Straight Tuck-End Cartons
Straight tuck-end cartons are one of the most standard carton styles. They are featured by the closure panels that reach out from the same front or rear panel of the box.
As the most popular form of secondary packaging, carton boxes are anywhere throughout all industries from pharmaceuticals, food, and beverage, dairy, personal care, cosmetics, etc. No business would see that they can avoid using such packaging.
As the reader of this article, we feel pretty sure you are looking for some reliable packaging automation solutions and packaging machines for your carton box packaging. And congratulations, you have come across the right guide for you.
As a first-time buyer, we will take you through all the details, not only about the carton packaging itself, yet as well as how to find the right kind of cartoner machines for your business. Purchasing the right cartoner packaging machine can boost your business and generate more margins. And beyond this, purchasing the right and qualified packaging machine can not only automate your packaging process and improve your productivity but also bring long-term benefits, reduce the potential risk of pitfalls (downtime, frequent maintenance, etc), reduce injury, and so on.
No matter at the end you will decide to go with a cartoner machine by ELITER or any other manufacturer, professionals at ÉLITER Packaging Machinery are always here to help you with your decision-making. Let's get started!
What to bear in mind when buying a cartoner machine for the first time?
What are the different types of cartoner machines?
What are the different types and styles of carton boxes?
How to calculate the ROI of buying a cartoner machine?
What to bear in mind when requesting a proposal?
The purchase of a cartoner machine is not such a tiny investment that you can randomly take decisions without worrying about the aftermath. Totally on the contrary, ask yourself the following questions so that you will make the right choice.
Cartoners are generally designed for standardized packaging processes and carton styles.
You don't have to worry about the choices when your carton boxes are as standard as tuck-end cartons or glue-sealed cartons.
If your carton packaging is irregular, customized, extra-large or extra-small, or of special carton styles, automating your cartoning process will be at the extra expense or sometimes impossible.
For example, an intermittent cartoning machine can handle snap-lock bottom carton boxes, while such a style is impossible to be automated on a continuou motion cartoning machine.
Loading pattern of the carton boxes you are using is also a factor to be considered. Let'see, a horizontal end-load cartoner is not able to automate the packaging process of top-loading cartons. However, the right choice should be a top-load carton former + cobot + tri-sealer machine.
As following you may find some of the most common types of carton styles:
Cartoners from different levels offer different production rates. Depending on your lane's productivity or production plan, as well as to take into consideration of your budget, you may have to choose a specific kind of cartoning machinery. That is to say, you may need an automatic cartoning machine or just a semi-atuomatic cartoner, depending on your expectation. While an automatic cartoning machine varies a lot in speed, and an semi-automatic cartoning machine counts on manual-loading, it is hard to make a decision. The following list shows the standard range of speed that different levels of cartoners offer:
|Semi-Automatic Cartoner:||up 30 cpm|
|Intermittent Cartoner:||30 ~ 100 cpm|
|Continuous Cartoner:||100 ~ 250 cpm|
|Advanced Continuous Cartoner:||250 ~ 400 cpm|
|Ultra-High-Speed Cartoner:||beyond 400 cpm|
"Being unique" is the state of "self-actualization" that we would also be glad to achieve. When it comes to packaging automation, the customization means more works in engineering, more complex automation system, more effort in R+D+I, and for you, a high budget and longer lead time.
For example, you are using cartons with inner securing tabs, or you are packing bottles in cartons with a neck-through pattern, etc, which are things far more complex than simple tuck-in carton packaging.
We don't say that customization is such a bad thing we need to avoid. It is good for marketing and brand recognition. Meanwhile, packaging automation solutions fro customized packaging can save more labor and manual cost than a standard one.
Weigh your options before taking the decision:
Review your current packaging process and ask yourself: how much will you save by implementing a cartoner machine?
Probably you are just an SME with low requirements about production rate, you are accommodating small orders, and you are hiring just one person to do the packaging. Then an automated cartoning solution can be relatively expensive.
Or if you are hiring bunches of people to the work manually, everybody is on the rush hour to keep pace with your production plan, then you may need an automatic cartoner. And the labor cost saved will be considerable in the long run.
Or you are planning to expand your business for which you need more capability to accommodate large orders, especially if your are a copacker or contract packaging company. Then you must prepare yourself with sufficient automation capacity.
Just like all the other kinds of packaging machines, implementing a cartoner machine is not a one-for-all deal.
Most people only see the initial cost of installing a cartoner, which may range from as cheap as USD 20,000 to those most advanced cartoners as expensive as USD 700,000 or even more. However, another factor that people would neglect is the ownership cost.
You may have to ask the manufacturer to dispatch technicians to your site for maintenance, repairs, commissioning, etc. You may have to order spare parts regularly for your machine. All these costs will accumulate over time.
