What Exactly is Ancillary Packaging Equipment?

20 July 2015 //

Packaging System Upgrade



Posted on July 20 2015 by Jon Jossie


So just what is ancillary equipment? Well by definition the term ancillary means an accessory. The reality, in my opinion, is that ancillary can mean different types and pieces of equipment. Depending on what your project is, an ancillary might be: 1) an individual piece such as a glue-dispensing unit, a tray-forming unit, conveyor, reject station, metal detector, etc., that bolts onto the packaging line, or 2) a packaging line that is made up of many smaller or ancillary pieces of equipment. In addition, whether you buy everything from one vendor or choose to buy from various vendors can impact what is considered an ancillary piece of equipment for your project.

The main objective of your project or the main piece of equipment will ultimately determine what other pieces of equipment are ancillary for you. Below are a few project examples to help shed some meaning on the ancillary madness.

Automate the Palletizing Process

It can be done via several different methods: low-level, high-level, drop, robot, etc. Your main component is the palletizing method. The ancillaries come in when you look at what components actually come with your initial unit and decide what additional components you need. For example you may decide to run two lines into one, which will require conveyors. You may also want to add labelers or bar code scanners. These items then become your ancillary equipment.

Automate the Case Loading Process

For this project you might be starting from a different place. You might have a case erector and tapers or you might not have any equipment. Consequently, the ancillaries for each scenario will be different. The customer that needs only the case loader will need ancillary conveyors for case transport and labelers. The customer who currently does it all by hand will need a case erector and a taper, conveyors, and labelers – all of which may be considered ancillary equipment.

Place Product in a Tray and Shrink-wrap It

This too may be done in many different ways, but by the nature of the project some sort of tray forming, tray loading and shrink-wrapping are all included in the scope. However, this doesn’t mean everything is automated. So, in this instance your ancillary equipment may be a tray erector, a tray loader, labeler, tray printer, conveyors for transport, or a scale. Generally the larger the scope of this type of project, the fewer the possibilities for ancillaries. Similarly, the more automated the project becomes, the fewer ancillaries there will be.

EDL’s Ancillary Options

At EDL we engineer and build secondary packaging equipment and we also provide ancillary equipment to our customers. As stated above, ancillary equipment (e.g., a tray former, case erector, conveyors, tray loader, palletizer) is totally dependent on the goals and objectives of your project. The benefit to purchasing these ancillary items from us when purchasing your other equipment is they can all be integrated together to give you a complete system or production line.

Need some ancillary guidance? Contact us today to see how EDL can help.