If you’re considering the installation of modern equipment such as packers, stackers, turners or inverters to maximize your folder-gluer productivity, and have done some research on the internet, you probably have come across some of the problems that can happen during an installation.
The purpose of this article is to address, with full transparency, the 5 most common problems during a folder-gluer packer installation.
In light of being transparent, we, as a manufacturer of folder-gluer packers, want you to know that we are not perfect. However, backed with 20 years of experience in the folding-gluing process — and with over 400 units installed across 20 countries — we’ve helped our customers navigate the uncharted waters of installing such a complex machine.
That is, our scores of conversations with customers, and the countless traveling our experts conducted around the world for installation, has equipped us with a strong knowledge of what works, what doesn’t, and the common problems involved.
We can now share our decades of experience with watching what our customers encounter first-hand with their folder-gluers so that you can avoid those mistakes before they could ever happen. Here are the Top 5 Most Common Problems During a Folder-Gluer Packer Installation:
It might be surprising to you, but one of the most common problems that we have seen starts not during, or after the installation, but right before the installation has ever begun.
This problem stems from the lack of sufficient preparation for the installation.
The level of preparation you have before the experts go on site can make a significant difference to the level of payback you receive from your investment. In other words, if you are not as prepared as you could be, and improvise the start-up while the experts are on site, you can be confronted with unnecessary problems that can delay (or even prevent) you from getting the machine running as soon as you could.
Francis, IMPACK’S Assembly supervisor, working on the MFA Batch Inverter.
What causes those delays?
Experience proves that the delays are more often than not caused by unintentional faulty logistics planning. This can include things as simple as preparing the electricity, pneumatics, internet connection for remote assistance or having a well-equipped crew.
The truth is those mistakes are very common yet very easily avoidable.
What’s the solution?
Having a detailed pre-installation plan. Sounds simple, right? Well, easier said than commonly done!
Planning prior to the installation of the packers on your folding-gluing lines is crucial to maximizing the chances that the installation process goes smoothly. We understand that having a plan-of-action for your crew to implement can be challenging, especially when dealing with new, complex machines.
It can be a steep learning curve and quite difficult to anticipate. There should be a mutual partnership between you and your machine provider to successfully, and effectively, set up your pre-implementation plan. At IMPACK, for example, we send our customers an extensive pre-installation manual that includes everything you need to know to prepare for installation. This includes what you should prepare, how you could prepare, and how to plan your folder-gluer production.
Let’s be honest here…manuals aren’t always fun but having that easy-to-follow guide can make things much easier to anticipate with a known start-to-finish plan that the entire team is educated around.
Yes, the pre-installation manual does not guarantee that every folder-gluer packer installation will be a flawless process; however, a properly prepared crew that closely follows the points outlined in the pre-installation guide will be capable of recognizing and avoiding the most common mistakes that can happen.
We have good and bad news about the gluer-packers.
At IMPACK, we produce complementary packers to folding-gluing lines. Because our machines are modular, we can be the perfect solutions to those looking for add-on modules to their already existing gluer lines.
Well, those complementary solutions can be not so perfect if your existing gluer machine is not working properly.
The problem is all makers and installers of semi-auto and auto-packers are fully dependent on the working capabilities of your existing folder-gluer. So, if your gluer is outdated or not working as it should, it might not be able to operate with the flexibility, scope and operational efficiency as they could. Some problems might thereby surface in the future.
Let’s face it: No one wants to make a big investment in a product that will take a blow.
What’s the solution?
It is important to ensure that your folder-gluer machines are healthy and running with the capacity that they should ensure the durability of your machines and that you get your ROI.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.
At IMPACK, we host our own specialized design and engineering departments of highly sophisticated experts. Our experts do not merely install the folder-gluer packers, but instead, we get involved at several different levels.
This includes analyzing your existing gluers and finishing department’s performance, determining your production’s capabilities, designing standardized and (or) specialized equipment, conducting inspection and quality-control procedures and providing complete training and coaching for the crew to push your folding-gluing production to its full potential.
Remember problem #1 (the lack of preparation for installation)?
Even when customers have a carefully planned pre-installation process, an easy-to-follow guide and high-performing gluers, a common problem that happens very often is that the crew are not well trained to operate the equipment as efficiently as they can.
Why does this happen?
There are 3 main reasons to why your workforce may not be operating efficiently.
Most frequently, this happens due to a lack of readily available resources.
That is to say, the expert arrives on site to begin training the crew, but rather than doing so, they are delayed due to having to wait for electricity, internet or air.
Without power, the expert cannot make the machine run, and without making the machine run, the expert cannot begin the training.
