Nowadays, case packers are available in several styles and offer a variety of features. With today’s operations ranging from wrap around, side load, and top-load versions to those focusing on faster line speeds and specific packaging requirements, there are many components to consider.

Below, you’ll find a list of the basics to help you choose the best case packer for your needs.

Case Packing Considerations

#1 Case Packing Type

There are dozens of case types available, but the most common are top load, wraparound, and side load, all of which have special features that address certain needs. The type you need is often dependent on the type of product you have such as, bottled liquids are generally packaged on a regular slotted top load, which has partitions for added protection. On the other hand, wraparound cases work well for non-breakable bottles or containers. Consider the packing strength and weight limit your products require.

#2 Product Type

The type of product you’re packing will largely influence the type of container and case packer required. The top load case packer is commonly used for products in bottles, pouches, and jarred items. This is because it’s easier to have these (sometimes fragile) items placed inside packaging from above. On the other hand, products like bars of soap or boxes of dried pasta are more easily packaged by sliding them in from the side, hence a side-load case packer is ideal. Wraparound packers are routinely used for bulk items such as, #10 metal cans of food. Additionally, bottom load packers are used for outdoor grills, lawn furniture, and so on. Basically, the gentlest mode of packaging a product is always the goal.

#3 Line Speeds

The speed of the conveyor line is an important factor in both processing efficiency and cost. You want the packer you choose to have enough speed to maintain production quota, but the faster machines cost significantly more. Overall, if your case packing needs are 20 cases or less per minute, the robotic packer, side loader, or bottom load packer should be sufficient. The drop packers and wraparound packers are ideal for packing 20-30 cases per minute, and for faster speeds, consider a continuous motion wraparound packer, rotary packer, or soft placement packer.

#4 Weight and Usage

Choosing a machine that can handle production demands is crucial for machine lifespan, production cycle costs, weight limit factors, and hours used. Be sure to check machine specifications before making a decision.

#5 Floor Space

Square footage is premium in business, therefore, take into account the amount of space you have available for a case packer. The widths, lengths, and angles vary greatly from one machine to the next. Plan and measure carefully, consider directional layout, and guarding requirements.

#6 Changeover Options

Overall, the robotic packers are the most flexible in changeover and automation options. In regards to simplicity in switching, drop packers are a good choice, while wraparound packers offer the least amount of options and flexibility. In addition to the above factors, you’ll benefit from doing your own research. Take time to watch demonstrations of the various packers in use. This will help you determine which case packer will best suit your current business needs. Also, when making your decision, consider all the variables including production efficiency, cycle costs, and product lifespan.

While everyone has a budget, the initial investment is only one component in comparison to the big picture, and buying the proper tools upfront will save you money in the long run.

Benefits Of An IPM Case Packer

Bottom line, a case packer from IPM will maintain constant contact with your products for true “positive” placement and control. If you are interested in learning more about our packaging products and solutions, contact us today at (616) 531-7758 for more information or fill out our online form to request a quote.