Teaching a wrapping machine involves hands on learning. It is also a two-way street. While our customer’s staff need to learn the ins and outs of our overwrapper, we need to make sure that we understand their product and how it behaves while being wrapped.
There are four component to a successful transition:
- a machine that is customized based on good communication,
- products whose characteristics are well understood by both parties.
- wrapping material that suits the needs of the machine, the product and marketing,
- in-house operators and maintenance who can get the best performance from the machine because they learn the machine and know their own systems.
Just recently we had to do an in-house acceptance test. Due to turnover, many of the people involved in the buy decision at our customer were not the ones who had to operate the machine and we had discovered that there were serious discrepancies in the specifics between what we thought we were supposed to deliver and what the folks on the production line expected. We also discovered that the samples we received for testing and runoff were not quite the same as the ones that came immediately our of processing.
The customer also was new to buying BOPP film and did not understand that all polypropylene films are not the same. After trying to work with a film supplier who also did not understand the film requirements, we offered a supplier with whom we had worked in the past. There was a lot of trial and error with a good supplier before we agreed on the specs for the film that met their requirements for performance and cost and our for machinability.
In order to engage the customer’s employees in the knowledge we wanted to transfer we had to make sure it was also a sharing experience. We needed their input into what would make this machine successful for them. And we needed them to learn how to take ownership of the machine. This can be an iterative process, when one thing gets changed and we see its impact. It is always interesting when the customer proposes one change and sees its impact.
Through this iterative process we are able to find the right solutions in a collaborative process that meets the packaging process requirements. Customers who come with expectations and work with us seem more satisfied at the end with their machine. They are also the ones who get better performance from their new machine.
Teaching a wrapping machine flows in both directions. We are grateful for what we learn and are then able to share with others.
For more information on our over wrappers, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1.413.732.4000.