Yes, it is possible for experts to give training on an offline machine, but it is certainly not nearly as effective or demonstrative as that of a live, working machine. As a result, the expert cannot train the crew, or the crew receives very limited training that they could have capitalized on to their advantage had those resources been prepared.
Another reason for insufficient training is poor shift-planning.
So often we encounter companies that operate on a 24/7 basis and not all members of the crew get the chance to receive training or even meet the expert on site. This is usually because they work overnight or that their schedule is not in alignment with the schedule of the expert.
Another simple, but easily avoidable, problem that can be very costly and detrimental to pushing your folder-gluer to its maximum capacity.
The third cause to why we see this happening is due to the lack of preparation for changeovers.
Put simply, a lot of the time we see crew members only having limited boxes to run on the machine. This is great in terms of the idea that it makes the training much easier for everyone, but not so great when you factor in the fact that changing the box types, sizes, shapes, colours and thickness of the material is then left to the crew to figure out for themselves.
This only takes away from your setup time, productivity and makes your company’s knowledge learning curve flatter.
What’s the solution?
With the installation of foreign machines, such as packers, on your existing gluer lines, the introduction of new training and migrating to a semi–different way of operating, there are a lot of changes happening.
Change is necessary but can also be challenging to adapt to.
When the packers are first installed, everything is fresh and there is only so much that your crew can retain, understand and repeat by themselves.
Granted, you can operate up to a certain level, but after the machines have run for a few weeks (or a few months) most customers we have dealt with begin to realize specific difficulties obstructing efficient folder-gluer production…and they get stuck.
What’s the solution?
Understanding that this happens and is rather common is vital for you to implement preventative measures for bottlenecks and learn how to maximize the capacity of your folder-gluer for productivity.
This is where the significance of the relationship between your company and the installer comes in. Cultivating a strong and long-term partnership with your machine installer is critical for the continuous improvement of your production capabilities.
Thus, it is important that you take your time to assess your options of installers carefully with some forward thinking!
At IMPACK, you can count on us to provide complete training for your crew during and after an installation.
We are always open to offer refreshed training to our customers and are very flexible and adaptable to your schedule.
In fact, after a few weeks of installation, most of our customers reach out for a refresher training now that they have faced their difficulties in the folding-gluing process, identified the root causes and can pinpoint exactly where they are experiencing them.
This allows our experts to enter and leave the site with a better educated, better trained and far more equipped crew that have now become experts of their own machines.
Although modern machines have become smarter today and resemble human intuition, all machines can fail, breakdown or come across issues.
With the high-ticket that comes along with those folder-gluer packers, it is more relevant than ever to be well-equipped in order to act quickly and immediately before the damage becomes another problem of its own.
Whether it be a broken-shaft or a process failure, problems do happen sometimes.
Issues can always be anticipated as a reality but preventing them from multiplying should also be embraced as a necessity.
What’s the solution?
When evaluating different options of gluer packers, it is critical that you ask your folder-gluer packer installers about past problems they have experienced with their clients and machines, but more importantly, their involvement with fixing those problems.
The answers you get will speak volumes about the only thing that truly matters in those types of relationships: Long-term trust.
The best policy is to have responsive maintenance and support available from a well-trained repair technician.
IMPACK helps boost ergonomics and productivity in Model Obaly a.s., Hostinné plant in Czech Republic.
Despite the fact that we here at IMPACK are a small Quebec-based business, we pride ourselves with having our own internal feedback processes from our assembly, production and engineering departments.
No, we are not 24/7 — given that our service team members are the development engineers that work on the production site to innovate the machines you get serviced at the site — but we are entirely confident in the reliability and flexibility of our machines.
When you call service, you are not forwarded to a customer service representative. Instead, you get to speak directly, and one-on-one, with the engineer that designed your very own machine.
You may not have all the answers immediately in the next hour, but you will be speaking to the people who do.
With the cardboard packaging industry growing at a monstrous rate, and the urgent need to quickly adapt to the complex requirements of the market, more and more manufacturers of carton board and corrugated board packaging are seeking the installation of folder-gluer packers to increase their productivity and find solutions to labour shortages.
However, this does not come problem-free.
As we have seen, there are many challenges that can happen during the installation process, thus acknowledging those top common problems and leveraging this knowledge to your advantage is imperative towards optimizing a smooth installation and after-installation process.
Installation problems are common and okay. It is how you recognize them and what a company can do to fix them, and maintain that, is what truly matters.
It is no coincidence that IMPACK has robust solutions for each of the identified problems.
Challenge us to increase your productivity!
Marketing Content Manager