Consumer Product Packaging Part 1: Cartoning

Now more than ever, consumer products ranging from toothpaste to potato chips and cleaning wipes to nail polish can be delivered with a click of a button directly to the consumer’s front door.  Packaging these fragile products for delivery requires an industrial process to ensure that goods arrive undamaged.  To this end, a diverse range of fragile goods is meticulously packaged by large industrial machines with the goal of ensuring that they reach their intended destination in the same condition as they would be found on a supermarket shelf.  

Backing up a step, anyone who’s ever opened a package can attest that there exists a distinct level of packaging materials.  First, the primary product packaging is the bottle, box, or unit that the consumer directly touches to access the product, such as a soda can.  Putting it simply, this primary packaging is what a consumer would see on display on a store shelf.

Product to be put on shelves
Final product on grocery store shelves

The next important packaging distinction is the physical box that actually contains the primary product, commonly referred to as secondary packaging.  These boxes are typically used for product branding because they get a lot of visibility during the handling and delivery of products to front porches across the country.  An example of an extremely effective secondary package is the Amazon-branded Smile packages which everyone can instantly recognize.

The protective packaging materials used inside the secondary packaging boxes are the next critical packaging component.  Naturally, this component typically consists of bubble wrap, cardboard separators, and various other consumable materials specifically purposed to protect the primary package units during shipping.

Beverages with cardboard separators
Beverages with custom cardboard separators

MISUMI configurable components power the large industrial machines, called “Cartoning Machines,” that take flat boxes and consumer products as inputs and create packaged goods suitable for shipment. In this way, they take consumer products in their primary containers and package them snugly into their secondary packaging arrangement for either individual shipment or further processing onto palletized bulk shipping.

In a nutshell, the machines are essentially conveyor systems with robotic pick and place machine components that perform a number of complex operations to package products into boxes.  Essentially the machines are classified by the loading method employed: either horizontally or vertically loading and packaging boxes.  Both of these machine styles are comprised of hundreds of configurable components which are meticulously configured to perform the specific functionality required for each unique packaging process.

Example of a Cartoning Machine

It is impossible not to encounter dozens of unique categories of MISUMI configurable components present on these machines.  Commonly employed large components consist of belt/chain conveyors, aluminum extrusions, timing belts and chains, pulleys, rollers, and rotary actuators.  Typical medium-sized components consist of rotation handles, linear shafts, shaft supports, shaft collars, lead screws, and/or X/Y position adjusting units.  Finally, dozens of small components such as bearings, washers, shaft couplings, clamp levers, handles, gas springs, knobs, screws, and gears are present in almost every Assembly and sub-assembly comprising the Cartoning machine setup.

No matter the packaging challenge, MISUMI is overflowing with configurable components to build custom Cartoning machines that can be configured to quickly and efficiently, package any consumer product. Visit our packaging industry page for more information here.

Beverages with foam packaging
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One Comment


  1. John Wagner

    October 30, 2021 at 4:24 am

    Wow! Very impressive delivery of thoroughly concise production expertise! This inspires me to learn better ways of copywriting my own startup publications. Thank you!

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