For most of us, when we decide to make a purchase, the interaction with the team that designed and produced it is short-lived. When we go to buy something, whether online or in-person and expensive or not, our interaction typically ends at the sale (that is, until it’s time for a replacement). We might research and compare specs, look at who has the best pricing, and put time and consideration into the purchase. At the end of the day, however, very few of us are still in contact with the folks at the local Dick’s Sporting Goods that sold us our most recent pair of running shoes a few months back.
Purchasing capital equipment? That’s an entirely different story.
For capital equipment such as a Rovema VFFS machine, so much time and effort is put in on the front end to perfectly customize it to meet the needs of your products and integrate it seamlessly into your line. Unlike other customer-manufacturer relationships, this one continues after the purchase: even after the factory acceptance tests, installation and commissioning, the relationship with your capital equipment manufacturer is far from over.
As such, choosing a reliable, trustworthy, and established company for your VFFS machine needs is critical. You want a team you can communicate with effectively and clearly from the start, a team dedicated to manufacturing and installing a VFFS machine that meets all of your production needs, and a team that is committed to supporting and adapting your VFFS machine through the entirety of its life.
Rovema is a global supplier of automated packaging equipment, with the best VFFS machine options. We embrace innovation and sustainability, and we reject the industry mindset that it is the norm for VFFS machines to become less efficient over time. We design, produce, and install reliable VFFS machines that perform consistently over time. We’re the company you want by your side through the lifetime of your capital equipment.
Let’s dig further into what a successful customer and manufacturer relationship looks like for your Rovema VFFS machine.
Embracing preventative maintenance + choosing the best materials for your VFFS bagger
At Rovema, we are here to support you in making the best decisions on a day-to-day basis to support the longevity and efficiency of your VFFS machine. There are a few key things you can do to ensure your VFFS bagger is running optimally. These include:
1. Conducting regular preventative maintenance.
Just like you remind your children (or your spouse...or yourself…) to change the oil in the car and do the scheduled maintenance, so you must also do for your VFFS machine. A key for regular maintenance is consistency in day to day tasks and standard operating procedures. There are certain things, like VPR daily cleaning procedures, that should happen at the beginning of any given shift. In addition, team member accountability is crucial. Your people are your assets, and equipping them with the training and procedures to be successful in your operational environment is important. Once you have your experts trained and your standard operating procedures established, it is important to make this regular maintenance and these day to day tasks a part of your plant’s established routine.
2. Having staff that are specifically trained and certified for your Rovema VFFS machine.
We offer training programs so you can have staff on-site that are true experts on your machine. As mentioned earlier, your team members are some of your greatest assets. Sure, the industry norm is having someone that was trained by someone who attended the official training. And sure, your maintenance team is killer. But having a maintenance team member and a key line leader that have both been trained and certified at the Rovema factory? Grand slam.
Having staff members that are true experts in your VFFS bagger means less machine downtime, maximum efficiency, and greater peace of mind and security for you and your company.
3. Leaning on the innovation and engineering of superior OEM parts for your VFFS bagger.
In order to make sure you are producing at capacity, protecting the longevity of your machine, and ensuring seal integrity, you need to use the parts that your machine is designed to run on. Say you have a few parts break here or there and replace them with cheaper parts from a different manufacturer. Some folks find that switching to these lower quality parts might save them a bit in the short-term, but long-term, the cost of the parts is actually higher if they last half as long. The Rovema Life Cycle Services director, Richard Wullkotte, breaks down what exactly makes Rovema parts last longer in a series of videos, like this one on draw down belts. We always encourage customers to put our spare parts to the test. The innovation and engineering of the optimal components for your machine--the materials your machine is designed to work best with--often justifies sticking to original Rovema spare parts.
4. Reaching out for support when you have questions or concerns about regular maintenance or optimal materials for your VFFS bagger.
If you have questions, we are here to help! We have 24/7 VFFS service experts available to assist with any challenge or question that might arise. We offer downloadable manuals which include wiring diagrams & explosion drawings for machines, as well as a place to submit a support ticket regarding questions or concerns with spare parts, upgrades, existing equipment, and new equipment.
