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Board Machines: Procurement and Supply Chain Management

The intense competition in the carton packaging industry has increasingly reduced the profits of carton companies. Enhancing production efficiency, reducing losses, and eliminating waste are very worthy subjects of study for carton companies. Increasing the automation level of board machines is an effective way to enhance production efficiency. Therefore, companies invest heavily in introducing advanced production lines and purchasing new board machines. However, in many companies, we see that the utilization rate of board machines is very low. Newly purchased board machines often far exceed the requirements of product quality or production processes, resulting in overcapacity. Some board machines are even idle, causing huge waste for companies. How to purchase board machines to avoid such situations? Here are some of our views, hoping to exchange and discuss with peers.

Communicating and Reaching Consensus with Related Departments Before Purchasing Board Machines

The basic model and specifications of the board machine should be determined jointly according to the actual production needs of the factory and the configuration of existing production board machines. Determine the purchasing department of the board machine and related personnel; the departments and related personnel responsible for the installation, debugging, and acceptance of the board machine, as well as their responsibilities. The board machine purchasing department collects and organizes data on the board machine manufacturers' profiles, main structural features, technical parameters, descriptions of each sub-function, prices, and other information based on the determined model specifications and other basic information. A detailed and carefully prepared board machine selection investigation report should be compiled, comparing various aspects of the board machines from different manufacturers to choose the final manufacturer's board machine.

Emphasizing Technical Evaluation of Board Machines

The first step in selecting and evaluating a board machine is conducting a detailed use or technical investigation to determine whether the board machine is technically feasible. When evaluating the technical specifications of a board machine, the following factors should be carefully examined:

Production Capacity

When choosing a board machine, like the sheet protector making machine, its production capacity should meet the current production requirements and be adequate for the foreseeable future. Insufficient production capacity or overcapacity of a board machine is undesirable. It is unwise to purchase a board machine that will soon fail to meet production process requirements. Similarly, purchasing a board machine with excessively high production capacity that will never be needed, especially when the board machine is expensive, is an unforgivable loss. Therefore, when selecting a board machine, its performance, production efficiency, and capacity range should be objectively evaluated based on specific production process levels and development prospects so that the production capacity of the board machine can be fully and reasonably utilized. 


Reliability refers to the ability of the board machine to complete specified functions under prescribed conditions and time. No one wants to purchase a board machine that frequently breaks down, as this not only causes losses but also delays delivery times, especially in today's increasingly competitive market and shortening delivery times. Therefore, purchasing a safe and reliable board machine is an important consideration. 


Maintainability refers to the characteristic of the board machine being easy to repair. Although many maintenance-free board machines have appeared, failures are still inevitable for the vast majority of board machines. Therefore, maintainability should be an important evaluation factor when selecting a board machine. When other factors are basically the same, the board machine with a structure that is easy to inspect, maintain, and repair should undoubtedly be selected. 


When possible, the newly purchased board machine should be compatible with existing board machines in terms of spare parts supply, maintenance, and operation to save personnel training costs and auxiliary equipment procurement expenses. 


Although few unsafe board machines are sold in today's market, the safety significance of board machines for enterprise production should not be underestimated. Therefore, safety should be carefully evaluated when selecting a board machine.


In today's increasingly complex and precise board machines, many board machines can only function fully with complete auxiliary board machines. Therefore, when selecting the main board machine, the matching of auxiliary board machines and their utilization rate should often be considered decisive factors, especially for the increasingly widely used CNC board machines. Without supporting auxiliary board machines, the function of the main board machine is difficult to realize. 


Increasing complexity and precision of board machines do not mean increased operational complexity. Overly complex board machines will increase training costs, cause operator fatigue and errors, so simple to operate board machines should be selected.

Easy Installation

This point is often easily overlooked. Before purchasing a board machine, the installation location should be examined. For some large board machines, the transportation route should be examined to select a suitable, easy-to-transport, and easy-to-install board machine.

Environmental Friendliness

The environmental friendliness of a board machine includes two aspects: reducing raw material loss and saving energy consumption. Environmental protection is not only a need to reduce product costs but also an important aspect of participating in international competition.

Impact on Current Production Activities

When purchasing board machines, especially advanced, precise, and complex ones, their impact on current production activities should be fully considered. For example, the purchase of a fully computerized CNC printing machine will undoubtedly bring new challenges to current process flows, production plans, operator skills, and site management capabilities. These should be fully evaluated before the board machine is purchased.

Delivery Time

This requires inspecting the reputation and delivery assurance capabilities. A board machine manufacturer's good reputation and guaranteed delivery time are always reassuring factors.

Spare Parts Supply

When the board machine needs maintenance and parts replacement due to wear or failure, whether spare parts are available will be an important factor in quickly resuming production. Therefore, considering spare parts supply is necessary when selecting a board machine, especially imported ones. We have had many lessons in this area, which are worth remembering. 

After-Sales Service

When selecting a board machine supplier, their level of installation, debugging, personnel training, and maintenance services should be examined. Good after-sales service will ensure the board machine's smooth operation.

Legal and Environmental Protection

When purchasing board machines, comply with national and local government regulations and policies, and consider environmental harmony. Do not purchase board machines that conflict with environmental protection regulations.

On-Site Inspection of Manufacturers and Board Machines

Generally, there are opportunities for on-site inspections when purchasing carton board machines. During the inspection of manufacturers, one should not just have a superficial look. The following points should be focused on:

  • The manufacturer's machining board machines and capabilities. Only advanced and precise production board machines and testing board machines can manufacture high-quality products. Thus, the production and testing board machines, machining capabilities of the manufacturer, and the external processing manufacturers' production, testing board machines, and machining capabilities should be inspected.

  • The manufacturer's on-site management level. Certification through the ISO9000 series does not necessarily mean that the manufacturer's production management and quality assurance levels are high. Their management level should be verified through inspections of employee morale, production efficiency, quality awareness, and on-site 5S management.

  • If the raw materials and electrical components used by the manufacturer are high-quality products from well-known brands; inspect and understand the actual operation, usage performance, and production capacity of the board machine during visits to the board machine manufacturer. Understand if there are any special installation requirements and whether the configuration of the board machine matches the company's data, as well as the after-sales service situation of the board machine manufacturer.

Best Practices in Supply Chain Management

Best practices in supply chain management include supply chain network optimization, supply chain visibility, and supply chain partner relationship management. By designing a reasonable network, logistics costs can be reduced, and the speed and efficiency of product circulation can be improved. Consider the characteristics of the board machine, market demand, transportation costs, the location of suppliers, and customers to optimize the supply chain network. Supply chain visibility uses technical means to monitor and track the entire supply chain process in real-time, including the production, transportation, installation, and other aspects of the board machine. This helps in promptly identifying and solving problems, improving the reliability and flexibility of the supply chain.

Supply chain partner relationship management establishes long-term, stable cooperative relationships with suppliers, achieving information sharing, risk-sharing, and mutual benefit. By establishing trusted and mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers, the response capability and competitiveness of the supply chain can be improved. An effective communication mechanism should be established to ensure timely information exchange and problem-solving. At the same time, cooperation strategies can be adjusted according to the actual situation to adapt to market changes and the company's business needs.

In summary, the procurement of board machines and supply chain management involves multiple key steps and strategies. Through clear requirements, selecting suitable suppliers, optimizing supply chain networks, realizing supply chain visibility, and establishing stable cooperative relationships, the efficiency of board machine procurement and supply chain management can be improved to provide strong support for the company's business development. Effective procurement and supply chain management can not only reduce costs but also improve production efficiency and product quality, thereby enhancing the company's market competitiveness.