The packaging industry, like others, is moving towards automation and robots. Companies are now looking for machines that can handle the workload and accomplish much in less time.
Carton erectors are a shining example of it which are quickly becoming a necessity.
However, the decision to buy a carton erector is a tough choice to make. There are many types of case erectors and each is suitable for different needs. That’s why you should put some serious thought into it before buying one for your company.
The first thing to consider is your company’s packaging needs. The second determining factor is the packaging process of your company.
In case you are thinking of buying case erectors, you need to think about some key features. These include:
- Type of case
- Speed of packaging line
- Type of sealing
- Duration or lifetime
We are going to talk about these key factors in detail in this article. But before we discuss how you should choose the right case erector, let’s understand what it is.
What Is a Case Erector?
This is a machine that is used for packaging to automatically form cases. Case erectors fold flat cartons to form a shape and then seal the corrugated boxes.
These machines enable operators to perform duties as they don’t have to spend time building cartons. A normal case creator can fold and build between six and twenty cases per minute.
You can buy case erectors in automatic and semi-automatic designs.
Case erectors are a good purchase for companies with larger packaging needs. However, it’s still a good investment if your packaging line handles around 500 carton cases daily.
Now let’s take a look at the two main types of carton erectors.
These are types of case erectors that don’t need external input. These machines can form, fold, and seal the cases automatically on their own. Your company will have a complete packaging solution when automatic erectors are connected with case sealers.
Semi-Automatic Case Erectors
As the name gives it away, these are carton erectors that require some input. You will need operators to move cases through the machine and adjust carton sizes. The best part of semi-automatic carton erectors is that they can fold various sizes of cartons.
Now let’s talk about the factors that you should keep in mind before choosing an erector.
Consider the Case Choice
Corrugated cases are made of different materials and come in various styles and with various specifications. The type of case that you choose for packaging can make or break your entire line.
So, even if you have a case erector, it can prove to be non-functional.
That’s why you must equip yourself with useful information to make the right choice. Below are the three case features that you must keep in mind when buying a case erector.
The first thing you must keep in mind is the type of your case. There are three types of case designs that manufacturers use to pack their products. These include:
- Regular Slotted Cases (RSCs)
- Half-Slotted Container (HSC)
- Full-Overlap Slotted (FOL)
Most case erectors are designed to handle regular slotted cases (RSCs). There are plenty of choices available in the market for these cases. But you can also find full-overlap slotted (FOL) or half-slotted containers (HSC) with a little effort.
The dimensions of your case are another key factor to consider. Before putting your money on a case erector, you must keep in mind the length and width of your cartons.
Most case erectors can handle a wide range of dimensions. However, you should ask for the minimum and maximum dimensions when you are buying a case carton erector.
Normally, the large end of case erectors typically start from around 16 to 17 inches. On the other hand, small end carton erectors handle dimensions below 6 or 7 inches. So, you must evaluate the machine models in accordance with your box forming.
The quality of your case material also affects the choice of carton erectors. That’s why you should pay close attention to the case material and the specifications of the containerboard.
You should pick a case erector that can handle the material that you are using.
For example, an often crushed, thin, and flimsy case requires an opposing cut design. But if you use a pin or dome system, it may not remain erect. That’s why it is crucial to consider the corrugated material quality before choosing a carton erector.
Pay Attention to Speed
You should get an erector that either exceeds or at least matches your packaging operations speed. However, you should know that fast-speed carton erectors are more costly and overpriced.
The main reason behind this is the design and technological differences. A high-speed machine that can erect 50 cases per minute uses a different design and technology than an erector that only manages 5 cases per minute.
When looking for the right erector, bear in mind that each has its limitations. You can make a case erector run slower but you can’t make it run faster than its capacity. If you want fast speed, you have to invest in advanced machinery.
However, it is not easy to find a high-speed case erector at a competitively lower price. You have to pay for the advanced technology to reap its benefits.
Think About the Seal Type
Normally, most manufacturers produce carton erectors for both types of seals. However, both the tape-seal erectors and glue-seal erectors come with some pros and cons.
Why Choose Glue Sealing
- Glue-seal erectors offer the operational efficiencies that you won’t find in tape-seal erectors. That’s why most packaging companies prefer glue erectors.
- Their glue tanks remain filled for a longer time whereas tape rolling erectors run out of tape. This reduces the operational cost for glue-seal systems and allows labor to work consistently.
- The glue-sealing case erectors are more reliable at faster speeds.
- As compared to glue-sealing, the quality of material impacts the tape system in a big way. You may get stuck with the line stoppage issue if you decide to buy cheap tape.
Why Select Tape Sealing
- For starters, tap case erectors are 20 to 30 percent cheaper than glue carton erectors. A mid-range glue-sealing machine costs up to 10 or 20 thousand dollars more than a mid-range tape system.
- As compared to tape erectors, glue-based systems are messy and become a problem when they overspray.
- Tape-sealing case erectors require less maintenance whereas you have to unclog glue hoses and nozzles.
Which type of sealing case erector you pick is entirely up to you. It’s a decision that you have to make considering your packaging requirements. There is no right or wrong choice as each has its merits and demerits.
Consider the Duration
The duration of a case carton erector refers to its lifetime. This is a factor that connects with your asset management.
You can see the duration of case erectors as it is often mentioned by the manufacturers. In case you can’t find the duration, ask the dealer or manufacturer.
A case erector that promises a longer life will surely cost you more. So, you should consider the overall cost of the machine before you pay the price.
There are several factors to think about before making the final choice. When buying case carton erectors, you must keep your packaging process, the company’s needs, and the budget. In addition to these, you should pay attention to case type, material quality, and seal type.
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