December 21, 2020

The Best Production Lines Are a Combination of Art and Science

Haskell’s Packaging Systems team optimizes line design and creation at every step of the process.

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From filling to capping to labeling to case packing — and every step in between — Haskell’s packaging systems designers create product lines with precision and efficiency.

Haskell does not manufacture packaging line equipment, but rather, as an integrator, it works to procure the right equipment for the job from top original equipment manufacturers across the world. Clients benefit from this brand-agnostic approach.

“Our focus is to deliver the right system, regardless of brand,” said Jeremy Triplett, chief integrator, packaging systems.

Haskell engineers integrate the machines, known as equipment centers, as a functioning system, linked by wiring and conveyors and operated by control centers that automate the line and bring it to life.

“To make it all work and run well, it’s a bit of art and science combined,” Triplett said.

Just as Haskell does not manufacture equipment centers, neither does it design or create the products seen on store shelves, like bottles. Its integration teams engineer the system required to produce that product.

It’s a process enacted with diligence, prioritizing front-end design and incorporating both virtual modeling technology and regular peer review to prevent problems in the field.

“It guarantees we deliver a clean, well-executed product, versus speeding through the design phase and having issues pop up at the end,” Triplett said.

Selecting equipment centers is a major effort. Each piece of equipment is purchased individually and tailored for each packaging line. It can take 30 to 40 weeks from the time a machine is purchased until delivery because many vendors are international.

Vendor management is a primary responsibility for Haskell integrators. Although they do not operate the machines, they work with vendors to ensure that the equipment is operational and will integrate properly.

Haskell is willing to work with clients based on their vendor preferences to choose a machine that will suit their individual needs.

In addition to the creation of new production lines, line modifications are part of doing business for consumer packaged goods companies. Some clients have relied on Haskell for more than 25 years to help them adapt to changes in product design or the addition of a new product.

For example, orange juice was sold in cartons for many years so customers wouldn’t see pulp separate from the juice. However, that design switched when customers came to view separation as a sign of freshness. Seemingly overnight, the whole industry adopted plastic orange juice bottles in lieu of cardboard cartons.

To accommodate this change, companies needed entirely new packaging lines — quickly.

“Putting juice in a carton to a plastic bottle is a major change,” Triplett said. “None of the equipment is the same.”

Additional line modifications have been required as juice packaging has changed from 64 ounces to 59 ounces and then 52 ounces.

“Every one of those conversions along the way requires new parts on the machines to manage that,” said Triplett.

In all cases, Haskell’s integrators design packaging lines that maximize efficiency and minimize downtime.

“Efficiency is about sizing and placing accumulation,” Triplett said. “Designing the right amount of accumulation in the right places makes the system efficient.”

Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 1,800 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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