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KC Boxbottom has been working in the packaging industry since the mid-1970s and has seen it all. The stories are true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. KC can be contacted through his alter ego, John Henry, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more and subscribe to his free newsletter at www.changeover.com.
Adventures in Packaging
The case of the funky photoeyeThe call came while I was relaxing with the latest Packaging Digest and a cup of 100-mile coffee. It was Sandy and she was having a problem with her filler. Sometimes bottles would stop under the nozzles. Sometimes they wouldn’t. It sounded like it would be either fairly simple to fix or really hard. Other commitments prevented me from going to the plant so we figured we would try... More
The case of the crooked bottleI hadn’t even had my first coffee when the call came. Joseph was having trouble with labels. As always, he needed me yesterday. I got on site and he showed me his problem. It was a tall 16-oz round bottle. The pressure-sensitive label covered it top to bottom with a 365-deg wrap. The label ends did not align at the overwrap. His customer, a chain store, was complaining.... More
The case of the hungry capperOscar called to tell me his capper was hungry. “Well, you better feed it,” I told him. “I’m trying but my cap feeder just won’t keep up. It is starving the capper,” he told me. “I’m on my way.” A bit later I was on Oscar’s floor with eyeballs on the capper. It had a vibratory cap orienter/feeder to supply the caps.... More
The case of the troublesome tops. I had just gotten to the office and was about to get into my first cup of coffee when Sam got my ear with the phone. “KC, I can’t get consistent torque on my caps. I need help now!” she told me. The marvels of modern movement soon had me in her plant in front of her chuck capper. “So what seems to be the problem, Sam?” I inquired. “We have... More
The case of the loose line speed. I was at the donut shop when Francisco sat down with his sinkers and joe. After the howdies, he told me his problem. “KC, I can’t keep my packaging line balanced,” he confided. “We documented the optimum speed settings in the setup SOP. They should be stable but whenever I look the conveyor is running a different speed even though the control is set correctly.... More
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