Abhay Patil: Expectations from the packaging machinery manufacturer

As the packaging industry moves forward, one is going to see the use of automated and integrated workflows driven by AI, as costs inevitably rise and we lean towards the use of technology to balance this, and support businesses in India. Here’s my take on what we as entrepreneurs, and our teams in production and maintenance expect from the machine manufacturers, and yes, help us deliver what the regulators expect us to.

23 Jan 2023 | By Abhay Patil

Abhay Patil, president of Orient Press

Entrepreneur’s expectations
The main concern is payback and return-on-investment (ROI) and hence, the shortest payback period with a provision for add-ons in future.

Next is how do you reduce reliance on manpower. In my opinion, it can be reduced with the help of shaft-less or clamping mechanisms; and robotics for human interface and locomotion. The third need from a packaging CEO’s point of view is that the machine should be energy efficient and use energy efficient motors, heaters and lights.

The packaging machines should not have unnecessary weight and they should have dynamic balance. I believe machinery should not be over-engineered. The owners should focus on increasing productivity and minimising the waste.

Production team’s expectations
What is the importance of the production team and what do they need? The team will require all technical necessities like easy accessibility, web threading positioning at a convenient height, automatic cleaning system and much more. And yes, safety too. It is important that the operators work without fear of injury.

Maintenance expectations
The maintenance team is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the machines.

This requires “solid” after-sales support and spares that are easily available. The parameters such as precise fault detection and diagnostic procedure must be displayed.

I hope that manufacturers provide a toolkit of learning in design and production. It is not just about supplying technology but connecting with the factory and shop floor, as well as the actual team who operates the kit.

Compliance body’s expectations
The regulatory body of the company makes note of all the regulatory aspects and the compliance aspects that the company is following. The regulatory body expects no air pollution, no water pollution, noise reduction and online waste recycling.

Today, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and sustainability are big plays for printers as more and more clients set high expectations of their suppliers to have clear programs and measurements in place to manage their carbon emissions and their social impact in the communities in which they operate.

That is why the packaging machinery manufacturers should also have sustainability compliance. I would like to see manufacturers partner us in activities like heat recycle, solvent recycle, water recycle and solar energy utilisation.

Finally, my advice, don’t make affordability an excuse to restrict upgradation. It can impede innovation.

Abhay Patil is the president at Orient Press