In the realm of cartoning machinery, the wisest subjects have a full armor of skills, like efficiency and speed, and offer quick changeovers for maximum flexibility. Add a small footprint for space-savings and a few other user perks, for a royal collection of benefits to satisfy today’s customer.

“Regarding industry trends, the biggest ones we see are ‘count flexibility’ and quick changeover. What I mean by count flexibility is that our customer’s customers are seeking individualized cartons for their products in order to justify different price points. When one big box retailer sells a 12-count carton, their competitors then seek 10-count, 14-count and 15-count cartons to differentiate their price points. This also mandates changeovers, which need to be faster, simpler and more user friendly with each technological advancement,” says Billy Goodman, managing director, Cama Group.

The Cama Group ( designs its machinery with flexibility and efficiency in mind. The company’s new side loading concept, called CL175, is designed to meet the expectations of customers looking for a solution capable of attaining rapid changeover to different speeds, product sizes and at times, relevant product variations and carton dimensions. The group boasts that it is not just a new cartoner, but a complete system, which can be chosen as an alternative to a cartoner and a top-loading unit.

Cama’s CL175 consists of three main operating stations. In the first station, the carton blank is picked from the storage station, opened and placed into the moving pockets. In the next stage, the formed carton moves to the product insertion station. Two cartons at a time are picked and placed in continuous motion, with movers adapting their speed to the rotary feeder’s movement. The cartons remain in a stand-by position to receive products. As this step is completed, the cartons are moved towards the final closure station, which can work in continuous or intermittent mode.

“The movers are electronically aligned with the devices operating in the different stations; they move independently of each other and adapt to different speed requirements,” explains Riccardo Panepinto, operations director at Cama.

Consumer demands and trends are influencing the segment too, with the rise in frequent snacking – particularly healthy snacking on granola, cereal and other healthy snacks.

“We have certainly seen an increase in sales of our Flex 1 bag in box cartoning system, and I believe one reason for this is the growing consumer demand for snacks, grains, cereal and granola. Consumers have so many more options to choose from than they did just a few years ago. There is a growing variety of snack products, as well as more gluten-free and other health-conscious options. As a result, our customers are looking to increase production on their packaging lines. They want to run multiple products and carton sizes on the same machine. They also want to improve efficiency and reduce changeover time. And they’re looking for machines that are easy to run, with minimal training for machine operators. In addition, retailers such as Walmart and Costco are looking for specific carton sizes unique to the marketplace,” says Kim Magon-Haller, marketing manager at Triangle Package Machinery Co.

To satisfy the long list of customer wants, Triangle ( introduces the Flex 1 horizontal. The Flex 1 is designed to load single-, twin-, or triple-packages at speeds up to 100 cartons per minute. Ensuring packagers can easily run multiple products and carton sizes, changeover to full production can be accomplished in less than 15 minutes.

In addition to quick changeover and a compact footprint of 10’ x 8’8”, the Flex 1 provides several user benefits over traditional horizontal cartoners, including gentle product handling and simple operation. What’s more is it accommodates for long production runs with an optional extended carton magazine that holds up to 1,000 carton blanks, and it eliminates the barrel-loader assembly for easier maintenance and reduced product breakage.

The Flex 1 features servo drives for precise motion control and eliminates the need to synchronize bagger and cartoner. It is designed for bag in box applications such as cereal, powder, grains and bakery products, but also works for IQF products or trays (HMR kits).

Because sometimes you’re low on time

Rondo-Pak ( introduces a new Quick-to-Market carton assembly and branded sampling service to meet a variety of short-term needs. The cartons are produced at one of Rondo-Pak’s manufacturing facilities and are fully assembled market-ready-to-pack cartons and branded samples. Ideal for short-term and low-medium volume jobs, this system is still an option for high-volume jobs when, for instance, a customer is awaiting delivery on a suitable cartoning line, or its existing equipment is unavailable or down for maintenance. In this case, Rondo-Pak’s Quick-to-Market service offers an expedient production bridge to market-ready cartons. The packs can be quickly assembled and delivered, ideal for situations where time is of the essence.

For small-run jobs, hand assembly or semi-automated packaging techniques can be utilized. Applicable situations might include a customer’s need for cartons for human factor studies, clinical trials, or sampling and prototyping. The new service offers several benefits to customers; it allows for reduced labor costs, as no hand folding is required when cartons arrive; the ability to deliver custom-designed product, printed or unprinted, in both small and large quantities and short delivery time.