Web Plus: Researching equipment online is not just window shopping

Surfing the Internet is more than a pastime for Another Day Ltd. manager David Lickhalter. It’s an efficient way to research equipment that the San Diego-based pet-supply company needs to package its liquid products.

In the past year, Lickhalter has spent $80ꯠ on packaging equipment — each piece researched on the Internet. Lickhalter says he either flips through trade magazines and goes directly to supplier Web sites or uses the HotBot or Yahoo search engines to find specific equipment. When it comes to purchasing equipment, Lickhalter only deals with suppliers that include pricing on their Web site.

“It makes it so much easier to narrow down purchasing decisions,” says Lickhalter. “Many Web sites miss what us buyers really want to see ... the price! Sure, packaging equipment prices may be different when pieces of machinery are added or if it is customized. All I need is a ballpark figure. Tell me the base price or give me a price range.”

Another Day’s most recent purchase was a Pillar Unifoiler induction capsealer installed in June. For this purchase Lickhalter went to www.hotbot.com, searched for used packaging equipment, and clicked to The Frain Group Web site (www.fraingroup.com). Here he typed “induction sealers” and found a used Pillar (www.pillartech.com) machine for sale that needed a replacement part.

Because the part was no longer made for the used piece of machinery, Lickhalter bought a new Model 3000-C capsealer offline from Pillar, which was installed on a Dorner (www.dorner.com) conveyor to cap seal Another Day’s pint and quart bottles.

Another supplier whose Web site Lickhalter has used is Accutek (www.accutekpackaging.com). Lickhalter went from a trade magazine ad to the company’s Web site. He purchased a hand cap tightener offline after successfully gathering product details and a price range online. The Accucapper is a portable, handheld cap tightener that is capable of tightening or removing screw-type caps.

“Researching on the Internet should give you more information and have the most up-to-date details,” Lickhalter says. “The suppliers who make things easy for me when I am researching online for equipment get my business.” His next search is for a liquid filler and automatic capping system.

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