Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand Cases: What’s the Difference?

Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand Cases: What’s the Difference?

Knowing the Orientation of Your Cases Matters for Your Packaging Machinery

If you’re confused about case orientation, you’ve come to the right place. Left-hand vs. right-hand cases are a common area of confusion in packaging, but it’s a detail that’s easy to understand once you know how it works.

In this video, we talk with John Colazzi, a Senior Mechanical Design Engineer at Wayne Automation, to better understand case orientation, including how to determine a case’s orientation, and why it matters for your packaging machinery.

An Easy Way to Determine Case Orientation

An infographic from Wayne Automation showing different case orientations.Knocked-down case flats (KDFs) are often referred to as being either right or left-handed. Case orientation essentially comes down to which way is up when looking at the printing on the case.

“To determine case orientation, look at the KDF with the printing oriented correctly,” says John. “If the major panel–the longer of the two–is on the right, it’s a right-handed case. If it’s on the left, it’s a left-handed case.”

This is a convention defined by PMMI, the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute. However, there are sometimes other conventions that will conflict. “The best way to confirm case orientation, if you can’t have one on hand, is to refer to the technical drawing of the case from the manufacturer,” John says.

Why Is Case Orientation Important?

Case orientation is important when you’re considering automated case and case erecting packaging equipment.

“Even though the finished erected cases will be nearly identical, the equipment to handle them will be different,” John explains. “The vast Wayne Automation WLRV-CE Case Erector machine.majority of machinery on the market is designed to open one case orientation only–either right- or left-handed cases.” In other words, a machine designed to handle a left-handed case can’t erect a right-handed one.

A small percentage of equipment can be modified to handle opposite-hand cases through mechanical changeover, but this can be tedious for companies that need quick transitions when working with different cases. Wayne Automation’s WLRV case erector machine can run either orientation through a simple HMI change, making the changeover process simple and efficient.

In general, the case needs to fit the machine, so it’s still important to select a machine based on the case type, size, and orientation that you’re working with.

What Is the Most Common Case Orientation Available?

All Wayne case erectors except our Automated Magazine Loader require case construction to have the width panel on the left side and the length panel on the right. This is what we call “left-hand opening cases.”

However, the industry hasn’t standardized what they call this orientation, so some people call it left cases, and others call it right. This can be confusing for people who don’t know the actual difference between left-hand vs. right-hand cases.

Contact Wayne Automation Today

Contact Wayne Automation to learn more about our case erectors and find out which machine is right for you. We work with you to determine case size and orientation and help you decide whether you need a machine that can erect left-handed cases, right-handed cases, or both.

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