National Packaging Systems have supplied many systems to a wide variety of satisfied customers around the globe, who have packaged products ranging from cosmetics to charcoal.
The choice of packaging machinery should include: technical capabilities, labor requirements, worker safety, maintainability, serviceability, reliability, ability to integrate into the packaging line, capital cost, floor space, flexibility (change-over, materials, etc.), energy usage, quality of outgoing packages, qualifications (for food, pharmaceuticals, etc.), throughput (speed requirements), efficiency, productivity, ergonomics, return on investment, etc.
NPS Packaging machinery can be:
- 1. purchased as standard, per catalogue
2. purchased as custom-made or custom-tailored to specific operations.
The first step in deciding on the correct packaging system is to classify the product into the following 3 groups -
|Product Group||Sub Group||Examples|
|POWDERS||Non Compressible||Milk powder|
|Soups and soyas|
|Cool drink powders|
|Fine maize meal|
|Maize grit and meal|
|Delicate products||Chips / snacks|
|Non uniformed products|
|Steak and kidney pie fillings|
DECIDING ON THE PACKAGING STYLE AND MATERIAL
The next step is to decide on the packaging style and type of Film that is suitable for your product.
A wide variety of pack styles can be catered for in the design of a bag for every conceivable product. The most commonly used in the industry are -:
|The pillow pack||The block bottom||The quad||Strip Pack||The pyramid pack|
A variety of film (material) types are available, and a choice of the most suitable film needs to be made from one of the two main groups.
1. Straight Poly Films
Monolayer sealant films
- Numerous types
- Made of various kinds of polyethylene
- From LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene) to LDPE and blends of both
2. Laminate Films
The highest performance, most prevalent film, used in demanding applications.
- Usually 2 or 3 plies (layers)
- Sealant layer - provides specific seal temperature and hot tack characteristics
- Top Outside layer – usually facilitates reverse printing, generally crystal clear, provides higher melting point than sealant layer (allowing faster cycle times or better sealing), provides barrier or breathability characteristics.
- Centre Layer – provides excellent light or oxygen barriers
Sub Categories (2 ply films)
- Polyester-poly, polypropylene- poly, polystyrene – poly, metalized polyester or metalized polypropylene-poly, nylon-poly, HDPE-poly and more.
A typical packaging process is composed of various machines which together make up a complete system. A description of a typical system would be as follows.
This machine will convey your product from the manufacturing process or bulk stores into the filling hopper of the filling system. Various systems are available depending on the type of product you are trying to convey, how often you may change products/ flavours etc. These machines are often controlled by a level sensor in the filling systems bulk hopper.
This machine will measure out the correct quantity of product required for each individual bag / closure. The machine will release the product once a signal has been received from the bagging machine in the case of a full automatic system, or on command from the operator, in a semi automatic system. In many cases the accuracy of these machines is dependent on being consistently fed by the feeding system. Various machines are available and the correct choice will depend on the product being packed, the accuracy required, speed etc.
Bagging / Form fill and seal
These machines actually make the closure/ bag from a roll of plastic film, fill the bag with the required product and seal it into an completed bag. There are many different types of machines available and the type of bag / sachet, size / volume of bag, required output, and type of product, will determine which machine will be the most suitable choice
Once the completed bag exits the machine it will drop the bag onto a discharge conveyor to be conveyed to a point where it will be packed in its end of line packaging.
End of line packaging
Here the individual packages get collated in to either bales, boxes, or directly onto a pallet. The machine chosen depends on the level of automation required.
A wide range of accessories as well as custom modifications can be undertaken to tailor the system to meet and exceed the clients full requirements.
Packaging is the science, art and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale and use. Some of the prime purposes of packaging are -
- Physical protection - The objects enclosed in the package may require protection from, among other things, mechanical shock, vibration, electrostatic discharge, compression, temperature, etc.
- Barrier protection - A barrier from oxygen, water vapor, dust, etc., is often required. Permeation is a critical factor in design. Some packages contain desiccants or Oxygen absorbers to help extend shelf life. Modified atmospheres or controlled atmospheres are also maintained in some food packages. Keeping the contents clean, fresh, sterile and safe for the intended shelf life is a primary function.
- Containment or agglomeration - Small objects are typically grouped together in one package for reasons of efficiency. Liquids, powders, and granular materials need containment.
- Information transmission - Packages and labels communicate how to use, transport, recycle, or dispose of the package or product. With pharmaceuticals, food, medical, and chemical products, some types of information are required by governments. Some packages and labels also are used for track and trace purposes.
- Marketing - The packaging and labels can be used by marketers to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Package graphic design and physical design have been important and constantly evolving phenomenon for several decades. Marketing communications and graphic design are applied to the surface of the package and (in many cases) the point of sale display.
- Security - Packaging can play an important role in reducing the security risks of shipment. Packages can be made with improved tamper resistance to deter tampering and also can have tamper-evident features to help indicate tampering. Packages can be engineered to help reduce the risks of package pilferage: Some package constructions are more resistant to pilferage and some have pilfer indicating seals. Packages may include authentication seals and use security printing to help indicate that the package and contents are not counterfeit. Packages also can include anti-theft devices, such as dye-packs, RFID tags, or electronic article surveillance tags that can be activated or detected by devices at exit points and require specialized tools to deactivate. Using packaging in this way is a means of loss prevention.
- Convenience - Packages can have features that add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, reclosing, use, dispensing, and reuse.
- Portion control - Single serving or single dosage packaging has a precise amount of contents to control usage. Bulk commodities (such as salt) can be divided into packages that are a more suitable size for individual households. It is also aids the control of inventory: selling sealed one-liter-bottles of milk, rather than having people bring their own bottles to fill themselves.