging will only grow and manufacturers are looking to meet these demands. The way I see it is the companies who specialize in specialty packaging and custom manufacturing should be thinking about this and acting upon it too. Not only are you making an investment but increasing your capabilities and decreasing that threshold that could otherwise be preventing you from doing more.

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