Selecting the right diaper machine is a complex decision. Probably the single most important issue, it has to do with having a market to sell the diapers that your are planning to manufacture; and second, making sure you will be able to sell them at a profit. Assuming that you have done all of the preliminary marketing and feasibility studies (by the way we can also help you to do them), then the next question will be: which machine is the best one for you?
Before we can answer this question, you need to answer the following questions: Have you defined how many diapers you need to make per month to satisfy your marketing plan and business objectives? How many shifts per day do you want to run? How much of its installed capacity will be comfortable for you to operate? What are the features needed in the diaper that you want to produce? Do you need a machine to make a simple “fixed product” or do you want a machine capable of easy upgrades? Some machines are pre-configured to take into account future upgrades; many others require a major hardware change in order to accept any upgrade, even small ones. This machine feature is called “modular design”, meaning that the diaper machine is pre-wired using independent I/O PLC modules that make the installation of future diaper features easier. Are you going to run many sizes with the same equipment or just one or two? Some machines can make a major size change within an hour or two; others may require more than a full shift.
Another important factor to take into account is the technical capabilities of your people; do you have access to qualified electronic engineers and specialized maintenance required, or do mechanical engineers and electrical technicians are easier to find? If you are considering a servo driven machine or electronic line shaft machine (ELS), have you looked at the quality of your electricity supply? Unless you have a reliable electricity supply with clean and stable power, you should think only of mechanical drive machines. Are you planning to make high count bags or a combination of them? Depending on the stack count in your bag you will have to choose between using a vertical stacker, limited to no more than 20 or 25 diapers per stack, or a horizontal stacker. In addition, you need to know the minimal stack count for your bags in relation to the speed of the diaper machine, in order to define the number of funnels or loading stations that you need. You do not want to have to slow the speed of your machine when you make small count bags. If you are located in a high labor cost region, for sure you will need to think of adding an automatic packing unit to your stacker. Will you have the additional required space in the building? Do you want to buy a very large high speed machine or would it be better for you to buy two smaller ones in order to be able to make diaper size changes easier? Do you need special training or do you already have diaper machine operators? Do you already own some diaper machines? Have you looked at the spare parts and whether or not you can find them in your local market? Should you buy a used diaper line or a new one? Is the seller of the used machine willing to train your people or do you need an additional budget for this task?
There are many diaper machine builders out there; there are new machines with prices ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million. In addition, you probably have many more questions that need an answer: if you are planning to buy a disposable diaper machine you should consider professional help, it will be the best spent money of your whole project.