Make or Buy – Should you make your own bottles?

Heidi Amsler

Captive packagers, contract packagers and filling companies often start out by purchasing stock and custom bottles from custom blow molders.  Depending on your needs this can be a great initial solution since your bottle supplier takes all the risk associated with bottle production. However, this reduced risk comes with a price attached.

When does it make sense to bring blow molding in house?

Aside from the potential large cost savings, other advantages include direct control of your bottle supply, bottle design flexibility, speed to market with new designs and control of bottle quality.

Does it make financial sense?

Blow molding your own containers requires an investment in, equipment, electrical power plus the cost to employ and train qualified direct and indirect personnel. Adding new technology to the operation can also mean more risk. These risks that previously were borne by the supplier must be evaluated, as they will tend to threaten the attainment of full output of good-quality bottles using the newly-installed machinery.

The Key to running production

successfully is having trained capable


Review all related costs to purchase and run the equipment including additional operators, electricity, high pressure air, and transportation of material to make bottles.

Don’t forget the shipping cost savings!

A cash flow (cost) comparison between making and purchasing bottles is required to determine if making bottles is a good financial decision.

Important factors to consider:

  1. How steady is the company’s requirement for bottles; does it occupy full production capacity?
  2. How will sales and marketing benefit from in-house blow molding?
  3. How much will be saved from reducing warehouse space for bottles?
  4. Can bottles be sold to third parties as a source of new revenue to help occupy capacity?
  5. How great is the variety of sizes and designs? Are they proprietary or commodity bottles?
  6. Are suitable preforms readily available for purchase at good prices from reliable suppliers?
  7. Is blow molding expertise available or can it be acquired?
  8. What inputs are already available, such as manufacturing space and power?
  9. Will the machinery supplier reduce the technical risks by providing training and support during the start-up of manufacturing of each bottle?

Let Amsler Equipment complete the cost study on your behalf. Is it time for your company to start saving money by controlling your own bottle supply?

Amsler Equipment has been manufacturing equipment here in Canada since 1994. We can help you by supplying the most energy efficient PET stretch blow molding equipment available and by training your operators to a high level of competency.