02 Mar Everything You Wanted to Know About Co-Packing… But Were Afraid to Ask. (Part 2 of 2)
Everything You Wanted to Know About Co-Packing… But Were Afraid to Ask.
……Everything you wanted to know about co-packing… but were afraid to ask: Part 2 is here!……
Remember the last time you needed an oil change for your car? Was your first thought, “Man, I’ve just got to convert my garage into a shop and invest in a hoist”? Or what about that time you needed 200 wedding invitations. Did you consider purchasing a Xerox machine to keep handy in your living room? Of course not! Instead, you sourced a reputable company with the tools and expertise to do this for you. And you gave bonus points for great customer service. Think of co-packing in the same way.
Rise of the Machinery
In my last post we explored the meaning of the term “secondary co-packing” and the kinds of packaging you see being performed at a co-packing facility. Repack is uniquely positioned to flex as many people needed to work on a project manually. And when it requires the use of specialized machinery we put our on-site automatic or semi-automatic machinery to work for you! Just like you hit the “EASY” button when you go to an auto shop or a specialty printer, the same applies to a co-packer.
Worth the Investment?
Keep in mind that machinery requires a substantial investment of one’s money, time and real estate. It may not occur to our clients initially but it is worth taking the time to consider these points on machinery:
- do you have the floorspace for a machine with a margin around it for workflow?
- do you have resources for ongoing machinery maintenance?
- do you have knowledgeable and reliable machinery operators?
A Glossary of Co-packing Machinery Terms
So what are all those large, whirring, pieces of metal so busy doing under a co-packer’s roof? This brief glossary will give you a quick rundown, explaining some of the machinery a co-packer may employ.
Box Strapper or Bander
Here’s an easy place to start: a self-explanatory name for a machine, wouldn’t you say?
Yup, this machine straps or bands boxes. Why choose strapping over taping or gluing? It replaces overwrapping, is tamper-resistant and does not incur damage upon removal like tape could.
This is a superb solution for retail ready displays, for example. At store level bands are snipped, lid lifted and voila — the display is shelf ready at retail.
Bundle wrap is a thicker, more opaque, more durable film than shrink film. It is typically used to wrap trays of product being palletized and shipped, to keep the contents of the tray bundled together. A trademark of the bundle wrap is a “bull’s eye” on the sides, where the film does not completely touch — can you see it here? (On the right hand side of photo.)
“Bundling film is really the ideal way to get away from using a carton or other budget-unfriendly ways to keep your products together. Bundling film machines can easily be modified to fit multiple sizes without hefty tooling fees and wait times.”*
Continuous Inkjet Printer
Lot codes or best before dates sometimes get missed on a label or product packaging. In some cases a lot code or best before date may need to be repeated on secondary packaging of a re-packaged product.
Our coders are continuous inkjet and super fast. We can print 1 to 5 lines of copy, linear bar codes and datamatrix codes directly onto the surface of a labelled can, box, bottle, carton, you name it — we code it!
Case Sealer / Box Taper
A case sealer or box taper automatically applies tape to a case as it runs through a conveyor. It saves time and wrist strain when compared with the manual taping from a tape gun.
Forklifts / Pallet Pump Trucks
We have four licensed Forklift drivers at Repack Canada to move pallets of product in and out of trucks and all around the warehouse. Then we have the Pump Trucks — a more manual version of a forklift as the user must lower it, steer it under a pallet, and hand pump it to lift the pallet and roll it to its desired location. Forklifts and pump trucks are a constant presence and invaluable to an organized warehouse. As you can see here, they become a natural part of the warehouse family. (And… don’t tell anyone… but we tend to name our pallet moving machinery friends!)
A fun and satisfying process to watch, this machine applies a thin cellophane wrap around smaller items, usually product that is grouped together with a promotional item or coupon.
You can’t shrink film without heat! We use our heat tunnels for a full shrinkwrap around things like multi-packs, boxed kits, and pharma-kits. We also use it to apply heat to shrink sleeves around twin packs. And of course our bundlewrap film also requires its own heat tunnel to shrink down the film to keep cans or bottles snug as a bug in their trays.
Impulse Heat Sealers
Need an impenetrable seal for freshness or a tamper-evident closure? We employ the use of our heat sealers in these instances. The machine pinches down on the ends of thermoplastic bags made of mylar, polypropylene, static shielding, nylon, polyethelene or polyurethane.
So called “impulse” because these babies do not need to heat up like a direct heat sealer! Instead they use impulses of electricity to quickly heat up and seal a bag shut. Once the sealing process is complete, they quickly cool back down again. Safety first!
Repack employs a few different labelling techniques:
For smaller bottles or jars we use a semi-automatic labeller machine, where we hand feed the jars or cans and the machine spins the labels right on.
But we employ our High Speed Wraparound Labeller when we have a high volume of cylindrical vessels requiring labels. It’s super fast and efficient! Not pictured here, however, we would be delighted to give you a demo when you book a tour of our facility!
When we re-pack into new blank cartons clients often ask us to label or overlabel the cartons with a new SCC barcode for inventory identification. Our label maker allows us to print UPC and SCC labels on site, with high resolution (300dpi) for dependable barcode reading. The dynamic BarTender Pro is our software of choice so we can set up barcode label design and data sourcing from Excel spreadsheets and many more data sources; it supports RFID tags and labels.
Shrinkwrapping is when a clear film is applied and run through a heat tunnel to securely shrink and wrap around the object. Shrinkwrapping has a ton of applications to secure boxes, keep canned and bottles goods unitized, provide extra security and tamper-evident seals. Just the tip of the iceburg, pictured are a few examples of shrinkwrap applications: securing gift-with-purchase items to product, creating multi-packs.
Stretch Wrapper for Pallets
This machine not only saves us time but dizziness! Imagine hand wrapping dozens of pallets, round and round, to secure stacks of trays to a pallet! This machine uses a stretchy, slightly tacky film to wrap and grip around the trays, spinning the film up and down, round and round in a uniform pattern.
Save yourself the hassle and the added expense of machinery; let a co-packer like Repack Canada take those negatives out of the equation for you. We are ready, willing and able to expertly put our machinery to work for you.
Not sure what kind of packaging or presentation is called for on your project? Then call on us. We are packaging and re-packaging professionals. We will recommend and carry out the best option for your project and your budget.
Call or email us for a free Quote now:
1-877-804-4841 | email@example.com
By Eira Braun-Labossiere
*Quoted from https://www.packaging.com/difference-shrink-wrapping-bundle-wrapping/