During last 1-2 years we observe a marked trend that our potential foreign clients increasingly began to prefer our semi-automatic PA-500 packing machines to automatic packing machines. It is caused by a string of facts which we adduce herein.
Size, weight, transportability. An area occupied with several semi-automatic PA-500 is not more than area occupied with the one automatic. In addition nearly all automatics require compressed air and not just compressed air but prepared one, if user wants his machine to operate for a long time. But this means an additional place for location of separating and filtering unit and dehumidifier. Any automatic weighs not less 700 kgs, as a rule about one ton. Of course it is not so easy to manipulate the automatic having such a weight. At the same time several automatics easily fits into any car.
Placement location. If automatics is a pneumatic, placement limitations may arise caused by compressor noiseness. There are automatics requiring high-productive 380 Volts compressors as well. Such voltage is provided not everywhere. PA-500 can be operated in any room having common 220 Volts.
Productivity. As a rule, productivity of automatics descends if less convenient box is required to be packed. On the average it is about 2000 for small packs (for example, tea boxes containing 25 sachets) and no more than 1500 for large packs (for example, tea boxes containing 100 or 200 sachets). There are no such limitations for PA-500. Any types of boxes will be packed at rate of 400 packages per hour on full pass of carriage and 600 on short pass of carriage.
Time of reconfiguration for other format. Versatility. For automatics this time amounts to one and more hours, for PA-500 not more than 20 minutes. While possessing several PA-500 one can pack different types of boxes simultaneously. Moreover, in a manual mode one can promptly pack any other types of boxes without PA-500 reconfiguration.
Technical staff. Requirements for technical staff and especially for adjuster are incommensurably higher for any automatic machine. However, not every man giving himself out to be an expert in this field will be able to maintain automatic packing machine in a serviceable condition. Really skilful mechanical engineer will cost you a «really money» at that. In case of PA-500 one can even do without a mechanician, it is enough to train an operator or bring machine to our service centre for a preventive maintenance.
Tolerances for sizes of packed items. The requirements of automatics for packed objects sizes are very critical. It is not fact that the next batch of boxes will come from supplier with the tolerable dimensions. Usually it is necessary to adjust machine a little, even if the batch of the same size cases came. Such problems will hardly ever arise on semi-automatic PA-500.
The number of packers (workers). Frequently the phrase "an automatic machine" adjusts the buyer on the idea, that the machine will do everything itself and almost without attending personnel. But if you look at the operation of the machine which packages 1.5 thousand and more items per hour, you will see two working operators, one of which hardly has time to fill the feed bin, and the second - collecting boxes at the outlet of the machine.
The salary for employees. In both cases is nearly the same. Three operators on three PA-500 machines against two operators and adjuster of automatic machine.
A breakdown. Downtime (nerves and losses). Interchangeability. If vendor serves the automatic machine, then you don't expect soon repairman on the day of the call. As a rule, the technician arrives within 2-3 days. To put it mildly, unpleasant is surprising point that, in the event of a breakdown, all crew of operators will be left without work. Also question of cost and delivery time of broken-down detail remains open.
Utilization. If, for any reason, the utilization matter arises, the loss in the case of automatic machine will be clearly visible (tens of percents of the original cost is lost) than from the loss of three machines PA-500 which one can just be thrown away.
Solution price. About 30 to 70 thousand euro for one automatic and ~ 6000 euro for three semi-automatics.
Associated costs. The cost of the machine transportation and services of scaffold workers will be not less than 500 euro (at least one time during the installation, it is not possible to avoid it). Also payment for starting-up and adjustment services is unavoidable (approximately up to 1000 euro). Additional expenditures for compressor + separator + filters + dehumidifier + hoses + fittings, etc. will be required (approximately up to 1000 euro). Total: 2500 euro.
For the convenience of the decision-taking all above-mentioned arguments are summarized in a table.
||Semi-automatic machine PA-500
|Transportability (size, weight)
||Long time, uncomfortable, expensive
||Fast, comfortable, cheap
(depending on the packed objects)
(total of three machines not depending on the packed objects)
|Time of reconfiguration for other format, versatility
||Not more than 20 minutes for every machine
|Technical staff (adjuster)
||It is not difficult to find a personnel or you can do without it
|Tolerances for sizes of packed items
||Strict tolerances (up to 1 mm)
||Not strict (up to 2 mm)
|The number of packers (workers)
|The salary for employees
|A breakdown. Downtime (nerves and losses). Interchangeability.
||A full stop of production
||Full interchangeability of all three machines
||With great losses
||The loss is 6000 euro maximum
(if thrown to the trash)
||~ 30'000…70'000 euro
||~ 6000 euro
for 3 machines
||+ 2 500 euro