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Things to Consider Before Purchasing Automated Packaging Line Equipment

Considering an upgrade to your packaging line? It may be a worthwhile investment. According to a recent analysis from Boston Consulting Group, companies that closed the “automation gap” can save up to 25 percent on product conversion costs.1 The concept of automation is not new. However, recent advances in robotics, machine learning and cloud computing are making today’s box setup equipment faster and smarter. Plus, the latest state-of-the-art equipment utilizes artificial intelligence to continuously improve performance through feedback loops, creating unprecedented opportunity for companies through increased efficiencies.

And although incorporating the latest technology into your production line may sound like a simple, straightforward solution to increase productivity and optimize efficiencies, the market is full of options, all with slightly subtle technical differences. Making the right choice will improve productivity and efficiency, but making the wrong choice can cause long-term operational issues that could be detrimental for your business.2

So what are some things to consider in order to avoid pitfalls in the procurement process? In a study by Boston Consulting Group, they determined that companies who derive the most value from their procurement activities excel in three key areas: identifying and understanding project-related risks, possessing superior supply-market expertise and evaluating purchases with a total cost of ownership approach.3

Navigating Procurement Challenges With a Professional

Whether you plan to add one machine to improve processes downstream or want to incorporate a fully automated turnkey solution, before you make that final leap, consider seeking the advice of a professional to help you through the process. PCA’s Packaging Performance Group (PPG) often helps PCA customers in their search for new equipment. They have decades of experience buying, installing and maintaining box setup equipment, including case erectors, packers, sealers, etc. PCA team members have firsthand knowledge of the benefits of incorporating packaging line automation, as well as experience with vendors and their equipment in the market. They leverage their expertise, along with historical data, to assess the performance of equipment models before making recommendations.

When evaluating a new piece of equipment, PPG team members take a highly strategic approach in their assessment of equipment. They consider the total cost of ownership, factoring in future growth and the short- and long-term benefits of incorporating new equipment. They examine how production could be affected both upstream and downstream in the production line. Plus, PPG factors in how the boxes produced at local PCA plants will run on the equipment. They analyze key metrics like case weight, dimensions, board grade and more to ensure that customers’ operations will run smoothly from the get-go.

From thinking about lifetime maintenance costs to examining how production could be affected, PPG’s comprehensive approach to evaluating new equipment encompasses all the key touchpoints that are crucial to successful procurement. Afterall, collaborating with a trusted packaging partner to get packaging line automation right can minimize problems and save time and money.


  1. BCG, The Automation Revolution Gap in Manufacturing
  2. PNC Insights, A Life Cycle Management Approach to Equipment Finance
  3. BCG, Capital Procurement: The Cornerstone of Successful Projects