Each segment of the packaging industry relies on different types of packaging machinery to help improve and streamline their processes. Which machine works best for your company will depend on the application it is being used for.

Whether you opt for semi or fully-automatic machines they offer clear advantages over relying solely on manual packaging solutions. Of course, much will also depend on the size of your operation and the budget available for you to spend. Here are some of the most popular automated packaging systems used in the UK today by a multitude of companies.

Automatic bag packing machines

There are a number of different entry levels to these bagging machines, be it semi or fully automatic, depending on the size of the operation it is being used in.  A bagging machine is ideal for packing up cosmetics, food, toiletries and pharmaceutical applications.

Bagging systems not only does it place the items into the bag, but they usually contain features that allow the sealing and indexing of each bag as they are being processed. The amount they can fill depends on the machine and capacity, but smaller machines usually start at around 10 units per minute.

Flow wrap machine

A flow wrap machine is able to place products of almost any size inside a clear or printed polypropylene film. This keeps the item inside a flexible package with crimped end seals and a non-lap type seal along its length. A flow wrap machine is working best when it manages to get the film around the product tightly, minimising product shift inside of the package, while also reducing the ‘tails’ on the product, which makes packaging them in groups much easier to manage.

Sealing machine

Factories use sealing machines to close and seal up individual packages, or provide an ongoing horizontal or vertical seal on a line of products. Sealing machines can also combine fill, form and seal functions, depending on the budget you have available to spend. Seal-only machines will wrap the product but not form or fill them with items.

Manual sealing machines will either set or hold the products. Semi-automatic machines help with packaging and placement, which helps with accuracy and speed. Lastly, fully automatic machine requires very little operator assistance. Once the packaging components have been replenished it can be left to continue performing its task.

Protective packaging

There are a number of protective packaging machines available such as the AirPouch void-fill and protective packaging delivery systems. These protective packaging systems are available in a variety of configurations for semi-to fully-automatic packing operations.  The AirPouch protective packaging stand and hopper offers a wide variety of accessories and integrated system configurations.  The AirPouch FastWrap Winder automatically winds material into rolls for easy handling.

Packing belt machine

Also referred to as strapping machines. Used to reinforce heavy boxes so they remain stable and secure when being shipped to retail outlets. Polypropylene strapping is a strong form of wrapping that is quickly applied around the box for extra security. A packing belt machine also relies on heat to mend the ends together to ensure durable reinforcement.

The machine can also be used for bundling applications, unitising together multiple products so they are ready for transport. They may also be used to bundle together larger, heavier items such as cut lumber or long metal rods.

Stretch wrapping machine

Another common tool found in warehouses everywhere are stretch wrapping machines. This makes lighter work than wrapping round a pallet using stretch film by hand.  A stretch wrapping machine is the most cost-effective and efficient option in the long run for companies that are exceeding more than a dozen pallets a day.

On many occasions, these machines tend to be used in industrial settings, but there are other business types that rely on them. For example, bulk packaged products are typically kept together by use of a stretch wrapping machine, to keep the items secure for their journey to retail stores.