Which semi automatic strapping machine to buy?
Most Semi Automatic Strapping Machines look very similar… on the outside and perhaps on the inside too. The same strapping machine manufacturer can rebadge, slightly reposition components and present the machine in different livery as is often the case with strapping machines imported from the certain regions in the Far East, and although this might be at the request of a Distributer it is also the means of making lower specification and component strapping machines appear very similar to high specification machines, so how do you tell the difference?
Differences between one brand and another too often only become apparent 6 -12 months after the purchase is made because ’ on demonstration’ all the strapping machines strap boxes with little or no no discernable difference. But when the machines have been worked over a period its only then that the durabilty of the components become apparent and that percieved ‘bargain buy’ starts to get very expensive to keep operational.
These lower specification strapping machines can be landed in UK for £200 – £250 and are eagerly sought by the non specialist packaging merchants as they offer the prospect of good margins, particularly as in many cases, although promised, the service backup is inadequate or non existent, leaving the specialist strapping Companies to try and pick up the pieces.
In many instances strapping machines featured on the internet are offered by one/two man import organisations with no interest in offering after sales service… not even spares, so watch out for those that do not publish a postal address!
So how do you avoid ending up ‘with egg on face?’
Don’t be tempted by offers indicating typical savings of say £200 on a semi automatic box strapping machine unless its offered by by a specialist strapping company (not catalogue or general packaging merchant, ) as this is a good indicator of the difficulties that could arise, and would apply more so if the strapping machines were automatic because there is naturally a greater dependence on them working reliably.
Bear in mind also that even if strapping machine service facilties do exist, every service call requested is likely to cost in the region of £120 - £150 and this can quickly amount to substantial expenditure that rapidly cancels out the percieved saving made on the purchase price.
Semi and automatic carton strapping machines are manufactured mainly in the Far East and provided the machine is from the longest established manufacturers – and this means just two of the many strapping machine manufacturers located out there – the machines are likely to be good value. The two semi automatic strapping machines recognised worldwide as best value are the TPK9 and TPK12
For high volume applications however European manufactured automatic strapping machines, such as the RO-MP5 and ROMP52 are the preferred choice by most Companies operating 24 × 7. They do cost marginally more but have a useful working life double that of the cheaper strapping machines, during which time the cost of maintenance is at least half that of machines that cost less. These strapping machines have a much higher residual value and as such they are much better value.