January 2017 Trends Report

What has been bringing buyers to Bid on Equipment through the month of January and what are they looking for when they are here?
Below are the top ten search terms that have shown the largest increases from Internet search traffic this month.

Interest in each of these terms has grown 100% - 1500%!
Used Woodworking Tools Lathe for Sale
Restaurant Equipment for Sale Used Dairy Equipment
Milling Machine for Sale Used Butcher Equipment
Dairy Equipment Used Machine Shop Equipment
Walk-In Cooler for Sale Used Printing Equipment
The top ten overall categories for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Restaurant Equipment Meat Equipment
Machine Shop and Tools Conveyors
Bakery Equipment Tanks
Woodworking Equipment Boilers
Dairy Equipment Printing Equipment

The top ten overall Manufacturer Pages for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Bakers Pride Blodgett
Sweco Bosch
Vemag Mueller
Multivac Trane
Bridgeport Hussman

Are you interested in purchasing equipment, but not sure if it is in your budget?  Click on the following link to learn about Direct Capital and how they can assist you in building your business.
Direct Capital

HANDMADE VS. FACTORY MADE: Tales of Time and Cost

After the Industrial Revolution, mass production of goods led to mass consumption in a necessary way. With factory made goods now accessible and affordable across the country and around the world, the quality of life vastly improved for countless people, elevating our agrarian culture to a global commercial one. In the modern world, there is room for both factory made and handmade, where artisanal can live beside industrial. Check out the differences between the two approaches below.

Though handmade might seem always like the better bet, cost is a major factor in modern consumption. The cost of crafting all the elements that go into modern life is impossible—not at the scale modern society demands. A 20 to 24 piece set of handcrafted silverware costs approximately $426, whereas a factory made set costs only $20. Similarly, handmade plates can run $40 per plate, or $3.50 when purchased at a mass-marketed store. At that price, you can afford to break a few without worry of breaking the bank for a replacement.

Besides being cost-effective, factory made items are also time-effective. While the high quality of proper craftsmanship cannot be discounted, one cannot ignore the length of time it takes for one person to personally make an item. For example, it would take a skilled seamstress or tailor using an old-fashioned hand loom approximately five-and-a-half hours to make a pair of jeans. Considering that 520 million pairs of jeans are sold each year—in the US alone—it would take 1,000 seamstresses and tailors, working 12 hours a day for 365 days each year, for 652 years, to equal the factory output of one year of jeans.

Factory made mass production does not just affect the time it takes to create something, but also to maximize the time allotted to produce. For instance, the harvest window for corn in the US is roughly 60 days. Currently, it takes about 290 man-hours to harvest and shuck 1 hectare of corn by hand. (1 hectare is equal to 2.47 acres.) That doesn’t seem so impossible… until you consider that there are 39 million hectares of corn grown in the US each year. Corn is a foundational ingredient in not only our food processing but also in our livestock feed, and is an agricultural keystone in our economy. To harvest what is necessary to keep the corn industry sustainable would simply not be possible without the heavy lifting of machinery and automation.

The good news is we don’t have to choose between the two approaches. There is room in our world for both the necessity of factory made items and the artisanal craftsmanship of handmade items. Being selective about where our time, money, and energy is channeled can help both sides of the production industry thrive together.



Products advertised on brand and retail websites including: Express, Amara, Overstock, Zappos, Barneys, Food52, World Market, Target, Walmart, Williams Sonoma, Etsy, Kitchen Collection, JR Cigars, Thompson Cigar, Toyota, Lichty Guitars, Guitar Center, Denims and Jeans, and Dreyfuss and Co.


















