March 18, 2015

On average, a packaging machinery project will span over 4 months between the times a purchase order is issued to machine installation at customer’s plant.  While this seems like plenty of time to plan ahead for everything to be ready when the machine is delivered, it is often not the case.


The responsibility of the packaging machinery manufacturer (OEM) should not be limited to delivering quality packaging equipment on time.   The OEM must clarify early in the game what the customer should expect over the coming months and make sure all parties understand what their level of responsibility is for the whole project.


Here are typical actions that are critical to a successful packaging machinery project:

- Packaging machine certification (for local electrical or safety requirements)
- Packaging machine validation (to certify that the equipment meets the technical requirements)
- Packaging machine shipping (which carrier to chose and who pays for it)
- Shipment insurance (who pays for it and what are the conditions)
- Building and production environment constraint for the packaging machine
- Packaging machine rigging (do you have proper equipment and staff to move the equipment)
- Electrical and pneumatic utilities (what is require and which contractor can do it)
- Packaging machine integration (who is responsible for multiple machine interactions)
- Packaging machine installation (was it included in the price of the machine or extra)
- Packaging machine start-up assistance
- Performance guarantee
- After sale support


Over the years, I have seen a lot of delays, additional cost and frustration around the above-mentioned topics.  Yet, most of it could be avoided by clear communications between the customer and the OEM.  Good execution by a Project Manager is key driver for a successful packaging machinery project. 


In the real world, people are busy and resources are limited.  End-users need their equipment as early as possible after they make a decision and manufacturers are juggling with multiple projects at the same time, each with their own requirements.  Many times, once the purchase order is issued, end-users expect to be taken by the hand and OEM expects the end-users to do their homework.  This is a recipe for disaster.


If you feel you don’t have the time or resources to properly manage a packaging machinery acquisition project, we can help.