9 Things You Should Know Before Partnering With a Packaging Equipment Manufacturer

Danielle Ohl

Capital packaging equipment purchases are a big deal, not only because of the initial investment but because they signify a partnership with the packaging machine manufacturer that will hopefully last years, even decades. Make your partnership a great one by asking the following questions of your potential packaging equipment manufacturer:

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1. Who are their industry partners?

Relationships matter, especially in the packaging equipment industry. Research who their partners are for ancillary equipment needs and for film/pouch suppliers. A strong packaging OEM will have positive business partnerships with many industry-known businesses nation- and worldwide.

2. Can you visit onsite for a demonstration of the machinery?

There is no better way to evaluate potential packaging machinery (and the company that sells it) than seeing it in person. All the video, pictures, and brochures in the world won't communicate what an in-person visit can. Be wary of manufacturers that do not or will not show you their equipment up close. There's a reason for that.

3. Do they work with complex applications?

If you have a difficult application or a complex process, you will want to know what kind of experience the packaging equipment manufacturer has with R&D, custom engineering, and special projects. Are the machines configurable? Can assemblies be customized to fit your unique product?

Stick pack ST800 packaging line 1.jpg4. Do they have installations in your industry?

No matter how well known the packaging equipment manufacturer, no matter how great the price is they've quoted, you will want to know if they have machinery installations in your specific industry. Familiarity with popular industries like coffee, powder, and snacks means they've already worked the kinks out of the intricacies of these applications.

5. Can they provide references?

There's nothing more comforting to a potential purchaser of any product than reading positive reviews from past customers. This applies to packaging equipment as well. Ask for a list of references, ask if they can provide case studies and testimonials of real, named customers; and even better, find out if there is a customer in your industry that you can speak to.

6. Who services their packaging equipment?

After-sales service is a very important and often overlooked piece of purchasing a packaging machine. No matter how durable and robust the packaging equipment, there will come a time when you need assistance from technical service. Make sure that when you call or email, a real person will answer, and quickly. After all, each second your equipment is down is money down the drain.

Also make sure that service technicians are officially certified to work on that particular OEM's equipment. At Viking Masek, all of our service technicians are long-term employees, and all are certified and highly trained to work on our packaging equipment. 

Packaging machine service maintenance 4.jpg7. Do they offer preventive maintenance programs?

Another often overlooked piece of a packaging equipment purchase is its preventive maintenance program. After a machine is installed and running optimally, it still needs periodic preventive maintenance, just like a car. Does the packaging equipment manufacturer have programs to provide those services, and if so, do they have multiple packages that can meet differing needs?

8. Have they been recognized/certified in their industry?

Does the packaging machine manufacturer have certifications from ISO, CE, OSHA, USDA, and the like?

Awards and accolades aren't necessary but are a nice bit of icing on the cake. Recognition from different independent sources, both locally, nationally, and worldwide; validates the company in an objective manner.

Is the packaging equipment manufacturer expanding and growing their facilities and workforce? Are they in the news? Do they participate in community and industry trade shows and events? Do they have a strong online presence and active social media accounts? Again, these things are icing on the cake and not exactly necessary, but a packaging OEM that has community and industry visibility obviously has worked hard to achieve and maintain it.

9. Can they accommodate product testing and evaluation?

Does the packaging equipment manufacturer have the resources and facilities available to accommodate product testing? Sending in product for testing is one of the most definitive ways to ensure your proposal most accurately represents the machinery and ancillary equipment that works best for your product. This also helps set a realistic expectation for real-world packaging equipment speeds.


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