Making the Case for Automated Case Packing

So many things in life have become more efficient thanks to more automated technology. Take word processing, for instance, and just think of how much faster it is to type a letter on computer rather than hand write it out the old fashioned way. Think of how much faster and more efficient it is to send an e-mail than to mail one via the postal service. These increased efficiencies can't be disputed - and these increased efficiencies don't just impact our daily personal lives, but industry as well.
Case in point (no pun intended) is when it comes to case packing - there's the manual way of doing it and the automatic way of doing it. Case packing is essentially the process of placing packaged product into corrugated cases so that they can be transported to the end user or stores for placement. We probably don't need to tell you how much faster it is to purchase automated equipment for your facility to carry out this work. This post will take a closer look at automated case packing equipment, the types of equipment and just what they can do to increase your efficiency and take your business to that next level.
Why Use Automated Packing?
As we noted in the opening, automated case packing can increase the efficiency and productivity of your packing operations in your facility - characteristics that represent the big payoff behind this technology. There are many reasons why a plant manager might elect to bring automated packing into their plant. These reasons may include:
• Attempting to transition from a small or medium sized company to a large one without significantly adding more labor (i.e. wanting to add a third shift, for example.)
• Feeling the pinch of higher labor costs and bringing in technology to help curb this. And yes, while purchasing this type of equipment comes with a high cost, most companies can recoup these upfront costs in a matter of months due to the increase in efficiency.
• The desire to create a safer, more sustainable working environment - as automated packing equipment enhances safety in the workplace and also helps minimize scrap and waste.
Types of Automated Case Packers
Having trouble deciding what type of automated case packer is right for your facility's operations? There are four main types of case packing technologies to choose from. Here is a closer look at each of them:
• Top load case packers: Fitting to the name, top load case packers load items through the top of an RSC, or regular slotted carton, wraparound or other sort of case. Many top load case packers have multiple stops throughout the line, allowing packagers to fill multiple layers or types of products at various load stations. Most top load case packers are all-in-one machines that also have small footprints. Many even seal the cases with either glue or tape so that they're ready to leave the factory floor upon completion.
• Side load case packers: Just as how top load case packers load product into RSCs from the top, side load case packers load product in from the side. Side load case packers are ideal for confectionary, food and beverage, personal care, nutritional and pharmaceutical products, among others. Like top load case packers, side load machines also often seal the case by gluing or taping the RSCs after they've been filled. Side load case packers may also be referred to as end load packers, as some models fill product into the RSC through the end.
• Robotic case packers: In terms of footprint, robotic case packers take up the smallest overall space on the plant floor. These types of case packers are also ideal for plants that want to maximize changeovers and flexibility.
• Wraparound case packers: These machines pack product from either the side or the top of the wraparound. Like robotic packers, wraparound packers usually utilize minimal space on the plant floor. These types of packers also typically are more affordable to run, as they minimize the cost of corrugated material. Cost per unit is also normally decreased and wraparound packers offer better consistency and efficiency when it comes to palletizing.
Aside from the aforementioned four types of case packers, it's worth noting that there are also optional add-on accessories that can be installed on the equipment to make them even more efficient on the factory floor.
Benefits of Automated Case Packers
As we've mentioned regularly throughout this piece, the big benefit of automated case packing is the streamlining in efficiency of packing operations. As productivity increases, the time and labor decreases, which becomes a win-win for a plant manager. Automated case packing equipment is able to perform more repetitions in less time than it would take to do manually, and because of the streamline in efficiency, changeovers are short, there's less room for error and less waste generated as a result. What's more is that while automated case packing equipment is expensive, most plants can recoup the upfront costs in less than six months after installation due to the increase in efficiency and productivity.
While case packing machines vary in efficiency by model and style, it's not uncommon for most top load case packers to be able to handle about 10 cpm or 20 picks per minute. Side load case packers range from about 10 cases per minute to in the neighborhood of 85 cases or trays per minute. Robotic case packers are said to be the most efficient case packing device, as most have the ability to process about 100 or so packages or cases per minute. These numbers are far more efficient than what it would take to complete these operations manually - and this is even more so the case when you consider the optional add-ons that are able to make these automated case packers even more efficient.

While automated case packers have a place in terms of increasing efficiency when it comes to facility operations, it's also worth noting that these machines are expensive and can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost. While the payoff and ROI of bringing these machines in house is evident, these upfront costs may be a little too much for many businesses. That's where a quality, previously owned machine can come in handy - as you can acquire a quality machine and begin to immediately reap the benefits of such, for a used price.
For more information on automated case packing equipment, and to browse our selection of previously owned equipment, contact Bid on Equipment today.


