• BW Packaging
  • Synerlink

Packaging Equipment Technical Efficiency: A CPG’s First Step to Aftermarket Excellence

by Tiago Marques | Mar 06, 2024

Today’s food and beverage manufacturers are increasingly being asked to achieve greater productivity with smaller capital budgets. In the recent PMMI Purchasing Plans and Priorities report,  71% of consumer packaged goods manufacturers (CPG) who were surveyed agreed that cost reduction is their #1 driver when deciding whether to move forward with new projects or machinery purchases.

Following and closely related to cost, those same CPGs said that the quality, productivity and reliability of original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) machinery are the most important operational priorities to consider when choosing an OEM. In other words, today’s CPGs want to invest in quality equipment that is robust, reliable, and operates according to specifications long-term. 

To help operational leaders within food and beverage CPGs navigate today’s “do less with more” industry climate, Synerlink’s subject matter experts have launched a content series we’re calling How to Care for Capital Equipment. In this series, we will explain the top five pillars of a successful aftermarket strategy. We’ll explain how today’s CPGs can get more value out of your existing packaging equipment simply by understanding the ins and outs of technical efficiency, operational expenditures, marketing, spare parts and qualification of new products and materials.  

How to Care for Your Equipment, the guide

This is the second chapter of a full guide to help you on your packaging equipment maintenance. Subscribe below to receive the chapters as soon as they are launched.

You will also receive the complete guide as soon as it is realeased!


Let's dive into the world of operational excellence in packaging machinery and discover how to maximize your return on OpEx for sustained success. 


In the context of packaging equipment, technical efficiency is the measure of how well a machine will perform if all other factors (beyond the machine itself) are controlled. It is a relatively pure measure, commonly presented as a percentage, that helps manufacturers understand how often they can expect their packaging equipment to run without machine-induced stoppages. For form-fill-seal (FFS) and fill-seal (FS) packaging equipment, technical efficiency is commonly accepted at a rate of 95% in an 8-hour production shift.

To calculate technical efficiency, you can use the factors and formula shown below:

TE (%) =
x 100
  • Technical Efficiency (TE)
  • Net Production Time (TP)
  • Stop Time Machine (TS)
  • Restart Time Machine (TR)


Of course, a machine-induced stoppage is not the only risk to your packaging line’s efficiency. The factors that are excluded from the technical efficiency calculation include but are not limited to:

  • - Packaging material and product changeovers
  • - Operator errors/ improper machine operation
  • - Poor quality packaging materials and consumables
  • - Failure of utilities (power, air, water, vacuum, etc.)
  • - Other external elements (upstream and downstream)


If TE is only part of what impacts your overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), why should you bother tracking it? The simple answer is liability. When your machine experiences unplanned downtime, you need to be able to diagnose whether that downtime was caused by a technical issue with the machine or one of the other factors listed above. If you determine that the stoppage was caused by operator error, for example, then it is your responsibility to correct the source of the stoppage. 

However, if you determine that the stoppage was caused by a technical issue within the machine and this issue has reduced your technical efficiency to a percentage below your OEM’s committed technical efficiency rate (e.g., 95%) during the warranty period, then it is your OEM’s responsibility to resolve the technical issue on your behalf.


A higher technical efficiency rate is more favorable because it gives you greater assurance that your machinery will run as expected. At the same time, OEMs who offer greater rates tend to charge more up front because of the assurances they’re providing. Even so, this up front capital investment tends to payoff in the long run as you consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) for your packaging machinery investment.

So, what does a favorable commitment look like? A favorable commitment is one that is fair for both parties. As the future owner of the packaging equipment, you’ll want to feel confident in whatever percentage that’s agreed upon. Consider your upfront capital budget and long-term operational expenditures (OpEx) when making this decision. Likewise, OEMs should not overpromise on this commitment (e.g., 100% technical efficiency guaranteed) not only because it makes them liable, but also because losing a customers’ trust is costly to the long-term relationship. 

To align on a technical efficiency commitment that is fair and favorable, both parties should start negotiations from a place of transparency and the shared objective of limiting long-term costs to a tolerable level.


Prior to signing the final on-site acceptance for your new machine, you and your OEM should test and verify the machine’s actual technical efficiency during factory acceptance testing (FAT) and site acceptance testing (SAT). Once this data becomes available, you can align on the technical efficiency commitment that is included in your contract. Afterwards, you can monitor the technical performance of your equipment and contact your OEM for support if efficiency drops below the committed level.

At Synerlink, we use a tool called Efitracker to measure the technical efficiency of the machine during FAT and SAT to ensure that it is performing as expected before our customers sign the final acceptance. Efitracker offers objective data on machine performance and identifies the source of each stoppage, so we can review the data together and correct any issues that arise before the project concludes. Efitracker can also be used after the conclusion of a project to better track performance for future optimizations.