Before setting out to find your first set of cartoner machines, you should learn what kind of carton styles you are using. While there are many carton styles of various shapes, structures, sizes, etc., a certain kind of cartoner machine may not be able to get all of them covered.
Depending on how the cartons will be loaded, either by end-loading or by top-loading, you must know which kind of cartoner is the right option for your production. Bear in mind, a certain kind of cartoner is only available for the cartons with the loading pattern that it has been designed for. For example, a horizontal end-load cartoner machine by no means will be able to handle a top-loading carton.
The purchase of a cartoner is a business and partnership between two companies all over the life cycle of the machine.
A reliable packaging machine manufacturer is solution-oriented instead of purely sales-oriented.
To bear in mind, packaging machines can be designed as standard as possible though, not all projects are as same as another one, which means, for example, a cartoner is not something "one-fit-all". With that being said, sometimes the manufacturer has to tailor a specific machine to achieve your requirements.
The packaging machine manufacturer must study all the possibilities, including feasible solutions and probably downsides, shortcomings, and problems, and thus they must have to ask as many questions as possible to dig into the project about your needs, either current or future ones. On the contrary, an irresponsible seller, probably an intermediary, is only sales-oriented and might quote the price to you at the early stage of the discussion.
Keep in mind, implementing an improper machine will bring a lot of problems to your business: operation failures, falling behind of your expected productivity, endless maintenance, downtime...
A packaging machine is not something that you will use for a while and then throw away.
A cartoner is often supposed to be used for more than 10 years and even 20 years. Throughout the life cycle that machine will be confronting situations with dust, water, erosion, chemicals, food remnants, contaminations, etc... thus the material used must be resistant and stable in characteristics.
What's more, especially in the food and pharmaceutical industries, companies are rigorous and picky about materials in parts where the machine will have contact with the products, let's say, for example, the requirements and regulations about Food Contact Materials is one of the concern.
A cartoner may have some parts with serving-life-limit that should be replaced time over time. For example, the suction plates, air tubes, pneumatic cylinders, timing belts, etc.
Ask your manufacturer for a list of spare parts and schedule it with an parts ordering plan to minimize the chance of downtime with your cartoner.
Servo and motion control technology, together with smart HMI, are changing the way how cartoner machines are designed and built.
A fully mechanical cartoner would have a lot of screws, sprockets, chains, gears, etc., that you have to deal with when doing maintenance. Meanwhile, the size changeover will be tedious and may take around 30 minutes or even more.
On the contrary, a full servo-driven cartoner might be simpler in structure with fewer mechanical parts in terms of transmission between different section and the maintenance as well as technical works will be easier
Implementing a cartoner is not a simple transaction of paying money for a machine. You will have to maintain contact with the packaging machine manufacturer all along the cartoner's life cycle. For this reason, you must check with your cartoner machine manufacturer the following questions so that you can expect a safe and stable long-term partnership through the cartoner's life span of 10 years or even 20 years.
We understand you feeling that it has costs an eye of you to buy the first cartoner and you are curious about how long it will pay off. There are some steps to help you with the calculation of ROI and PBP.
Consider further and beyond the price in the quotation of the cartoner that the packaging machine manufacturer has sent you.
You need to take into account costs as follows: Price of the machine, Shipping Cost, VAT and tariff on import, transprot cost from the port to your site, Commissioning and Training Cost...
Write down the wage per hour you are paying to your workers. Time it with the number of workers, shifts, hours per shift to get the gross labor cost. Also take into account the social insurance and over-time payment. With these information you will be able to calculate a ballpark cost of your manual packaging.
Now, estimate how much packaging your manual working will deliver, as well as to estimate the earning of each packaging. With this information, you will be able to calculate your income based on manual packaging. With above calculation, you can now get your annual earning with manual packaging.
Cut the annual earning with the cartoner by the annual earning of packaging by manual work. You can get the benefits generated by the new cartoner equipment. Divide the result by the cost of buying the equipment, you will have the rate of ROI. The formula is as follows:
ROI = (Earning generated by cartoner - earning based on manual work) / Cost of the cartoner * 100%
Assuming that your cartoning equipment works at a speed of 100 cartons per minute, 8 hours each day, 365 days all over the year, while each with each unit of packaging your will earn $3,00.
Your annual earning with the cartoning equipment will be: 8 * 365 * 3 *100 = $ 876.000
Assuming that you are hiring 5 people for packaging. 8 hours per day, 260 days per year excluding holidays, each one makes 20 units of packaging per minute, each unit of packaging generates an earning of $3,00 then,
your annual earning with manual packaging will be: 8 * 260 * 5 * 20 * 3 = $ 624.400
Assuming that your cost of purchasing the cartoner is USD 200.000
Then your ROI with the cartoner is: (876.000 - 624.400) / 200.000 * 100% = 125.8 %
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