An integral part of the packaging industry, folder-gluer machines are used all over the world for quickly and efficiently producing high-quality packaging. Given the large size of the packaging industry, folder-gluer machines are available in many different types to suit all types of packaging requirements of the users. Commonly available folder-gluer equipment includes fully automatic box window pasting machines, semi-automatic box pasting machines, automatic paper box pasting machines, and automatic corrugated paper box pasting machines. Depending on the packaging requirement of a product, it is possible to set these machines so that boxes with many different sizes can be made.
With so many folder-gluer OEMs and each of them offering different sizes, features, and models, opting for a new folder-gluer machine can be a daunting task. If you are a folding carton manufacturer or finisher, there are several points to be taken into account to find the best fit.
SBL Machinery, a renowned manufacturer of folder-gluer machines, shares the following tips for choosing the right equipment for folding and gluing.
The first and foremost point to consider is whether the buyer deals with a paperboard or corrugated cartons. The paperboard and corrugated markets are distinctly different in nature. The folding and gluing machines for these two markets may appear to be similar, but they differ significantly in terms of the machines’ design and structure. It is also important to note that there are certain folder-gluers compatible with both of these substrates. However, these machines have limitations in terms of their applications. For example, a machine that can produce corrugated C flute boxes should not be expected to efficiently produce 12-point folding paper cartons.
Also, compared to the corrugated box market, the paperboard folding carton market offers a wider variety of carton styles. Therefore, due to the need of producing a wider range of carton styles, the folder-gluer machines for paperboard are typically more versatile.
The next point to be considered is the style and size of products the buyer runs or plans to run in the future. If the product line of the machine user comprises of designs that require turning, an additional turning section has to be set up to ensure that other products can pass through when turning is not required. This section works brilliantly for large volume products that require turning. Otherwise, it is always better to look for a machine with a tooling section instead of turning. Tooling offers excellent cost savings, can be placed on the machine to turn the product, can be removed when it is not in use and doesn’t increase the length of the machine.
Finally, before buying a folder-gluer machine, think about how much you can afford. Please be mindful of the fact that the price of small and simple equipment can run from around $200,000. On the other hand, larger and more complex machines may cost well over a million dollars. As a buyer, it is important for you to ensure that the price of your chosen machine is reflective of the technology used for its design. Thoroughly analyze different products, their features, and how these features can help you meet your requirements. You should ideally look for products offering extended part warranties included in its base price.
In terms of available technology and price, you have the following options while comparing different folder-gluers.
- If budget is not a concern, you may opt for automated machines capable of recording and storing all systems settings, carrier locations, and job names. This is the best option for companies that have lots of repeat jobs.
- The next option is machined with motorized carriers but without automation. Though these machines can’t perform the storage and recording functions of an automated machine, but can still save lots of time while setting up the machine.
- The most economical option is a model without automation or motorized carriers. In these machines, each carrier position is moved and adjusted by an operator using a hand crank.