At the heart of our pursuit for technical efficiency lies the ultimate objective: to cultivate a packaging environment that is profitable, efficient and reliable. Here are some of the top advantages of ensuring technical efficiency in your packaging lines and machinery. 

Higher Stability for Seamless Operations – One of the key benefits of technical efficiency is the enhanced stability it brings to your packaging operations. A well-optimized machine requires minimal operator intervention, leading to smoother maintenance and operational conditions. The result is a reliable production process that reduces the need for constant oversight.

Reduced Waste: A Win for OPEX and the Environment – Technical efficiency directly translates to reduced waste, a critical factor for both operational and environmental considerations. Efficient machines are less likely to damage your products or packaging during production, minimizing waste and positively impacting your OPEX. This not only saves valuable production time but also supports more environmentally friendly manufacturing practices by reducing landfill contributions and overall energy consumption.

Longer Production Cycles for Increased Productivity and Safety – Investing in technical efficiency extends the lifespan of your production cycles, thereby reducing unprofitable downtime. In addition, longer production cycles reduce safety concerns for operators because it means less operator intervention is required. Additionally, fewer stops means fewer food safety issues for end consumers. Longer production cycles reduces the opportunity for contamination during production stops and the need for long clean-in-place (CIP) or sterilize-in-place (SIP) cycles, which can halt production for a half day or even a full day.

To summarize, increases in technical efficiency across stability, waste reduction, and production cycles directly influences a brand owner's ability to manage fixed costs effectively. This optimization allows for accurate predictions of machine capacity and reduces the necessity to invest in additional machinery to meet production goals. The ripple effect is an overall enhancement of technical efficiency throughout the operations, creating a harmonious and cost-effective production environment.


At Synerlink, we are committed to elevating the technical efficiency of your packaging operations, offering a suite of products and services designed to make after-sales support for packaging machinery easy. Our approach is centered on generating value for customers with comprehensive solutions that maximize compatibility and reliability and enhance the overall performance of your production line.

Genuine Synerlink Spare Parts: A Foundation of Reliability

Investing in genuine Synerlink spare parts ensures a foundation of reliability for your packaging equipment. Our competitive pricing, coupled with a commitment to maximum compatibility, guarantees that every component is meticulously crafted to meet the highest industry standards. When it comes to maintaining the integrity of your machinery, choosing Synerlink spare parts is an investment in long-term operational excellence.

Service Contracts: Ensuring Operational Continuity

Synerlink offers customized agreements that prioritize operational continuity and OPEX optimization. Collaborating closely with our customers, we schedule regular field service visits and provide additional services that elevate the competency of your operators and maintenance technicians. We are committed to the functionality of your equipment and to the seamless operation of your production process.

Spare Parts Lists: Anticipating Your Needs

Synerlink provides comprehensive spare parts lists, empowering our customers to make informed decisions about which components are crucial to purchase ahead of time to ensure business continuity. By understanding the importance of each spare part (and its relative availability), you can proactively manage your inventory, minimizing downtime and ensuring a swift response to any unforeseen issues.

Proactive Communication to Prepare You for the Future

Our commitment to proactive communication sets Synerlink apart. We keep our customers informed about critical topics such as obsolescence, anticipating when a part, component, or machine is approaching the end of its lifecycle. Our team then proactively recommends solutions, ensuring that your production line remains future-proof and resilient.

Material & Product Qualification

Synerlink takes a three-step qualification approach to ensure that new packaging materials and products seamlessly integrate into your existing production line. Our rigorous standards guarantee that every element meets the necessary criteria, providing you with confidence in the quality and performance of your packaging processes.

Optimization of Plastic Thickness

Unlike other OEMs, Synerlink offers valuable knowledge and services beyond the equipment itself. With its industrial packaging design team and expertise in award-winning cutting tool technologies like Snapcut, Synerlink works with its customers to reduce the thickness of plastic yogurt cups without compromising food safety.

Did you find this content useful? Click the link below to download our comprehensive guide to getting the most value out of your existing Synerlink equipment. 

Tiago Marques

Tiago Marques

Tiago Marques' career with Synerlink began in October 2020 as a field service technician. For the first 8 years, he spent around 70% of his time traveling the world installing, troubleshooting, and upgrading our equipment. In 2018, he seized an exciting opportunity to move into the role of Upgrade and Service Sales Manager, which allows him to maintain close ties with our customer base while cultivating strong relationships across 4 different languages. Freshly promoted to Regional Sales leader, he's now focusing on developing an in-depth understanding of our customers' businesses and markets to bring a new strategic dimension to our Aftermarket sales.

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