Most-requested machine features

Quick changeover capabilities, flexibility, and fast speeds are the top three machine attributes most often requested by companies purchasing new packaging machinery, according to a recent survey of Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (Arlington, VA) member companies.

Based on the survey results, buyers continue to look for packaging machinery that can adapt to multiple packages in a quick and flexible manner, consistent with research conducted by Packaging World.

Click here for our special report on Quick-change machinery, published February 2003.

In addition, packaging machinery manufacturers identified four machine control feature improvements most often requested by customers purchasing new equipment: data acquisition, set-up screens, diagnostics, and on-machine Instruction Sheets.

The survey represents the responses from 142 of PMMI's Technical Contacts within PMMI member companies. Technical contacts are those employees with overall decision making regarding machinery design, research and development, and meeting the engineering needs of customers.

The survey also touches on machine control. For example, PMMI members report that the vast majority of machines shipped in the past 12 months use Programmable Logic Controls (PLCs) for machine control (71%), compared to other types of machine control, including personal computers.

Furthermore, 40% of the respondents indicate that approximately one out of four machines include servos; 15% indicate that almost half of their machines includes servo controls; 9% report that between half and three quarters of machines shipped include servo controls, and 14% indicate that 75% or more of their machines include servo controls.

When asked why servos were not included on some machines sold to customers, the top response is "equipment does not require an adjustable drive with feedback" (54%), followed by "servos would be expensive relative to the sales price of the machine" (36%).

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