In modern manufacturing industries, automation of the whole packaging process of various products, including powders, is widely implemented. Automated powder packing or packaging machines help manufacturers meet the current demands and keep up with the tight competition in the market.
Powder packaging machinery not only saves enterprises from the complex process of production but also improves production efficiency. Thus, saving time and operation costs. However, before you go on purchasing a powder packing machine for your business, you should familiarize yourself with the basics of powder packaging automation first.
So in this guide, we will be covering the core aspects of powder packing equipment for newbie packagers.
A powder packaging machine refers to various packaging equipment used for automating the production of powder products in different industries. This equipment can automatically do the following:
Moreover, depending on the powder packaging machine’s function in the production line, some also call them the following:
Without powder packaging machinery, there is no other way of packing your powder products in an efficient manner. Unless you do it manually, which is not a practical method especially if you have high production requirements.
You can use a powder packing machine for almost any type of powder product. The list we will provide below is only some of the common powder products under each manufacturing industry that use a powder packing machinery for the production process.
If you have other powder products you want to package aside from the ones mentioned above, don’t hesitate to ask your packing machine manufacturer.
Most manufacturers of packaging solutions offer consultation services for the creation of your ideal powder packaging machine to better suit your exact needs. Besides, no single machine can handle all types of powder products. So you need to make sure that your chosen machine is the most appropriate one for your product.
With the current competition in the market, various manufacturing industries need to find a way to make their brand stand out from their competitors’ products on the shelves. Besides, consumers will likely prefer a product with a creative and appealing package design.
So, to help packagers increase brand awareness, they would need a more flexible means for the packaging process. This is where powder packaging machines come in. Aside from saving yourself from the exhausting process of manual packaging, automated packaging machines will give you the following benefits:
It is true that powder packing machines are a huge investment. But in the long run, these machines will help you reduce labor costs and eliminate human errors from the process. They can help you reach your required production demand with high efficiency.
With the help of flexible packages, it is easier to produce various product designs to make your brand noticeable by your consumers. In fact, the presentation of your product on the shelves is an important factor in attracting potential buyers.
Powder packaging machines are important in retaining the freshness of your products, which in turn extends the products’ shelf-lives while still maintaining their inherent qualities.
Powder packing machinery can perform different tasks in the packaging process such as filling, capping, sealing, and labeling with little human intervention. Automated machines also ensure the reliability of the packaging process with the help of the latest technologies.
If you want to purchase a powder packing equipment, you should also know the limitations that come with it aside from its benefits. These limitations include the following:
However, do note that the above limitations will be determined by the powder packing machine’s design and automation level.
Various packaging machines exist for different types of packaging – pouch, bag, cartons, bottles, etc. Below are some of the most common ones.
Packagers use automatic can packaging machines to automate the powder packaging process. Powder filling, sealing, capping, and labeling machines exist under this category. They can handle a wide variety of containers (bottles, jars, cans, etc) and closures in different shapes and sizes.
Cartooning machines can create cartons of various types including closed, erect, folded, and side-seamed ones. They can be in vertical or horizontal designs depending on the type of product.
Aside from milk cartons, many other products including cosmetic and pharmaceutical retail goods are packaged in cartons.
Like cartooning machines, form fill seal machines also come in horizontal and vertical orientations. In addition to powder products, these machines can also be used for various snack foods. They form the package before filling it with the product and sealing it closed.
Moreover, form fill seal machines can handle any bag or pouch style, saving you from the costs of purchasing premade bags.
These machines fill powder products into sachets/sticks using multiple lanes. They are suitable for packaging food, dietary, and cosmetic products among others. Stick pack machines are used for single-serve products and are popular with modern consumers because of their convenience and portability.
Generally, powder packaging machinery can be classified based on the following categories:
Under these two categories, there are still other subcategories that will be discussed in the following sections.
Powder packing machines in inline designs pack products in straight and orderly lines. This means that the starting and final processing points of the operation are located at the line’s opposite ends. Typically, inline machine designs only have single infeed and output lanes.
The major drawback of these designs is that the machines will require a reasonable floor space before they can operate. Nevertheless, some packagers still prefer inline powder packaging machines because it is easier to inspect each packaging station in these designs. In short, inline machine designs enhance visibility.
These machines have circular designs which means that the operation is performed in a circular motion, giving the operator an ergonomic format. Therefore, the rotary powder packaging machine does not need to occupy a large space to operate. Also, the starting and ending stages of the operation in rotary machine designs are close to each other.