Clam Shell Packaging 101: Behind the Package with the Funny Name

If you head to the grocery store, you'll find a bevy of different packages. Typically, these packages are divvied up into two main categories - rigid packaging and flexible packaging. While everyone seems to have their own definition of what's considered "flexible" when it comes to packaging, generally speaking flexible packages are considered to be the plastic pouches and bags that hold products like salad, shredded cheese, snack foods, juice boxes and certain frozen items. Rigid packaging, on the other hand, is considered to be the boxes and thermoformed plastic containers that help package everything from health and beauty products to food and drinks. Clam shell packaging usually falls into the rigid packaging category, as it is usually made from either rigid plastic or paperboard. When it's created from plastic, it's usually either thermoformed or injection molded.
So just what is clam shell packaging? Specifically, it's a one-piece container, typically but not exclusively made of thermoformed or injection molded plastic, that has two halves which are folded together to protect and package a product. It utilizes a hinge of sorts to complete the open and closing action. It gets its name because it looks and operates similar to that of a clam shell - and you may be surprised at just how often you see and use clam shell packaging in your life. For instance, think of the to-go box that you get from your favorite restaurant when you're taking the rest of your meal home as leftovers - chances are the foam or paper box is a clam shell package. When you order a burger at a fast food joint, the burger may be prepared and presented to you for consumption in a clam shell box. If you buy a bunch of nails at the hardware store, they may come in a clam shell package. And when you purchase things like fresh fruit and produce at the grocery store, it's not uncommon to find things like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries packaged in plastic clam shell containers. Many other markets and industries rely on clam shell packaging, which we'll get into more throughout this piece.
Benefits of Clam Shell Packaging
Clam shell packaging wouldn't be such a common packaging option if it didn't exhibit a variety of benefits. Here's a look at some of these benefits:
• Attractive: Aside from protecting the product that it is packaging, one of the key roles of packaging is "popping" so that it stands out on the shelf and appeals to consumers. Clam shell packaging accomplishes this in a few ways. For starters, many clam shell plastic packages allow the customer to see inside the package and observe the product, and consumers prefer this transparency feature. There's also the ability to further customize and enhance the package design by inserting special graphics cards and labels into the package. It's also possible to dye the plastic to a different, more eye-popping color. Bottom line - clam shell packaging may seem simplistic in nature, but there's a lot that can be done to make it more appealing to consumers. And when part of a package's job is to appeal to consumers, this benefit is crucial.
• Good protection: Clam shell packaging also offers good product protection, a trait that has led many brands and consumer product companies to package higher-end items in them. Clam shell packages can usually be sealed or secured in some way, which helps keep products safe in the transportation of them, and many clam shell packages are also designed to prevent tampering.
• Variety: As we hinted in the opening, there are a lot of different types of clam shell packaging. We'll get into more of this variety in the next section, but know that clam shell packaging can be created around the application - and not the other way around. This helps brands put products in the packaging that is best for them. In a sense, clam shell packaging can be packaging without compromise.
Types of Clam Shell Packaging
Plastic clam shell packages are probably the most popular type of this style of package - and these packages are created either via thermoforming or injection molding. Here's a look at some of the types of clam shell packaging:
• Custom vs. Stock: Many manufacturers offer clam shell packaging either by custom package design and creation or in stock options. While stock options are cheaper than clam shells that are custom made, they may not secure and package the product as well as the alternative. Noting this, it's important for companies to weigh the pros and cons of the custom vs. stock option before making a decision.
• Box: Fitting to the name, box-like clam shell packages are box-shaped. Typically made of plastic, these packages can be used to package everything from fresh fruits to nails from the local hardware store. Large box clam shells are often used as to-go or carryout containers at restaurants.
• Rectangular: These types of clam shells area ideal for packaging more unconventionally shaped products. They can also be useful for packaging food items, such as cookies.
• Circular: Circular clam shells are best utilized for single-serve items, like sandwiches at a local deli. These types of clam shell packages often seal in some way to protect the food from premature spoilage and serve as a tamper resistance.
What Industries/Markets Use Clam Shell Packaging?
When it comes to packaging, different types of products are placed in different types of packages. However, when it comes to clam shell packaging, the markets and industries that this style serves are far-reaching. Aside from packaging a bevy of food products (it's estimated that clam shell packaging accounts for about 65 percent of the packaging when it comes to produce), clam shell packaging is also ideal for the following markets:
• Health and beauty.
• Hardware/home improvement.
• Cosmetics.
• Toys.
• Medical.
• Sporting goods.
• Electronics.
• Household goods.

One of the other big notables when it comes to clam shell packaging is that it isn't going anywhere. We already noted that clam shell packaging accounts for about 65 percent of the packaging market when it comes to produce - and this number is expected to increase about 20 percent by 2019 according to estimates from Freedonia Group, a leading market research firm. In other words, clam shell packaging is here to stay - and it's only likely to become more popular in the years to come.
For more information on clam shell packaging, and to learn more about the technologies and methods that help create this style of packaging, contact Bid on Equipment today.


Find the Right Powder Mixer for Your Business | Bid-On-Equipment

In order to create certain products, a combination of blending or mixing must be administered. Whether they’re dairy products, foods or chemicals, they all typically consist of a mixture of ingredients. However, as you likely know, the aforementioned don’t become end products just by manually mixing different dry and liquid ingredients. Not only would that be inefficient, but it would also be problematic. That's where mixing and blending equipment come into play, as these machines permit processors to create large quantities of product in an efficient and accurate manner.

Powder Mixing: The Basics

Think of your home countertop blender. While you use this to process liquids - and usually not dry powders - the process is similar. To make certain drinks in the blender for instance, you're likely adding milk, fruits and more to it, then punching the button to create a homogenous end product. Powder mixers work similarly to that of your home blender, just on a much larger and more advanced scale. Just as how the blade within the home blender works as the agitator to help create the final product, there are a number of different agitators that are typically used in powder mixing equipment that are designed to perform a similar role.

Mixing can be done with all solid materials, with both solids and liquids and with gas and liquids. Below are some examples of common mixing and blending applications, as the process is one of the most demanding in several industries:

  • Chemical processing: Whether it's fertilizers, specialty chemicals or both liquid and powder detergents, mixing may be the most important aspect of the chemical processing field.
  • Pharmaceutical: Combining various different products to create medicine and drugs is often performed by blending for pharmaceutical purposes.
  • Food: Cake mixes, rice, spices and flavoring are common examples of mixing and blending involved in food processing.

