Industry is focussing on current rather than new vendors and rebuilt packaging machinery, according to a report from the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI).
The “Key Attributes of Packaging & Processing Machinery and Supplies 2012” report looked at professional time spent on packaging, processing and other functions.
The study evaluated strategies, supplier and machinery attributes used by original equipment manufacturers (OEM).
Change from 2009
In findings compared to 2009, it found packaging professionals and plant managers were much more inclined to use current vendors instead of seeking new ones and to focus on rebuilt machinery.
When asked about using current to seeking new vendors in their purchasing strategies, packaging professionals fell from 40% who said they would seek new vendors in 2009 to 28% this year and plant managers to just 19%.
It found spare parts, reliability and the line between packaging and processing continue to rank high among the factors shaping packaging and processing machinery purchasers needs.
More than half of respondents indicated a line integration and solutions focus as a guiding strategy for their machinery purchases.
Researchers interviewed nearly 200 packaging, processing professionals and plant managers in March, in companies with revenues ranging from below US$200m to more than $5bn.
It found 93% with a company size of more than US$5bn has operations outside the US while only 10% of companies with a size of less than $200m did and the food sector (33%) and beverage (15%) was lagging behind other markets.
Packaging was the highest in terms of professional time spent between packaging, processing and other functions by packaging professionals, plant managers and processing professionals but significant time was spent in processing functions.
The researchers suggest this finding shows that packaging and processing functions responsibilities are “blurring”.
Rank of importance
The survey asked packaging professionals and plant manages to rank a number of packaging machinery attributes in order of importance.
Machinery reliability ranked number one for packaging professionals while it was number four for plant managers, who ranked regulatory compliance as the most important.
Plant managers identified flexibility as second in importance compared to packaging professionals ranking it fifth.
Packaging professionals and plant managers indicated that both price and total cost of ownership (TCO) strategies are driving purchasing process.
Both identified spare parts availability as crucial with after market sales service of less importance.
The report aimed to gain perspectives associated with the Food Safety Modernization Act, identify and define strategies and practices that affect the purchase of packaging machinery, to provide insights on the global nature of the packaging industry and document advantages that North American manufacturers have in global environment.