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As customization becomes more prevalent in tubes, so too does the customizability of filling equipment. And just as the relationship between packaging supplier and marketer is critical for success on the shelf, so too is the relationship between equipment manufacturers and fillers. Flexibility and ease of use are critical for filling machines in today’s market, and equipment supplier/filler interaction leads to advancements that foster both. Tristan Wallack, the after sales and marketing manager for Norden Machinery (part of the Sirius Machinery Group) , says it all comes down to serving the customer.
“Some customers want things very basic, and there are companies out there who keep their machines basic,” said Wallack. “However, we are known for our flexibility. We are always eager to look at challenging applications and find solutions—and there are quite a few technical applications that require customization. There are literally hundreds of options for (customers) to choose. An existing machine has over 80 major upgrades available to it.”
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Trends for filling equipment, in addition to flexibility, include ease of use. “‘Ergonomic’ has become a popular buzz word in recent years,” said Wallack. “Companies are looking to make the machines easier to work with. Companies, understandably, want to minimize injuries in the workplace. They want to put less physical stress on their employees when they make changeovers on the machine. We’ve heard the call over the years.”
In fact, Norden Packaging has openly solicited the “call.” In welcoming feedback, the company’s customers have been served while Norden Packaging thrives and prospers on the challenges.
“Feedback is extremely important to us, and this is why we have some many options/upgrades available to our machines,” said Wallack. As an example, Wallack cites Norden Packaging’s NM700—what he calls the company’s “workhorse” model. The NM700 runs at 70 tubes per minute, and has been very popular because of its quick changeovers. When customers came to Norden looking for a machine that ran at similar speeds but at a lower cost, the company took the opportunity to create a machine that went beyond both requirements. The NM602 matches the running speed of the NM700 and is significantly less expensive. The “bonus” is that it utilizes less size parts than the NM700, making changeovers faster and saving customers more money.
“We’re always trying to make our machines as user-friendly as possible,” said Wallack. “Customer relations are equally important to us. We want our customers to be fully satisfied with our product and service. There are always going to be advancements and changes in our industry. Our company takes a lot of pride in finding solutions to new challenges.”