Despite (or possibly because of) the coronavirus outbreak, sales of CBD products continue to rise.
With consumer interest at an all-time high, one projection places the global CBD market at 2.2 trillion dollars by 2026. Just for perspective, that's over 700 times larger than its size of $3 billion in 2018.
Many businesses are competing to be seen in the largest CBD market segment of them all — tinctures. According to the study cited above, tinctures accounted for 36.65% of all CBD products sold in 2018.
This trend is driving producers of CBD oils and tinctures to focus on increasing both volume and quality, two things best accomplished with reliable and well-designed automation equipment.
In this post, we'll talk about the equipment we think is the best available to fill, cap, and label small CBD bottles cost-effectively, consistently, and reliably. Our selections include one machine for filling, one for capping, and two for labeling, all of which integrate well with one another or with existing machines in your production process.
CBD's Compelling Case for Automation
Last year, about 55% of mainstream retail CBD sales happened at convenience stores, one of the few brick-and-mortar retail businesses that are still in growth mode. Competing on their crowded shelves requires eye-catching labeling and first-rate quality, which for bottled products means consistent fill and proper capping.
But the case for high-quality filling, capping, and labeling has even more legs when the growth of online sales is considered. During restrictions on travel and large gatherings to slow the coronavirus, postponement of countless CBC expos and trade shows is forcing CBD wholesale and retail business owners to find new ways to reach customers.
For example, a distributor might find your product online and request samples. In such a scenario, packaging quality is paramount. The same is true for selling online, whether directly to consumers or distributors. Regardless of the purchaser, the ability to produce quality products at high volume will always be an important part of the picture.
CBD Tincture Bottles: Automating Production
As a CBD business owner, operations manager, or distributor, you may be looking to expand from hand-filling, capping, and labeling to full automation. Or you may need to upgrade simply one part of your operation by integrating a new machine with existing ones.
Making the leap to fully automatic or semi-automatic machinery can be daunting, making it imperative to select a vendor with a solid track record for support. Purchasing the best-quality equipment is also a must, given that a glitch-free operation means less downtime and lower costs.
Below we'll recommend the machines we believe are best suited for filling, capping, and labeling CBD bottles containing tinctures, oils, and extracts. These small bottles are notoriously difficult to handle, but the right automated systems can take away much of the challenge.
The FL-12, our smallest automatic filling machine, is every bit as rugged and sophisticated as our larger models. Constructed of S304 stainless steel, it is equipped with heavy-duty SS-316 filling pumps and is controlled by a Panasonic programmable logic controller (PLC). A color Delta touch screen panel provides the human interface. It will handle both water- and oil-based products, and can fill 15 to 30 bottles per minute with an accuracy of plus or minus one percent. It can be connected seamlessly in-line with our CP-10 semi-automatic capping machine.
Featuring the same compact size and construction as the FL-12 filling machine, the CP-10 capping machine uses powerful servomotors to apply caps. The system is adaptable to a wide variety of cap sizes. Feedback sensing ensures that every cap is applied with consistent torque, and bottles ride into and out of the machine on conveyors powered by an AC brushless drive-motor system linked to a variable speed control. The color touch panel makes it easy to adjust most parameters without necessitating mechanical adjustment.
Once CBD bottles are filled and capped, they move to the third part of the process, labeling. The SL-77 Series Shrink Sleeve Labeler is designed for full-body sleeve labeling, consisting of applying and then heat-shrinking a plastic label around the entire container. The process of shrink sleeve labeling may also be used for neck and cap banding to provide a tamper-evident seal. The SL-77, when paired with an optional conveyor and our Tamper-Evident Shrink Band Tunnel, applies and shrinks both labels and tamper-evident shrink bands. It's fast, working at speeds ranging from 40 to 80 bottles per minute, depending on label size, product spacing, and other parameters.
The ELF-50 Tabletop Wrap-Round Labeling Machine is portable and very efficient for small production runs. With a maximum dispensing speed of 60 containers per minute, it produces perfectly applied labels with surprising efficiency. Its two-phase stepper motor guarantees fast and accurate label delivery, and its controller retains production counts such as labels used, as well as up to five settings.
We hope you've picked up some ideas here for how to automate the production of small CBD tincture bottles. Investing in automation produces increased speed and efficiency, and consistent quality, allowing you to meet growing demand while providing consistent quality to the consumer.
For further information, download our free CBD Industry Guide to Evaluating Labeling Equipment.