Need a case packer for your canning line? A guide on what to look for.

June 26, 2019

We help you determine the type of case packer to match your production needs.  Choosing safe and reliable equipment for your manufacturing facility is key in order to keep operations running smoothly and canning lines are no exception.  The size and scale of your operation will ultimately determine the best case packer fit for your production line.

Generally speaking, canned beverages are packed into carton configurations of 30, 24 or 16 cans per carton to meet retail demands.  These configurations have loose cans or clusters of four or six packs inside.  There are essentially three types of cartons which are widely accepted for canned beverages:

  1. Regular Slotted Carton (RSC) in an end load orientation

  2. RSC in a top load orientation

  3. Wrap around carton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RSC Carton top load 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RSC Carton end load 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wraparound carton

 

Thirty pack cartons are typically a hybrid wrap around with fifteen cans on two layers and a carry handle on top.  Wrap around cartons and RSC end load are essentially the same except the RSC is pre glued into a half-formed carton by the board manufacturer while the wrap around is supplied flat and glued after the product is loaded into the half-formed carton.  Gluing the wrap around carton on the machine with the product inside allows the machine to be tuned to produce a better quality carton not typically possible with a RSC carton.

 

Low Speed Can Production

Production facilities with a canning line producing between 20 and 50 cans per minute will usually pack cartons by hand.  It is only really possible to hand pack into RSC type cartons.  For RSC end load cartons, one end of the carton needs to be glued prior to loading cans followed by gluing the other end.  Top load RSC cartons can be loaded prior to sealing the carton if a top and bottom carton sealer is used.  These types of sealers can use glue or tape depending on how you want the carton to present.  Packing by hand can be a labour intensive process when you consider all the operations involved.  The costs associated with hand packing are not only labour related and you may experience increased packaging material, transport and quality related costs.  Semi-Automatic machines may be an option for low speed lines however the overall cost of ownership factors including the full time operator, potential hazards from human/machine interaction and repetitive work processes need to be considered.

 

Low – Mid Speed Can Production

When production rates increase to 50 to 135 cans per minute automatic case packing solutions become a requirement.  In this production rate range footprint and simple operation will most likely be the most important criteria as your facility may have space constrains and your staff may be mostly casual employees.  As you transition to automated case packing it can also be beneficial to continue to use your existing RSC carton types to consume existing stock or hand pack small batch runs if the need a rises. 

 Fibre King’s End Load RSC Case Packer – “Little Packer” two year payback, 1.2m x 1.2m

 

Mid Speed Can Production

Mid speed lines of 135 to 600 cans per minute need automated case packing.  These rates can be packed using intermittent machines.  In the lower end of this range RSC cases can still be used however as rates increase above 360 to 480 cans per minute wrap around case packers become more widely used.  Wrap around cartons can be packed faster within a smaller footprint than that of RSC cartons, they are also cheaper per carton and reduce transport costs due to receiving more cartons on each pallet from your board supplier.

 

 Fibre King's RSC Top Load Case Packer 

Fibre King’s Wraparound Case Packer “WAP10-25”

 

High Speed Can Production

High speed lines of 1,000 to 1,500 can per minute require continuous motion case packing.  At these packing rates wrap around cartons are the only real option.  These machines require a much larger footprint than intermittent machines and as you would expect cost more as well.  They are beautiful to watch in operation as they are smooth and hypnotic. 

Fibre King’s Wraparound Case Packer “WAP30-60”

 

Wrap Up 

Fibre King has been providing canning solutions for companies across Australia, New Zealand and Asia for over 30 years.  Our industry experience has enabled us to grow our equipment range so that we can provide, install, integrate and service turnkey canning equipment into facilities of any size.  Whether you are looking for a case packer to get your cans to market reliably, or a full canning line with de-palletisers, conveyors, can rinser, can fillers and seamers, case packers and palletisers we can help find you a solution that will meet your production requirements, budget and floorspace.  If you would like a quote for a case packing solution for your canning line, then email or call us with your production rates and how many lines you are running and we will get back to you soon. 

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