Packaging machinery is used throughout all packaging operations, involving primary packages to distribution packs. This includes many packaging processes: fabrication, cleaning, filling, sealing, combining, labeling, overwrapping, palletizing.Packaging operations can be designed for variable package sizes and forms or for handling only uniform packages, where the machinery or packaging line is adjustable between production runs. Certainly slow manual operations allow workers to be flexible to package variation but also some automated lines can handle significant random variation.
Moving from manual operations, through semi-automatic operations to fully automated packaging lines offers advantages to some packagers. Other than the obvious control of labor costs, quality can be more consistent, and throughput can be optimized.
Efforts at packaging line automation increasingly use PLC and robotics.