While there are many different types of mixers, there are a few broader styles that they are associated with. For instance, many mixers are classified as "continuous," as they are able to operate efficiently, and their final processed product is not limited to just batches of product. For processing plants that are aiming to improve their output or grow their operations, a continuous mixer is an absolute must have.

Shear blending and inline induction are other techniques and processes that can help with the blending of materials.

Common Powder Mixers (and Their Ideal Uses)

The end product is often only as good as the process, and it's important to note the differences in the various types of powder mixers and what applications and industries they are ideally used in. Here's a closer look at these different mixers and when they are ideally used in processing:

  • Ribbon blenders: Ribbon blenders are ideal when mixing powder and granular ingredients is necessary. For this reason, these types of machines are common in the food industry, especially when it comes to processing food in bulk quantities. Ribbon blenders get their names from the pattern that describes their blades, as they resemble that of a ribbon.
  • Paddle blenders: Just like ribbon blenders, paddle blenders are often characterized by the paddle-like blades that help process material. The paddles work by moving product from the bottom of the machine's trough and into the product stream. Because of the way that paddle blenders work, they're ideal for mixing product that is dissimilar in size and in shape. It's also worth noting that "hybrid" blenders exist that combine the paddle and ribbon blending styles.
  • Twin shell (V-Blenders): Twin shell blenders, also commonly referred to as "V-blenders" for their V-like shape, are used to mix solids with solids and solids with liquids. The machines consist of two blending shells (one on each side of the V) that are then connected and come together at the tip of the V. Because of the V shape, twin shell blenders are able to perform very efficient blending. This is especially true when you consider the fact that the V chamber rotates as it works, which makes blending all the more thorough.
  • Double cone: When it comes to blending flowing solids, double cone blenders are used almost exclusively for such purposes. Like the twin shell blender that we mentioned above, the solids that are being processed in the double cone blender are constantly mixed as the machine rotates for up to about 10 minutes a cycle. Double cone blenders are available in a variety of different sizes to allow processors to best select the unit for the application they are working to process.
  • Zig zag blenders: Zig zag blenders are a style of continuous blender that's able to process liquids, solids and slurries. Designed for high volume production, zig zag blenders are ideal for gentle and more intimate processing. Zig zag blenders get their name, as the machine takes on a winding pattern to process the product inside of it.
  • Nauta mixers: Nauta-style mixers are ideal for processing both solids and paste materials. These mixers are considered to be "connective" and work by gently mixing the material using only a small amount of heat. Because of the mixing style, there's little to no end product distortion. Another big advantage of the nauta mixer is that it is very economical. It uses very little power compared to the vast amount of material it is able to process at a time.

Other Blending Styles

There are a few other broad blending styles to make mention of, such as horizontal shaft mixers, tumble blenders and vertical screw mixers. Here's a brief overview of each:

  • Horizontal shaft mixers: These mixing systems typically operate with either paddles or ribbons. They work, as the name implies, in a horizontal manner and are typically deployed for heavy-duty blending, such as spices, concrete and other wet and dry materials.
  • Tumble blenders: Twin shell blenders are an example of a tumble blender, in that these types of mixers operate at fairly slow speeds and use diffusion for mixing solids.
  • Vertical screw mixers: These types of mixers use heat and friction to help achieve the end result. Unlike horizontal mixers, these machines work vertically and these are also typically very large pieces of machinery.


What type of mixer is right for your processing facility? For more information on the various different types of powder blending equipment and accessories, and to enter your bid for a piece of quality used equipment, contact Bid on Equipment today.

How to Sterilize Equipment Used in Food/Drink Production

When it comes to food and drink production, it's essential that processing and packaging lines are completing runs that deliver a quality, safe end product. After all, products that are contaminated and unsafe to consume or drink could hurt a brand's reputation, not to mention open a particular brand or company to legal issues.
But one common misconception when it comes to food and drink production is that it's only the end product that needs to be inspected and checked for quality control. Arguably just as important to keeping the end product contaminant free is keeping the equipment that processes the product contaminant free. Yes, the conveyor lines, packaging lines, metal detectors and more aren't immune from accruing contaminants such as harmful bacteria and more that could find their way into the end product, thereby compromising it.

So just what's the best way to keep this processing equipment clean (and safe)? While we'll get into the various ways to accomplish this later on in this post, it's first important to point out that any good cleaning, sterilization and sanitation plan in a food or beverage processing facility should include some common characteristics. These include:

  • Both daily and routine cleaning, sterilization and sanitation should be practiced.
  • The aforementioned practices should be monitored or supervised to ensure that it is done correctly and adequately. Additionally, the importance of these procedures should be stressed by management. In other words, this shouldn't be an afterthought; it should be a priority in any facility.
  • Staff safety should also be considered when any cleaning, sterilization and sanitation plan is implemented. For instance, it's important for staff members to be properly trained and educated on whatever cleaning procedures they are carrying out in a facility.
  • Failure to implement such a procedure could lead to severe ramifications.

