CPGs Call on Machinery Builders to Help Meet E-commerce Demands with More Flexible Packaging Equipment

In case you missed it: catch up on the fifth in a series of e-commerce coverage for the packaging industry.
E-commerce series 5

Originally posted 11/20/2018

A new report from PMMI Business Intelligence says CPGs will build separate lines for e-commerce, and that capital is going to e-commerce machinery purchases.

Sixty percent of those CPGs polled report increasing machinery purchases specifically for e-commerce.

“We are doing proof of principle (PoP) now on our line to determine potential machinery needs for an e-commerce line; waiting for ROI determinations,” said one CPG Packaging Manager.”

Machinery needed includes (see chart for percentages): secondary packaging, warehouse handling equipment, marking and coding, primary packaging and vison/sensors.

CPGs are looking for improvements in machinery that focus on getting the product to market faster, including:

  • Faster machine start-ups to run multiple sizes due to SKU proliferation.
  • Perform faster changeover in order to manufacture a wider variety of products sizes
  • Intuitive maintenance indicators that deliver a computer prompt for easier, built in troubleshooting, self-diagnostics, and measuring of machine performance
  • Accommodate shorter production runs to add more personalization.
  • More automation is needed as there are fewer qualified people to hire.
  • Simplicity in machine operations due to a limited labor force that is not highly skilled.

The study makes it clear that CPGs are not just looking to buy a machine, they seek a deeper partnership with their OEMs to navigate the challenges of e-commerce.

“We look to the OEM to assist with the selection of the machines’ interface and controls,” said a Project Engineer with a nutritionals company.

“We look for partners that are more innovative and provide a quality machine,” remarked a Sr. Packaging Engineer for a major CPG.

For more information on the impact of e-commerce on CPGs, 3PLs and packaging OEMs, download the FREE Executive Summary, or, PMMI members can access entire 56-page report here.