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What Contract Packagers Want from OEMs

PMMI report reveals what the co-man/co-pack market wants for equipment.

Quick hits:

  • Equipment sales to contract manufacturers (Co-Mans) and packagers (Co-Packs) are on the rise.
  • Co-Mans/CoPacks want flexibility, portability, automation, and predictive maintenance in their machines, new PMMI report reveals.
  • A spotlight on OEMs taking sustainability inside their operations.
  • What’s inside the Spring issue of OEM magazine.

Related to this episode:  

Listen to the story here:

   Read the transcript below:

Welcome to Take Five with OEM Magazine. I’m Stephanie Neil and today I’ll be exploring some news that directly impacts machine builders.

First, we take a look at a PMMI report that reveals what’s driving growth in machinery sales in the contract manufacturing and packaging markets.

While many CPGs have turned to co-packers to stay ahead of the changing needs of consumers seeking convenience, variety, and eco-friendly items, the business has expanded considerably over the last five years, at an average growth rate of 10.2%, according to Ron Puvak, executive director of The Association for Contract Packagers & Manufacturers.

And growth is expected to continue as food and beverage companies move from short-term contracts of six months or less with their contract manufacturing and packaging partners,  to longer-term agreements. The strategy here could be risk mitigation around supply chain issues, which puts the capital investment in the hands of the co-packers.

With that in mind, these contract manufacturers and packagers are asking OEMs for specific equipment capabilities, like flexibility, robotics, and integrated lines. They are also asking for the ability to do quick changeovers, predictive maintenance and production monitoring, versatility for different package formats, easy-to-operate machinery, turnkey systems for secondary packaging, and lines that are built around new labeling requirements. 

There’s much  more to this story, as reported by senior news director Sean Riley in the summer issue of OEM Magazine. You can also look at the in-depth findings from the PMMI survey available in the link below.

Another area important to OEMs is sustainability. We’ve been covering this issue in a series of articles that address different aspects of OEMs’ green initiatives. For example, building energy-efficient machines is one developing area. Another one is focusing on sustainability inside operations in order to become environmentally-friendly businesses by driving down carbon emissions at every step in the value chain.

Companies like Polypack, Viking Masek, Wexxar Bel, and Tetra Pak are using renewable energy to power a vast majority of their operations. A focus on materials and minimizing moving parts on machines is important, as well.

TetraPak, for example, is working on decarbonizing materials by using responsibly sourced, renewable plant-based materials, while working with suppliers to minimize the carbon footprint upstream, utilizing renewable energy, and also having a focus on reducing food loss and waste through recycling initiatives.  And at Wexxar Bel, a case forming and case erecting machine builder, simplifying certain parts of a machine can provide operational and sustainable benefits.

These are just the first steps in broader initiatives underway as many companies take a holistic approach to moving toward a sustainable facility, with trying to reach a goal of net zero emissions in the very near future.

These are just some of the stories available in the Summer issue of OEM Magazine which also includes an in-depth look at IMA Dairy & Food USA, a European-based OEM that has successfully “Americanized” its operation for U.S. customers, a story on how to participate in Manufacturing Day in October as a way to raise awareness for the industry, the digital transformation of the workforce, and so much more.

You can find more news on our website at We welcome your input, so feel free to contact me if you have a story idea or topic for discussion on an upcoming OEM podcast.

Thanks for tuning in. See you next time.

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