How to Sterilize Equipment Used in Food/Drink Production
There are many different equipment components in the food and drink production line. There are conveyors, which move packaging to various filling or distribution stations. In some cases, there are even form-fill-seal machines, which essentially finalize the production and packaging process so that products can move on to shipment. Many processing lines also include the use of metal detectors, so that food and beverages can be checked to ensure they aren't carrying any harmful metal in them.
Sanitation is defined as “the process of reducing the microorganisms on a clean surface to a safe level.” This so-called “safe level” is generally thought to be a near 100 percent reduction in contaminants. With this all being said, just how is this processing equipment sterilized so that it's not potentially contributing to any likelihood of contaminated food or beverages? Here's a look at some of the most popular techniques for the cleaning and sanitization used in food and drink processing:

Radiation: This tactic involves the use of ultraviolet radiation to get rid of microorganisms, and is becoming a more and more common sterilization method used in food processing facilities. Generally, by just administering the UV light to processing equipment for 2 minutes is enough to kill all microorganisms that come into contact with them. While fast working, there are a few notable disadvantages to going the UV radiation route. One, such equipment is usually pretty expensive. And two, the UV light is usually only able to treat a small area of the processing equipment at a time.

Thermal Sanitization: As you can likely tell from the title of particular tactic, this sterilization method uses heat. That’s because under the right circumstances, heat is arguably the best way to destroy microorganisms on surfaces. However, when it comes to heat, there are three main methods of using it to sanitize food and beverage processing equipment:

  1. Steam: This method uses heat in a gaseous state, as when it is applied to the surface of the processing equipment – and under the right time circumstances – steam can be a critical ally. Generally, steam needs to be at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit and be exposed to processing equipment for a minimum of 15 minutes to properly sterilize and sanitize it. At about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, steam needs to be exposed to the equipment for only about 5 minutes. One downside to using steam, however, is that steam’s condensation byproduct has been known to add complications to the cleaning.
  2. Hot Water: Heat in a liquid state, as in hot water, is also a viable sanitization and sterilization method when it comes to processing equipment. Generally speaking, however, hot water must be heated to at least 171 degrees Fahrenheit to be effective in eliminating microorganisms, though higher temperatures will enable sterilization in a lesser amount of time. Depending on the process, temperatures that must be reached and times that hot water must be applied vary. The likes of circulating systems and dishwashers are commonly used for sanitizing and sterilizing equipment using hot water. Compared to the other means of thermal sanitization, using hot water is relatively inexpensive, easy and highly effective. However, being a slower process that needs a warm-up and cool-down period, it can be a bit more time consuming.
  3. Hot Air: The third and final way to apply thermal sanitization is to apply hot air to the packaging equipment. The experts agree that hot air must be applied for about 20 minutes and at a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chemical Sanitization: Last but not least, the other of the “big 3” sterilization and sanitization processes is the use of chemicals. Chemicals are a highly effective means of eliminating microorganisms from processing equipment – but only under the right conditions. For instance, in order for chemicals to work properly, the balance of chlorine, iodine and ammonium must be correct. What’s more is that there needs to also be the right concentration, temperature and contact time. As an example, when using a chemical to sanitize and sterilize, the right amount of the particular cleaning agent must be used, it needs to be used in the right temperature conditions and it needs to be applied for the appropriate amount of time to adequately work. If these standards are not met, efforts are likely to fail, thereby compromising the end food or beverage product through possible contamination.

Cleaning, sanitization and sterilization of food and beverage processing equipment isn’t something that should be taken lightly. It’s an important job that requires dedication and a high level of attention.

For more information on how to clean, sanitize and sterilize processing equipment used in food and beverage production, and for a look at said equipment that we have in stock, contact Bid on Equipment today.

The Many Different Types of Labels (and Why They're Used)

Labels, which are pieces of paper or film attached to a product's packaging, are meant to serve five essential functions:
1. Product description: Yes, first and foremost, labels are designed to share information about a particular product. If it's a label on a food item, it might share ingredients, calories and other nutritional information. Labels on medical products might share directions and information on how to use it. Other labels may provide cautionary information.
2. Product ID: Have a particular product or product variety you're looking for? That's another important component of labels they help consumers more easily find the brand and type of product that they're seeking.
3. Grading: Grading refers to the quality of a particular product. Labels can help identify products of various grading by outfitting products with different colored labels pertaining to the different levels of quality, for instance.
4. Promotional tool: Yes, labels aren't just for sharing information - they can also help a brand market itself and help it to better stand out on the store shelf, thereby making it more attractive to consumers. The right type of label can be an important sales tool.
5. Legal information: Last but not least, labels are also often used as places where products must share any legal information with consumers.
Now that we a little about the purpose of labels, it's time to get into more of the specific types of labels that are used on product packaging. It shouldn't surprise you that there are a variety of different labels that consumer package groups, or CPGs, can use to better help their products shine on the store shelf as well as contain any necessary product information.

