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No time for downtime: Preventative maintenance keeps packaging operations running smoothly

There’s an old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But any shipper who has seen their packaging equipment go down seemingly without warning knows that it still holds true today.

Many shippers have turned to on-demand packaging equipment to boost throughput and efficiency to deal with the shortage of talented labor. Automated machines can bag items or produce high-quality protective packaging materials on demand, including paper cushioning pads, inflatable hybrid cushioning film and liquid foam that expands to gently cradle products in place. Cohesive-packaging machines wrap items tightly in corrugated cardboard and eliminate the need for void fill and ensure packages are right sized.


Proactive Maintenance: Keeping Ahead of Downtime

Like any piece of industrial machinery, equipment parts wear out over time and must be replaced. A leading provider of on demand packaging solutions, Pregis has a team of technicians who make regular preventative maintenance visits to customers’ facilities to replace commonly worn-out parts, speak with workers about equipment output and visually inspect the machines.

“There are certain things you’ve got to do to keep your car running smoothly – change the oil, rotate the tires, check the brakes. It’s the same for packaging equipment,” explains Manny Wesby, Director of Field Services at Pregis. “We go in and replace worn parts before they break and cause downtime. Proactive maintenance gives our customers greater peace of mind, knowing their equipment will be ready and available whenever they need it.”

Overall, the goal of preventative maintenance is to keep equipment operating at peak performance. According to Wesby,“the idea is to keep machines in the condition they were in when they left the factory.”

“We go in and replace worn parts before they break and cause downtime. Proactive maintenance gives our customers greater peace of mind, knowing that their equipment will be ready and available whenever they need it.” Manny Wesby, Director of Field Services at Pregis

Predictive Maintenance: An Early Warning System

Beyond on-site preventative maintenance, predictive technology now remotely alerts technicians to resolve many problems long before they impact shippers’ operations. Many Pregis machines use cellular telemetry to automatically collect, monitor and measure critical data from the machines, such as material consumption, temperature, pressure and speed of operation. Data points that are out of the normal range automatically trigger an email to a technician, and a service call is scheduled immediately.

This embedded early warning system makes it less likely that the shipper will experience a costly period of downtime.      

In a high-volume shipping facility, a machine with a loss of efficiency due to wear and tear can have a big impact on throughput over time. But by monitoring machines’ performance data, customers and technicians can ensure that they are working like new, maximizing uptime. Preventative maintenance also extends the life of the machines, so customers know they are getting the most out of their equipment in efficiency. 


When Emergencies Strike

A preventative approach will significantly reduce reactive service calls, but it can’t eliminate all emergencies. That’s why it’s important for shippers to identify a service partner that is seasoned, capable and responsive.

Pregis offers a stable of more than 50 service technicians, strategically positioned around North America and even more in Europe. Each technician has the parts inventory to handle problems big and small without delay. Customers can call a 24/7 service hotline and get help over the phone immediately, but if that doesn’t do the trick, a technician will be dispatched that day and usually will arrive within hours.

For busy shippers, downtime is a killer, especially with customers demanding increasingly quick delivery. By proactively maintaining their packaging equipment and entrusting it to a nationwide team of skilled technicians, shippers can ensure that they’re never sidelined for long.

Another consideration: Wesby notes that a preventative maintenance program should be about more than machines. “We build relationships with our customers. That helps us better understand and address their evolving business needs.”


To learn more about Pregis’ preventative maintenance and other technical services, visit