How the Flexibility of Left- and Right-Hand Configurations Improved Packaging Line Efficiency

The Client / Product

Automation in their packaging line helped PLZ Corp be more productive, while increasing consistency and maintaining quality. Combi helped make that happen by providing the right solution at the right price point.

The Need: Case Erector, Drop Packer and Case Sealer

Clint McMahan, a corporate engineer at PLZ, had worked with Combi before, and he turned to them when PLZ needed a new packaging solution. His past experience with Combi gave him a level of trust, as well as the important ability to provide an option for left- and right-hand configuration.

PLZ is the North American leader in specialty aerosol and liquid product manufacturing. The company manufactures, packages and distributes a comprehensive line of contract fill, branded and private-label products.

By working with Combi, PLZ was able to increase throughput. The products being packaged were often gallons – packaged two at a time. By switching to automation, they minimized safety issues and maximized consistency.

“We were able to increase speed by at least 25 percent, while maintaining quality,” said McMahan. “We replaced manual labor with a case erector, drop packer and case sealer.”

Left- and Right-Hand Configuration Abilities and Auto-Changeover

As a contract manufacturer, PLZ packages various size boxes, including products ranging from stove top cleaner to power steering fluid to gallon jugs of carpet cleaner.

McMahan says Combi was the right selection for the job. In addition to the past working experience with Combi, they could accommodate an important functional need – the ability to do both left- and right-hand cartons at 25 to 30 cases per minute to improve packaging line efficiency.

“To complement the left- and right-hand options, Combi could offer auto-changeover on the case erector,” says McMahan.

This meant that with product case size changes, the operator did not have to adjust multiple points. Instead, with the push of a button, the equipment makes the adjustments for you.

“A big advantage is that you can lock out the setting, so anyone can change them, but the next time you can return easily to the baseline for changeover. It really eliminates problems from a trouble-shooting point of view,” says McMahan.

Thorough Pre-Design Due Diligence

When he contacted Combi initially, McMahan said they did a great job asking for samples and photos, so they could work from a realistic standpoint while devising a solution. Combi even sent someone to come out and see the working location, checking the overhead height and other considerations.

“They could have done this work without coming to our facility, but they chose to do that so they could have extra eyes on the situation,” says McMahan. “From a customer perspective, that makes you feel a little better, knowing they are doing the upfront work needed to get the job done right.”

McMahan says he can count on working with people he knows and trusts, and Combi accommodated his requests for certain internal and external contacts he has used for past jobs. He says Combi is responsive and was in the right price point based on ROI.

Discover Automated Solutions to Improve Your Packaging

If you’re interested in increasing throughput and consistency while improving your overall packaging line efficiency, talk to Combi today about our automated packaging solutions.