Completed together, these daily choices ensure optimal efficiency, longevity, and seal integrity for your Rovema VFFS machine.
What happens if something goes wrong?
Sometimes, things go wrong (I’m looking at you, 2020). Though we can’t solve some of the larger problems this year has brought about, we’re here to support and troubleshoot any challenges that may arise related to your VFFS bagger or other Rovema equipment.
We have 24/7 VFFS support technicians that are ready to help, as well as hundreds of troubleshooting resources available to the public online. Whether you’re having a problem with film, you’re noticing inconsistencies in bag lengths, or you’re noticing problems with the integrity of your product’s seal, we’re committed to getting your packaging machinery not just back up to cycling, but also back up to optimal efficiency.
Long-term relationship needs: What if I need to upgrade?
Here’s where things start to get really serious, and the importance of the customer and supplier relationship really comes to the forefront.
Let’s consider two scenarios:
Say you’ve been running your bagger for several years, and a new retailer demand calls for a significant change to your products and overall manufacturing process. This could get stressful.
Thoughts of new machines, the possibility of retrofitting, the impact of retrofitting on efficiency, and other such worries fill your mind. You hope that your machine builder had their ear to the ground and, in the anticipation, started to adapt. You hope that your vendor retrofits and upgrades as a normal part of business and not treat your pressing need to adapt as an inconvenience .
In another scenario, you invest in a VFFS bagger from Rovema. You’ve been running your bagger for a while and performing preventative maintenance. After several years, a new retailer demand calls for a significant change to your products and overall manufacturing process. You feel immediately relieved that you have a solid relationship with Rovema, since several of your employees have gone through their training. You know that your current VFFS machine will be able to meet this new need, and that Rovema engineers were anticipating these changes and have already started adapting. You know that this same team that you’ve been working with for years will be able to retrofit and upgrade your machine, as that is part of their normal business, and they have a structure in place and game plan for only days (not weeks) of planned downtime
No one likes uncertainty, and that’s why Rovema makes such strong commitments to our customers and the longevity and flexibility of their VFFS machines. We prioritize relationships with our customers so that, when situations that require flexibility and adaptability arise, it’s as seamless a process as possible.
No end-of-life: Proof of Rovema’s commitment to long-term customer-manufacturer relationships
Rovema VFFS machines have no end-of-life. That means when you call us and urgently need a custom Rovema part for a 30 year-old bagger, we aren’t going to tell you on the phone “Sorry, we don’t support baggers that old; maybe you should buy a new one.” We continue to support baggers today that are over 30, 40 and 50 years old, and they are still running beautifully.
This also means that we are committed to upgrading and retrofitting your machine to meet the present day’s demands and needs. We believe strongly that VFFS machines can, and should, maintain their efficiency over time.
That being said, there might come a day when technological advances make investing in a new piece of capital equipment the right move. Though your machine is mechanically dependable, it might be time to upgrade and take advantage of new electronic components that have become available.
When that time comes, Rovema is still here to support. We can help you weigh the pros and cons of retrofitting your original machine vs. investing in new technology. What greater proof is there of our commitment to strong relationships with our customers than our commitment to service and support your VFFS machine, a machine with no end-of-life?
Investing in Rovema equipment = ensuring a strong customer-supplier relationship
A lot different from buying a pair of running shoes, eh?
Strong customer-manufacturer relationships are critical to the longevity and efficiency of your capital equipment. Investing in automated packaging machinery is something that will impact your business for years to come, and you want to ensure you’ve got a solid team that will have your back throughout the entirety of your project, as well as through your machine’s life.
This is a huge benefit to investing in capital equipment through Rovema: along with getting highly innovative, flexible VFFS machinery, you’re also getting a support team with a wealth of knowledge to support you throughout your machine’s lifetime. They’re here to support through choosing the best materials for your VFFS bagger and conducting regular maintenance, through troubleshooting when problems arise, and through thinking flexibly and innovatively about how to retrofit a machine to meet new needs.
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