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John R. Henry
May 24, 2022
2 Min Read
Image courtesy of Nachai Sorasee / Alamy Stock Photo
When you need to add capacity, you have a lot of equipment types and suppliers. You have choices for payment, too.
Traditionally, machinery has been purchased outright. Whether paid for in a lump sum, finance, or leased, the end user is still effectively the owner with all that entails.
Machinery as a Service (MaaS) has been around for quite a while with things like photocopiers, jet engines, and air compressors. Instead of buying the equipment, the supplier provides it and charges by use (pages, flight hours, cubic feet). Support and upgrades are part of the service.
MaaS is becoming more popular in recent years and is now in packaging. Robots are increasingly used in packaging operations and are an excellent candidate for MaaS because, except for the end of arm tooling and programming, they are standardized.
Formic Technologies CEO, Saman Farid, explains that most manufacturers don’t want to own robots or other machinery. All they want is bottles in cases or pallets on the truck. Formic provides custom robotic solutions, including support in exchange for a fee per robot cycle.
Frain Industries provides a similar service with its Plug and Play program but uses a different business model. Frain rents individual packaging machines such as cartoners, as well as complete integrated packaging lines. Payments are generally based on a fixed monthly fee regardless of use.
Another difference is how long customers keep the machines. Formic regards its MaaS program as a more or less permanent solution, with customers keeping the machines for five to 10 years.
Frain customers regard the rentals as temporary — one to two years or less. They use the machines to try new products or meet temporary demands. If a permanent solution is needed, they purchase machinery and return the rental.
Purchase, lease, rental, or MaaS? Weigh the pros and cons of these four choices.
Packaging Machinery Options by Lisa Pierce
About the Author(s)
Known as the Changeover Wizard, John R. Henry is the owner of Changeover.com, a consulting firm that helps companies find and fix the causes of inefficiencies in their packaging operations. He has written the book, literally, on packaging machinery (www.packmachbook.com) and is the face and personality behind packaging detective KC Boxbottom, the main character in popular articles on the Packaging Digest website. He can be contacted at [email protected].
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