The Many Different Types of Labels
All labels must be processed by a printer. And being that labels are small, this type of package printing is known as "narrow web" printing, as the paper or film that the labels are printed on is usually small in nature. There are many different printing technologies that are used to print labels. Flexographic and gravure printing are ideal for long label runs where high-quality imaging is desired. Another popular label printing technology is offset. Additionally, for short-run label processing or custom labels, digital printing may be deployed as it doesn't require the infrastructure that the more conventional printing technologies need and is more apt for changes.

Labels come in a variety of different face stocks and usually include some sort of adhesive backing so that they can adequately adhere to the specific package that they're being placed on. Here's a closer look at some of the most common types of labels and why they're used:

Film stock labels: Labels derived from film - such as PE, PP, BOPP and more - are emerging as a popular type of label due to the many benefits that they offer over their paper counterparts. For instance, many packaging professionals state that film gives way to brighter, better overall graphics, which obviously help products to better stand out on the store shelf. And then there are other notable features of labels derived from film stock, such as better durability, thermal stability, chemical resistance and enhanced tear resistance, among others. Another big factor regarding film labeling is that such labels can be outfitted with specialty coatings and plastic film can be created in special and custom varieties. Plus, film stock is generally cheaper than paper stock, which has led CPGs to increasingly choose film over paper as a means to cut costs or pass any cost savings on to their customers.

Paper stock labels: Though film stock is growing at an impressive rate these days, paper certainly still has its place in the label market. What's more is that the differences between film and paper are significant. Perhaps the biggest difference is that paper is much more easily recycled when compared with plastic film, of which there's presently really no good solution for removing plastic labels from the waste stream. Additionally, printing on paper still looks great and also offers traits such as low heat sensitivity, better die cutting ability and good strength. In fact, while many people think that films are all that can be used on food packaging like wet drinks and other products that may become wet, wet paper has been developed so it too can stand up to damp environments.

Shrink sleeves: Shrink sleeves are best associated with labeling the likes of bottles and cans. In fact, research from Smithers Pira states that the shrink sleeve market has evolved over the years to capture about 12.5 percent of the current label market today, which is significant. Brands like shrink sleeves because they look stunning visually, can hold a good deal of information and are extremely versatile. Because shrink sleeves generally encompass if not all of, but most of, the product that they are labeling, brands have a large space to work with and can put everything from specialty graphics to product information on them. Shrink sleeve labels have become particularly big for craft beer companies and high-end drink makers. Another notable feature about shrink sleeves is that they are an ideal label solution for unusually shaped products.

Printed electronics: It's an industry-wide consensus that "smart packaging" is the future of labeling. And smart packaging is best done using printed electronics, which can be things like QR codes or technologies such as near-field communication (NFC), which is essentially a microchip in the label. Smart packaging enables consumers to scan the label with their smartphones and then have access to a variety of other features about a particular product, such as directions, brand messaging or some sort of value-added feature. While the consensus is that printed electronics are still in the "elementary" phase - today, they're most often associated with anti-counterfeiting and are normally incorporated in the labels of luxury brands - packaging professionals say that there's really unlimited potential for this technology. Look for it to become more and more prominent as costs come down and processes become more advanced.

While there are many types of labels that are currently in use when it comes to packaging, it's worth noting that the equipment and supplies to fabricate them can be costly. That's why it can make sense for a company to acquire used products that work like new, rather than invest in a brand new product. That's where Bid on Equipment comes to play, as we acquire used products and sell them for discounted prices. For more information on labels and labeling, and to browse Bid on Equipment's inventory of equipment and supplies, contact us today.

July 2016 Trends Report

What has been bringing buyers to Bid on Equipment through the month of July and what are they looking for when they are here?
Below are the top ten search terms that have shown the largest increases from Internet search traffic this month.


Interest in each of these terms has grown 100% – 1500%!

Salt Water Taffy Machine For Sale Used Water Tanks
Used Shop Equipment Used HVAC Equipment
Tortilla Machine For Sale Used Meat Processing Equipment For Sale
Fried Chicken Equipment For Sale Milling Machine For Sale
Used Air Compressors For Sale Used Bagging Equipment
The top ten overall categories for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Woodworking Equipment HVAC
Bakery Equipment Conveyors
Machine Shop and Tools Lathes
Dairy Equipment Tanks
Restaurant Equipment Welding and Soldering
The top ten overall Manufacturer Pages for Bid on Equipment in the last month.
Bridgeport Combi
Trane Vemag
Bakers Pride Hayssen
Multivac Alto Shaam
Waukesha Bosch

The Value of Case Erectors and How They Improve Efficiency

Packaging is a complicated business, with many moving parts along the way needed to get the product out of the factory and into the store. At the very beginning of the process, there’s the actual creation of the product, a process known as “converting.” During this step, raw materials are converted into the actual package, whether that package is a bag, pouch, bottle, jar or some other sort of corrugated container. After the converting step, the package goes through numerous other stages. It may be printed and laminated. It will likely be formed, filled with product and then sealed. And then after this, the packaging company will send the product either to its customer or to the store.

