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IndustryNet Blog

A Detailed Look at the U.S. Packaging Machinery Industry

Posted by IndustryNet on Tuesday, December 3, 2019

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2 MIN. READ

Unlike other sectors of manufacturing, packaging of food, medicine and other consumables has not been affected as severely by tariffs and global trade instabilities.

Today we're going to take a look at key growth trends in this all-important industry.

An overwhelming number of products, especially consumables, are sold in some form of package, wrapper or encasement.

The process of getting products ready to ship or sell falls to dedicated packaging machines.

Resilient Global Sales

American-built packaging machines are coveted worldwide, as evidenced by the very high international distribution rate of 69%.

This is far in excess of the broader manufacturing industry rate of only 29%. At least 3% of companies noted an increase in sales leading to an industry-wide uptick of 1.18%.

The packaging machine industry currently generates $14.7 billion in average sales.

The industry is comprised of 515 companies which in turn provide 22,465 jobs.

There has been measurable employment growth over the last year, with 5% of companies reporting an increase for an overall boost of 1.9% in the number of jobs.

Machine Integration

Packaging includes operations as varied as cartoning, filling, slitting, strapping, palletizing, dispensing and labeling.

These functions are diverse enough that a single production line may require machines built by several different companies.

Extensive planning and integration are necessary to ensure that all machines work effectively together on the same line.

Regulations in certain industries require the use of standardized packaging machines. Medicines and foodstuffs must be packaged and sealed in a manner that can be verified and documented.

This forces the use of machines that can accomplish this task with consistency and accuracy.

Varying Automation Levels

Packagers can be built as manual, automatic or semi-automatic machines. Companies with high volumes and uniform product types ubiquitously utilize automated systems. An example of this type is candy packaging machines that can wrap thousands of individual pieces in just a few minutes.

Companies that have low volume figures or high variability in product type will trend toward manual machines. An example of this may include a custom label dispenser for a company that has limited and customized shipments.

Residing somewhere in between are semi-automatic machines that give operators the flexibility to reduce workloads with moderate levels of product variability. Many banding and strapping machines fall into this category.

Packaging machines are often large capital investments that some companies find more appropriate to lease rather than purchase outright.

Regardless of how the machines are acquired, detailed support and training constitute a critical part of the purchase consideration.

Geographic Concentration of Companies

These companies are distributed all across the United States, but the highest concentration is located in the Midwest. Data from MNI shows that just under 200 firms, or 38%, are based in this region.

The second and third places belong to the South and Northeast, with 25% and 21% respectively. Finally, the West is host to 79 companies, or just over 15%.

Connect with the Right Packaging Supplier

IndustryNet packages detailed information on 400,000 manufacturers and suppliers of more than 10,000 products and services. Its 80-person research team tirelessly works to provide the latest data, helping industrial buyers connect with the right suppliers for their needs. 

The industrial marketplace provides tools that help buyers make informed purchases, such as its multiple quote function. Download catalogs, view company videos and photo libraries and connect on social media, all in one place.

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