End of Line Packaging Equipment and Machinery
After individual packages have been made the next step is getting the products ready for shipment. End of Line packaging equipment does that. This equipment includes machines like case erectors, case packers, case sealers, bundlers (also known as sleeve wrappers), palletizers, pallet wrappers, plus all of the conveyor systems needed to transport the products. Oftentimes additional accessory equipment is used at the end of line phase such as Print and Apply Labeling Machines, or Inkjet coders to print right on the box.
Drawing showing some of the possiblities of End of Line Packaging Equipment
The Truth about End of Line Packaging Equipment
It is entirely possible to have a completely automated plant on the front and back ends of a packaging line. But for most packagers only portions of end of line packaging equipment is needed. But almost every packager needs something at the end of the line because almost all products need to be shipped whether it be bottled water in sleeve wraps, sewing machines in boxes, even refrigerators and such. There are a number of factors that will be part of the determination of how far a plant needs to automate. For instance high speed is certainly an indicator of need, but there are other situations that may indicate a need, such as particularly heavy products that might preclude hand loading of a pallet or other special applications. In all cases, Busch Machinery can offer end of line packaging solutions. So let’s get started with the most common pieces of equipment and work up from there.
Case Sealers - the most common piece of End of Line Packaging Equipment
Case sealers are used in most packaging operations for manufactured goods or consumables. There are quite a number of variations of case sealers including semi-automatic (where the operator closes the flaps prior to feeding into the machine), to fully automatic case sealing machines that folds the top flaps and then seals the carton. Production runs normally use what is called Uniform case sealers, meaning that for the run all of the boxes will be the same size, and then readjusted for the next run on a different sized box. But in warehouse order picking where different sized boxes may be used for each order we have another type of case sealer known as a Random Case Sealer. Random Case sealers cost a lot more money and run much slower than Uniform case sealers since the machine must adjust for each box size automatically and then tape or glue the box fully before opening back up to accept the next carton. Which brings up the next issue, tape or glue? Approximately 80% of case sealing machines use tape to seal the box. The remaining applications are primarily Hot Melt Glue, with the balance stapled. All three types of closing methods are available at Busch Machinery, though we only stock tape machines for quick shipment.
We have discussed so far semi-automatic and automatic, Uniform and Random, plus three types of sealing: tape, glue and staple. In all of these cases we talking about sealing what is known as a RSC box which a box where the side flaps meet in the middle. Oftentimes with the center of the box sealed, there is a need for additional sealing of the four edges of the box with tape on what is known as and edge sealer. Edge sealing machines are also available in Uniform or Random formats.
Pallet Wrappers - Very commonly used and available in several formats
Pallet wrappers are another very commonly used piece of end of line packaging equipment. Many people are surprised at the number of pallet wrapping options that are available. There are your typical automatic and semi automatic pallet wrappers that you commonly see both in rotary table and overhead arm types, but there are also many specialty wrappers for doors, windows, and tires, plus more specialized orbital wrappers for long products or when the whole pallet with contents needs to be wrapped for extra heavy duty loads to stay in place. Visit our pallet wrapping page to see all of your options for stretch wrapping.
Case Erectors and other Box Opening Machines
A case erectors takes a box from a stack, pops it open, folds the bottom flaps and tapes, glues or staples the box bottom so that it is now ready for case packing. Case erecting machines are a popular next step in adding to end of line equipment. There are several styles including vertical and horizontal erectors, depending on which way is the easier method for loading the product manually or automatically. You will also find other types of case erectors on the page including Overwrapping Sealers, machines for sealing boxes that are overcased and more on our Case Erectors page.
Sleeve Wrappers and Bundling Machines
Nowadays we often see that products are no longer necessarily put in boxes as Sleeve Wrappers have become very popular for a number of applications, including water bottling where a Sleeve is formed around a large group of bottles and then shrunk on leaving two open ends that can serve as “handles”. These same packaging machines can also group smaller packages like cans or drinking cartons for easy to handle packaging without the need for a box to put it in.
Case Packers - Machines that automatically load product into case erected boxes
There are now a wide array of case packaging machines available including traditional drop packers, robotic packers and pick and place packers. No matter what type is required for your job, Busch Machinery has the machines to do it in the most efficient manner required of the job. We invite you to call the Busch sales engineering team to discuss your project in detail so that we can offer the best solution.
Automatic Palletizing Equipment
Once you’ve worked through the steps above (and maybe skipped some depending on what is being loaded), the next step is automating the pallet loading operations. Automatic Palletizers are the solution for the final peg of the end of line packaging needs. Again there are several types of palletizing machines available including low table, high table and robotics.
Labeling and Coding Equipment
Even though the products inside the boxes are already labeled, there is still a need for additional labeling or coding of the boxes themselves and/or the wrapped pallets. The job just wouldn’t be complete without these items, and Busch Machinery carries all of the equipment you need including barcode print and apply systems, or coding directly onto boxes with large character inkjet systems that can also print barcodes directly to corrugated cartons.