Quick changeover capabilities, flexibility and fast speeds are the top three machine attributes most often requested by companies purchasing new packaging machinery, according to a recent survey of Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute member companies in the US.
"Customers continue to look for packaging machinery that can adapt to multiple packages in a quick and flexible manner," reported Charles D. Yuska, president of PMMI. "The driving force behind these requested machine attributes is the need to increase operational productivity and boost corporate profits."
In addition, packaging machinery manufacturers identified four machine control feature improvements most often requested by customers purchasing new equipment: data acquisition, set-up screens, diagnostics and on-machine instruction sheets.
The survey represents responses from 142 PMMI's Technical Contacts (20 per cent) within PMMI member companies. According to PMMI, technical contacts are those employees with overall decision making regarding machinery design, research and development and meeting the engineering needs of customers. The results were part of PMMI's "Quickie Survey" programme, a service available exclusively to PMMI members to benchmark their operations and share information focused on packaging machinery.
The survey also touches on motion control and other technologies being used on machines. For example, PMMI members report that the vast majority of machines shipped in the past 12 months use Programmable Logic Controls (PLCs) for machine control (71 per cent), compared to other types of machine control, including personal computers.
Furthermore, 40 per cent of the respondents indicate that approximately one out of four machines include servo controls; 15 per cent indicate that almost half of their machines include servo controls; 9 per cent report that between half and three quarters of machine shipped include servo controls and 14 per cent indicate that 75 per cent or more of their machines include servo controls.
When asked why servos were not included on some machines sold to customers, the top response is "equipment does not require an adjustable drive with feedback" (54 per cent), followed by "servos would be expensive relative to the sales price of the machine" (36 per cent).
"Knowing your customers needs and wants, then responding to them are the keys to success regardless of what business you are in," said Yuska. PMMI members respond to the needs of the marketplace with the most cost effective, efficiently designed packaging machinery needed to meet and exceed the needs of their global customers. This is why, year after year, PMMI member companies sell more packaging equipment to multinational consumer and industrial goods companies."
The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) is a trade association whose 498 members manufacture packaging and packaging-related converting machinery in the United States and Canada.