Yes, there are a lot of steps in the packaging process. And each and every step must be running to its full potential in order to keep operations on track and ensure on-time delivery. With that being said, anywhere that a packaging company can reduce lead time and improve efficiency must be considered. And while many packaging companies focus on improving operating efficiency and reducing downtime early on in the packaging process, certainly the very end of the line can’t be ignored. And that’s what brings us to case erectors, which help packaging companies quickly create shipping containers to send their products in. This post will take a closer look at the important – and arguably under appreciated role – that case erectors play and how they can improve efficiency within a packaging company.

Case Erectors: The Basics

Just as their name implies, case erectors are machines that stand-up corrugated boxes, or cartons. Most case erectors also seal the bottom of the carton after it is created as well, making it easier for employees to load product through the top, which remains unsealed until product is loaded.

Case erectors, which sound seemingly simple, are actually rather advanced pieces of equipment. For instance, they are able to accommodate different sized and different shaped boxes, allowing packaging companies to essentially create any type of shipping container that’s necessary for their product. Most case erectors can create up to 15-20 bottom-sealed boxes per minute.

How Case Erectors Improve Efficiency

Let’s say, for instance, that you don’t have a case erector. If that’s the case, then you’re likely still making boxes by hand. However, you really don’t know how tedious of a process this is until you adopt the equipment that can do it for you. Assembling boxes takes time, as they need to be formed correctly. And after that, arguably the most tedious part of the box making process is still required – taping up the bottom. Not to be forgotten as well is the fact that when you’re making boxes by hand, the size and shape of the box is limited to the inventory you – or your supplier – has in stock.

That’s the big value of a case erector – increasing efficiency. Being that many case erectors can erect and seal anywhere from 15-20 cartons per minute, this piece of equipment can be a huge asset in large and in growing packaging companies that are looking to reduce downtime and streamline efficiency near the end of the packaging line. Most packaging experts agree that if your company requires more than 300 boxes per day, then a case erector should surely be a part of your growth strategy.

Aside from reducing downtime and speeding the creation of cartons, some other key and notable benefits of case erectors include:

  • Quick setup: While some may be intimidated by introducing another piece of heavy equipment to the packaging facility, case erectors are nothing to fret about. They’re typically far less complicated to operate and setup than many other types of packaging equipment like form-fill-seal machines, pouch lines and others.
  • Fast changeovers: Along the packaging process, lulls in efficiency are usually the result of changeovers. Specifically, long changeover times. That said, many packaging equipment manufacturers have worked hard to reduce changeover time in their machinery, so that there’s less downtime and more efficiency in a facility’s operations. Case erectors are just one example of equipment with fast changeovers, which further helps improve efficiency.
  • Reliability: Not all equipment is reliable, but good case erectors have a reputation of being not just reliable, but long-lasting. Common troubleshooting with case erectors – and many other types of packaging equipment – have to do with machine jamming. But, as we said, a quality case erector will work reliably and efficiently. After all, if you purchase a piece of equipment that is supposed to further streamline operations and it winds up jamming excessively, you’re negating any efficiency benefits that you were getting in the first place.
  • Better carton assembly: Most case erectors work with specialty tapes and other quality reinforcement materials that actually contribute to the making of a better overall carton compared to if you were to assemble the carton by hand. This makes case erector-made cartons an ideal piece of equipment for creating boxes for just about any type of product.
  • Product protection: To piggyback off of the above point, a better overall constructed carton will also ensure that the product that goes inside of it is also better protected. This is a big plus, as when it comes to your end product, as it’s really only as good as it is when it arrives at its destination. So, for instance, if you’re creating a good product, but it becomes damaged during the shipping phase, you’re going to have an unsatisfied end user, which can greatly harm your overall reputation. Bottom line – a better overall carton means a better overall product when it arrives on the truck.
  • Small footprint: Plant managers won’t have to worry about case erectors taking up a ton of space in their facilities. That’s because most of today’s case erectors have a small footprint, meaning they can be tucked into confined spaces or integrated more seamlessly into a particular area.
  • Low-cost investment: Compared to other types of necessary packaging equipment, case erectors are fairly low cost – a fact that makes their return on investment even more notable. However, being that this is a piece of heavy machinery, there’s still an expense associated with it – an expense that many companies may not have in the budget. That’s where purchasing a case erector previously owned, from a site like Bid on Equipment, comes in handy. This way, you can get a like-new machine at a used price.