For higher production requirements, rotary powder packaging machines are widely used. They feature one to four in-feed lanes, but the one-lane machine design is the most popular one and is used by medium-sized enterprises.
Aside from the lanes, rotary powder packing machines are also composed of permanent stations which are separately embedded in a circular manner. Each station performs a specific procedure in the packaging process. Normally, these machines will have 8 stations but this number can vary from one machine to another.
In fully-automatic machine designs, the machine will not need constant human intervention throughout the whole operation. The operator just needs to enter the appropriate parameters in the machine and it will do the rest of the job. Furthermore, these machines are composed of sensors that help coordinate the parts of the machine during the packaging process.
For instance, a sensor detects if a predetermined fill level is reached then it signals the machine to stop the filling process. With the help of these sensors, the packaging process runs automatically and continuously. Also, it reduces human errors caused by manual packaging.
Semi-automatic machine designs need the operator to manually put the pouch/container into the machine and initiate the packaging process. Though some procedures in the semi-automatic packaging are done automatically, the majority of the processes will still rely on the operator.
Powder packing machinery has a lot of components that are all essential in the packaging process. But for the purpose of this guide, we will only focus on the major ones. Do take note that the location of each component that will be discussed in the following sections will vary depending on the type of the machine.
Powder packaging machines use PLC control systems to coordinate the mechanical components of the machine. In some cases, the PLC control system is also integrated with a touch screen interface for easier control.
This component consists of the power system and motor system along with other parts that work together to drive the components of the packaging machine.
This is an important component of the powder packing machine as it is responsible for supplying and filling the powder products into various packages. It is composed of an auger filler that dispenses the powder products for the filling process.
The machine’s loading system is where the operator loads the packages for processing by the machine. It can also have feeding rollers and gripping arms to keep the packages stable.
Most fully-automatic powder packing machines use intermittently moving conveyor belts for transferring the empty and filled containers from one place to another in the packaging line.
There are powder packaging machines that incorporate a dusting system in the machine design. This can be a combination of a dust hood, dust nozzle, dust collector, and others.
This section of the powder packing machine handles the completed powder packages which are transferred to another station afterward for further processing.
As mentioned earlier, powder packaging machine manufacturers may customize the design of the machine to suit the customer’s unique application. So when you intend to buy a packaging machine, always ask a user manual for that machine.
Buying a powder packaging machinery that will suit your business’ specific needs is not as simple as you think it is, given the many aspects you need to consider during the process. These key aspects include the following:
The type of packaging you will be using will determine the type of machine appropriate for your application. Different machines are needed for different packages – bags, pouches, and containers.
Consider your allocated budget for the machine. After all, your profit should be your priority so be careful about your quotations. Fully-automatic packaging machines are a huge investment and may not be practical if your business only requires low production requirements.
Inline or rotary packaging machine? Choose which one would suit your factory’s available space and which one would you be more comfortable with.
What are your daily production requirements? For larger productions, fully automatic powder packing machines would be more ideal. Otherwise, semi-automatic machines would be more practical.
Electric motors, VFD, servo motor, and vacuum suction are among the several options you will have for the machine’s driving mechanism.
Consult with your manufacturer which driving mechanism would best suit your application. Because one driving mechanism would probably be more suitable over another depending on what packaging machine you are looking for. For instance, servo motors would be more ideal for filling systems.
The perfect control system for any machine is an integrated PLC and man-machine interface, especially for fully-automated processes. This type of control system is easier to operate and enhances the efficiency of the whole packaging process.
When packaging powder products, dust pollution is a common problem every packager has to deal with. This is why dust collectors, dust hoods, dust vacuum stations, scoop feeders, and load shelves are all needed to minimize dust emission during the packaging process.
Stainless steel grades #314 and #316 are recommended for the machine’s structure to minimize the possibility of rust and corrosion.
One of your top priorities should include the quality standards of your packaging machine manufacturer regarding their products. Check if they satisfy various standards and certifications like CE, cGMP, and ISO standards.
This parameter is different for each type of machine. Normally, powder packing machine manufacturers will specify the production capacity of their machines. Choose which speed would meet your production requirements.
An automated powder packing machine is absolutely an important machine that every packager should have to improve the efficiency, reliability, and quality of the packaged products. Being familiar with the core aspects of a powder packaging machine will help you find a machine guaranteed to perfectly fit your application.
Choose the powder packing equipment that suits your project best. But if you are looking for a way to automate the powder packaging process using automatic can packaging machines, Levapack can help you create a machine tailored to your specific needs. Feel free to contact us for a perfect packaging solution!