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Packaging machines – continuous and indexed

Oct 28, 2022

There are several specifications to consider when it comes to choosing the right packaging equipment for food, dairy and home & personal care (HPC) processors. In alignment with Hema , Synerlink’s product offerings and the technical capabilities have grown in these markets. Today’s portfolio includes a variety of indexed and continuous machines.

Which technology should you choose? 

It all depends on your needs. Before making any decisions, you should consult with a trusted packaging solution provider. To give you an overview of the main differences between indexed and continuous machines in Synerlink’s portfolio, we’ve summarized the most important points below.


Packaging styles 

Both the indexed machines and the continuous machines in Synerlink portfolio have been thought for different types of packaging styles. There are both indexed and continuous machines that deal with bottles, single cups, cans, and jars. Although there are styles of packaging, like multi-cups, twin cups, mini-cups and trays that are more indicated for indexed machines. In the same way, mini-jars are more indicated for continuous machines. 

Packaging forming 

Besides filling pre-formed packaging, whether it is indexed machines or continuous machines, the Synerlink portfolio also offer the possibility to add a bottle blowing module to produce your bottle packaging on site. In order to produce your cup packaging on site from reel of plastic, our indexed machines also offer the possibility to thermoform packaging. 

Floorplan optimization 

While indexed linear machines tend to develop in length, continuous (rotary) machines tend to be more compact at higher speeds for bottle, can and jar packaging. Although, both indexed and continuous machines increase in size under certain circumstances. For example, linear machines increase in width when speed increases or as ergonomics increase. While rotary machines increase in size with the increase in speed, packaging size or for specific filling needs. 

Dosing module 

On one indexed linear machine, it is possible to have several dosing modules, placed one next to the other to satisfy specific filling needs of the products. On the same way, it is possible to place multiple dosing modules on rotary machines provided that there is a turret for each. 

Product packaged 

Indexed machines are especially indicated for products that go from liquid to non-viscous. The products can either be pre-mixed or mixed directly at the filling stage of the packaging process on indexed machines and they are also indicated for multilayer products, for example with fruits or Chantilly cream on the bottom or at the top. On the contrary, continuous machines are especially indicated for products that go from liquid to viscous products that are pre-mixed. Continuous machines are also indicated for products that contain pieces. Moreover, product filling from 5 to 90 degrees is also possible on continuous machines. 


For both indexed and continuous machines, the closure module(s) depend on the type and material of the packaging. There are several possibilities allowed, whether it is flat lid sealing, capping, lid placement or seaming. For both indexed machines and continuous machines screw capping technology is a possibility, where this technology is helped in rotary by the inertia of the motion of the machine. 

Packaging formats 

Both indexed and continuous machines are indicated for single portions. Moreover, indexed machines are also indicated for multipacks and multiflavour multipacks. On linear machines, when it is conceived, you can change the format of your packaging without needing to change the slats. On continuous machines, the change of format is also possible when compatible. 


The sustainability benefits are the most interesting for bottle blowing machines, whether they are indexed or continuous and for thermoforming, filling and sealing indexed machines. 


Are you interested in learning more about indexed cups machines? Check out this infographic that highlights differences between FFS and FS filling machines

Interest in learning how Synerlink’s bottle blowing and filling machines can help your sustainability ambitions? Read more about it here.  

Don’t hesitate to contact our experts to investigate what actually works best for your needs and products.