Automation - Feeding

Getting your product ready for packaging

Primary feeding of packaging lines relies on three main factors: production requirements, the nature of the product being packaged (raw, cooked, frozen, etc.), and product presentation.At Harpak-ULMA, you’ll discover automated feeding and loading solutions at every stage of the packaging process, from considerations associated with the primary packaging of the product itself to automated secondary packaging, palletizing,and ancillary automation elements as well. Our fully automated infeeding and outfeeding systems can accommodate several configurations, including top-loading, side-loading, bottom-loading, and wrap-around case packing. Working with us, you’ll have a full range of customized options from conventional packaging automation equipment and the most advanced in robotic automation that is paving the way to new levels of scalability and cost containment for producers of every size and industry.

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Feeding Strategy

Feeding for Primary Packaging

A critical first step in any automated packing process is loading the product into the primary packaging equipment. Three primary attributes will decide the feeding/loading strategy:


Our packaging infeed and outfeed systems for primary packaging are designed to manage sorting, orientating, matching, allocating, positioning, and inserting products quickly and safely during the upstream process without damaging the product. Their sanitary/hygienic design makes loading safer, reduces defect rates and costs, and can increase throughput rates across a broad range of products in food, retail, and medical industries.

Conventional & Supplemental Feeder Automations

Every infeeding and outfeeding automation element will be unique to your system setup. Harpak-ULMA has more than 50 years of combined experience in research and development, giving us the knowledge and insight to help you pair the right equipment with your product specifications. As our customer, you’ll have access to both conventional and supplemental machinery resources that can optimize your production, decrease waste, and save precious available space in your facilities through an ideal feeding setup. These feeding system components include:  




Conveyors: Conveyor systems are often an integral aspect of packaging infeed or outfeed automation. Mobile, easy-to-clean, and operating at multiple speeds (if requested), our conveyor staging gives you enhanced product gating and delivery and more precise infeed and outfeed registration at every step of the process. These conveyors can be completely customized to your operations and give you the flexibility you want for your infeed and outfeed processes.  


Vibratory Bowls: Vibrator bowls can be used for randomly sorted bulk products that must be fed into another machine one-by-one, oriented in a particular direction. 



Stack/Slug Loading: Stack/Slug loading is another form of infeed loading in which stacks or slugs of individual products are automatically measured and loaded from a continuous supply into the lugs of a wrapping machine via gravity feeds. This process is ideal for producers that are concerned with the availability of technical staff trained in robotics.


Hoppers: Hoppers help buffer packaging processes by accumulating and conveying products to maintain a continuous, even flow. 


Linear Feeders: Linear Feeders enable both linear sorting and product orientation. 

Conventional & Supplemental Feeder Automations

Infeeds and outfeeds are an essential element to any secondary or end-of-the-line packaging system. They create a crucial connection to transfer products automatically from upstream production machinery to downstream packaging equipment – such as cartoning, case packing machines, and palletizing stations. They also add seamless reliability and improved efficiency to your packaging process during every cycle.  


Harpak-ULMA’s secondary packaging infeed and outfeed systems are tailor-made and customized to your specifications based on factors such as application type, product type, accessibility, and factory layout, and more. They can vary in complexity based on your needs but ultimately provide you with the vital equipment flexibility, simplified size changeovers for machinery, and robust product control you want for your packaging and processing operations. 

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Feeding Videos

Conveyors feeding cheese discs to thermoformer

Bowl feeder moving medical picks to thermoforming machine