For more information on case erectors, and to browse Bid on Equipment’s selection of case erectors and other packaging equipment, contact it today or visit www.Bid-on-Equipment.com

Liquid Bottle Fillers: Gravity Pressure vs. Positive Displacement

It’s hard to properly gauge the true value of a liquid bottle filler, or liquid filling machine, until something happens to it and you’re without one. If that’s the case in your packaging operations, you really have two choices – halt operations until a replacement is acquired or until repairs are made and it is back up and running or go about filling the bottles by hand. And if you were to choose the latter option – filling the containers by hand – then we’re betting you’ll really come to appreciate the role your filling machine plays within the facility.

Yes, filling machines are a critical component in the packaging process. They help pack a lot of different products, from milks and juices to oils and lotions. And they operate quickly and effectively, keeping business on track so that the end product gets to where it needs to be when it needs to be there. Oh, and liquid fillers are also able to accomplish this filling without spilling the product everywhere.

Now, just for a moment, picture life without a filling machine. It’s a life where you need to manually fill the bottles or containers along a conveyor line. Not only are you likely to spill product all over the place (no matter how careful you try to be) but you’re also likely to have bottles and containers with different levels of product. Perhaps you can live with the spillage and tolerate some minor differences in product levels – the biggest area where liquid bottle fillers shine has to do with efficiency. Liquid fillers work automatically and quickly, much more quickly than it would be if an individual took matters into their own hands.

While the benefits of liquid fillers are well documented, it’s worth noting that there are several different types of filling machines. Two of the most popular are those that work via gravity pressure or positive displacement. This post will take a look at each of these filling technologies.

Gravity Liquid Bottle Fillers

Gravity fillers are generally a low-cost filling option. However, they best work with thin liquids that don’t change in viscosity when subjected to different temperatures. As the name implies, gravity fillers work by distributing product from above the container. One benefit of gravity fillers, when compared with other types of filling technology, is that they can operate without the use of any specialized nozzles. In fact, most gravity fillers can be outfitted with a variety of filling nozzles pertaining to either the package that needs to be filled or the product that it needs to fill with. Some gravity fillers are also able to accommodate multiple heads to maximize filling of multiple containers at once.

Gravity fillers are applicable to many different types of liquid products, ranging from the food and beverage markets to cosmetic, pharmaceutical and specialty chemical. Gravity fillers are also able to effectively work with hazardous liquids, such as those that are flammable and corrosive.

Positive Displacement Liquid Bottle Fillers

Positive displacement fillers, which may also be known as “servo pump fillers” or “pump filling machines,” operate using a pump to distribute product to the container. Unlike the gravity filler, positive displacement fillers are better suited to work with more types of liquids, which make them an ideal choice for filling containers with the likes of pastes, creams, gels and more. Although positive displacement fillers are more expensive than many other types of filling equipment, they’re an ideal purchase for the contract packaging company who works with a bevy of different customers in various different markets. That’s because the versatility of the machine makes it applicable for just about any liquid with the ability to fill any product.

There are, however, some key disadvantages to the positive displacement filling machine, one of which we already mentioned here – its higher price point. Yes, these types of fillers aren’t cheap, and neither are the drive systems that help the pumps work. What’s more is that it takes quite a bit of technical know-how to properly maintain these types of fillers. So unless you or someone on staff is cut out for properly caring for and maintaining this type of filler, you’ll need to set aside some funds for a professional to come in and service it from time to time.

Other Fillers      

It’s also worth mentioning that there are a few other types of fillers. For instance, overflowing filling machines are ideal for products that produce foam and for products that are thin to medium in viscosity. Applicable liquids that are packaged in clear containers are almost always filled on overflow machines, as such machines excel at filling to exact level, which is crucial when you’re dealing with transparent packaging and the customer can tell the difference.

Another type of filler is a piston filling machine. Specifically, these machines work with high viscosity liquids and are able to process said products in higher volumes than other types of filling technology, which can be advantageous with the likes to tomato sauce and jelly.

Which Filler is Right for You?

So which filler is right for you? Certainly it depends on what types of containers you’re working with and what types of products you need to fill them with. For packages like water bottles, for instance, a gravity filler may work out just fine. But if you’re filling containers with soaps and pastes, a positive displacement filler may be necessary. For other, more high viscosity products, a piston filling machine may need to be a part of your facility’s purchasing plans. In some cases, just one type of liquid filling machine may not cut it and you may need to acquire multiple types in order to support your client base.

Whatever type of filling machine you decide on, one thing is for sure – this equipment can be expensive to acquire. And this can be problematic, especially if you’re dealing with a positive displacement filler that may require a bit more maintenance or may fail prematurely if proper care isn’t taken of it. When it comes time to acquire a new filling machine or add another one to your operations, you can elect to go the brand new route or you can purchase a used machine. Outlets like Bid on Equipment specialize in acquiring used machinery and selling them so that its customers can get like-new equipment at a used price. Often times, this can be the financial relief that companies need to continue their business without interruption.

For more information on liquid filling equipment, and to browse Bid on Equipment’s filling equipment inventory, contact Bid on Equipment today.