21 October 2015 //
by Toni Nigrelli-LaFleur
Many factors go into selecting a packaging equipment manufacturer, including machine cost, performance, and lead times. One important but often overlooked factor is the manufacturer itself. Finding a manufacturer that will stand by its equipment and work with your company for the life of the machine is just as important as finding the best packaging equipment for your product.
To help you with that process, we’ve identified five questions that will help you select the best manufacturer for your next packaging line project:
1. Does the Manufacturer Offer a Warranty?
Identify a company that is willing to back their work in writing, and has a clear understanding of the terms and conditions of its warranty. Similarly, ask if the company offers a performance guarantee that ensures your equipment will work as specified when it’s delivered. Warranties and performance guarantees are good signs that the company has confidence in its engineering team and that the equipment will run smoothly (with proper maintenance) and perform well for a long time.
2. How are Parts and Service Managed?
In the event the equipment goes down after installation, a well-run, well-managed parts and service department is essential to your company’s production. You’ll want to select an equipment manufacturer that has technical expertise on staff and is available 24 hours a day. In addition, ask about how they order spare parts. Are they stocked? If they are not stocked, what is the lead time to receive them? Another factor to consider is whether parts are shipped domestically or internationally. In the event parts are shipped internationally, be aware that often they can end up in customs for a day or two before they can be delivered.
3. Do They Offer Training?
Ask a potential manufacturer what type of training they provide for new equipment. Training your operational and maintenance staff on new equipment is crucial for ensuring your equipment will run as smoothly and efficiently as it did on the day it was installed.
4. Can They Supply References from Other Customers?
References can be a big help in choosing a potential manufacturing partner. When selecting a manufacturer, ask “Where can I see your equipment in-action?” or “Who can I speak with that uses your equipment on a daily basis?”
Once a list is obtained, ask those references about their experience with the equipment’s design, operation and overall performance. Such questions may include:
- Did the manufacturer provide on-time delivery?
- Where did you think the manufacturer could have improved?
- What did the manufacturer do well?
- Why did you choose this company?
Asking these or similar questions can often elicit very honest feedback from the reference and help you make a final decision.
5. Is the Equipment Manufacturer Financially Stable?
Although most equipment manufacturers are privately owned and will more than likely not share their financial statements, you can ask a company to share their history with you. A company’s age, history, and size as well as the financial resources invested in its people and capital equipment, can be a good indicator of a company’s stability and future. Additionally, each of these factors can have an immediate and long-lasting effect on your customer experience.
Once you have answers to these five questions, you cannot only confidently compare equipment, but also the quality of service you can expect to receive from the manufacturer.
EDL Packaging Engineers offers a comprehensive service packaging with each equipment build, as well as service packages. Want to learn more about our complete offerings? Contact us today.