Endload cartoning technology

Considering Top-load For Your Flow-wrapped Products? Think It Through To The END.

If your organization manufactures and packages cookies, crackers, biscuits, cereal/granola bars, energy bars, various snacks or any other flow-wrapped or pouched products, new end-load cartoning technology is available that compares favorably if considering a top-load solution. Traditionally, top-load cartoners have been marketed to packaging companies as a more flexible and cost-effective solution for these type products. However, new end-load packaging equipment has leveled the playing field and is giving top-load machines a run for its money – literally.

New end-load intermittent motion cartoning equipment offers similar flexibility with a wide range of package sizes and production speeds for today’s SKU proliferation – all at a lower cost of operation over the life of the equipment. Consumer goods companies and contract manufacturer’s looking to carton their products with flexible equipment at reduced costs, should consider new end-load cartoning technology when requesting a quote from packaging machine manufacturers.

Top-load cartoning technology can have a limited range of production speeds, prohibiting packaging companies from adjusting for unforeseen up-stream production line demands and market growth. These limitations are typically tied directly to top-load carton forming and vacuum product placement features. Carton forming from blanks requires more time and control than pre-glued magazine-fed solutions found on end-load cartoning technology. Vacuum placed products also require a “lighter touch” and calculated movement to ensure product is loaded into the carton correctly.  

End-load cartoners can typically run higher production rates when compared to top-load machines. Some intermittent end-load cartoners can produce up to 200 cartons per minute. The attractive carton per minute rate and throughput for these end-load machines makes this a contender for companies looking for a higher production rate for their product that has the ability to adjust quickly to product demand.

Flexibility in carton size and range of product applications is necessary for adapting to new product and consumer demands. While top-load cartoners have been known for flexibility it typically comes with a cost. Quite often switching between sizes and package types is time consuming and expensive due to the change parts. A small change in the length, width or depth dimension of a carton design would require all new parts in the forming and closing sections.  

Continuous motion end-load cartoners typically have less flexibility in carton size and in the range of product applications used on one machine. However, some new intermittent motion end load cartoners are changing that thought. When using one of these new intermittent motion end-load machines you have similar flexibility to a top-load cartoner but with the adaptability to change your product count and carton size for the same product with little downtime and less monetary investment. 

The complexity of top-load machines, production limitations, and the cartoning forming and product placement technology come at a price to manufacturers. New end-load technology can help offset financial investment by lowering costs associated with packaging, changeover parts, maintenance, production speed, footprint and overall machine operation. Highlighted below are multiple ways new end-load intermittent motion cartoners are lowering the cost to operate a production line compared to top-load cartoning technology.

  • Costs for redesigning packaging.  If planning on switching from an end-load machine to a top-load machine, you will be required to design and stock a completely new carton, as well as throw out skids of your old cartons.  If you have a mix of end-load and top-load cartoners, now you will have to store two different carton designs for the exact same size. New end-load cartoning technology allows you to keep your old carton design without having to waste the carton stock you already have on-hand.   
  • Machine complexity.  Top-load machines are naturally more complex and require more parts because of the cartoning forming and vacuum pick and place features. With more complexity comes more components and functionality. More components and functionality brings more opportunity for something to break or fail. End-load cartoners are less complex and cost less to maintain.
  • Placement of products.  Top-load machines use vacuum pick and place mechanisms to load the product into cartons. Vacuum products tend to get dirty quickly and require more maintenance. Most end-load solutions eliminate the vacuum pick and place mechanisms and the costly maintenance that goes along with the life of a vacuum product.   
  • Change parts.  Because top-load machines are more complex, they require changeover parts that cost significantly more. End-load machines are designed for quick changeovers using adjustable mechanisms requiring less change parts. Less parts equates to less storage and less likely that important parts go missing.
  • Number of machines.  Top-load cartoners typically run at lower production speeds than end-load cartoner. If a manufacturer requires higher production rates with packaging flexibility, they will be required to purchase multiple machines to fit their market demands. Because new end-load cartoning technology is adaptable to so many different packaging varieties, it is an ideal solution for a company needing to run different products on one machine when they do not have the budget or floor space to purchase multiple top-load machines.  

End-load cartoners are proving to be a versatile and adaptable solution for companies with a wide range of product types. R.A JONES has recently expanded the Criterion product line to include a new intermittent motion end-load cartoner, the Criterion CLI-100 with an optional IndeCart®3 variable pitch bucket transport that is competing with top-load cartoning equipment. This IndeCart®3 bucket transport is an ‘On Demand’ solution that de-couples the product input from the carton loading, eliminating the need of timing signals between the upstream equipment and the cartoner.

The new cartoning technology is very competitive with top-load applications. This compact machine ensures greater flexibility in carton sizing as well as quicker change-overs while not compromising on reliability, safety and ease of use. This is the perfect solution to your multi-purpose machine needs. If you have further questions regarding the new Criterion CLI-100 being the right fit for your production line, please email at marketing@rajones.com or complete and submit the form. More specific technical details can be found by clicking here.


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