For a wide range of products, when it comes to packaging and making items easy to store and transport, keeping them fresh and free from contamination is a key factor to consider.
In recent years, producers in the food package, medical and pharmaceutical industries, and technical product manufacturers have increasingly turned to flow wrapping for packaging and to protect their products.
What Is Flow Wrapping?
In flow wrapping, the product moves horizontally along a machine, then wrapped in film and sealed at either end by horizontal flow wrapping machines.
When your product is flow-wrapped, you end up with a similar bag to what a Vertical Form Fill Seal service produces. Flow wrapping is also called horizontal bagging, pillow-pouch wrapping, fin-seal wrapping, and crimp-seal wrapping.
Any solid item that can be pushed along a horizontal belt is suitable for flow wrapping. Any product that needs to be put into a bag that can ultimately be pushed can be flow wrapped, including:
- Chocolate bar
- A pack of biscuits
- A pack of tissues
- A scratch card
Flow wrappers are “popular because they’re simple and make an attractive package. Flow wrapping can preserve your raw material and offer protection. Good flow wrapping restricts the packaging around the product so that it won’t move much in the package and be disturbed. The material used to seal the pack is also kept to a minimum so that the tails aren’t too long.
This means the pack can be neatly placed in outer packaging, reducing the number of resources needed and aiding transport. Flow wrapping can also be combined with gas flushing. Gas flushing helps preserve your food by injecting a nitrogen mix into the pack. This displaces the oxygen in the bag.
Flow Wrapping of Edibles
What Materials Are Used for Flow Wrapping?
Packaging materials for a flow wrapper are made of the following plastic films:
BOPP Matte Film
It is a BOPP Coex film grade with a matt surface. The matt finish reduces transparency and may boost the luxury appeal of your product. BOPP matte film is available in a low seal grade. This film is being used both on horizontal (HFFS) machines for flow wrapping and vertical (VFFS) packaging machines.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Film
This film is made with a common polyester family’s thermoplastic polymer resin. It is often used for containers of liquids and food.
Polyethylene (PE) Film
PE film is the most common plastic film in use today. It has several key usages including plastic packaging.
BOPP matte film is highly preferred for flow wrapping in these plastic films due to its extreme versatility, durability, stiffness, transparency, sealability, and barrier properties.
How Does Flow Wrapping Work?
The following steps are involved in flow wrapping:
- The product that needs to be packaged is manually fed onto a conveyor belt.
- The conveyor belt carries the product into the machine, where the film is tucked under and over the product to cover it.
- It then moves along the conveyor belt to the end sealer, where the film is crimped to seal it and cut to separate the products.
What Are the Advantages of Flow Wrapping Packaging?
Flow wrap is a versatile product used to wrap solid products in a protective seal or for unitizing loose products for retail. Flow wrappers are highly recommended for different packaging products due to their following benefits:
· Flow Wrappers Help Reduce Packaging Costs
In any industry, competition is fierce, so gaining cost advantages over competitors is essential. Moving to an automated flow wrapping solution helps to reduce costs and make packaging processes more efficient.
· Flow Wrappers Help to Preserve Food Products
A horizontal flow wrapper helps to preserve and protect a wide range of products by providing a tight seal against oxygen. Gas injection technology can also be used to help produce a protective atmosphere to increase the shelf life of products.
Flow wrapping also helps to restrict the movement of a product within the packaging, preventing it from being disturbed or damaged.
Flow Wrap Packaging
· Flow Wrappers Make for Neat Transit and Display
Flow-wrapped products can be packed neatly, whether in outer packaging for transit or storage or displayed on a retail shelf, without the need for extra resources.
· Flow Wrappers Help Increase Margins
Flow wrapping allows products such as food products to be sold in smaller quantities rather than sold in bulk. As a result, selling smaller units leads to increased margins and creates added value from products.
· Horizontal Flow Wrappers Pack Large Orders in Short Periods
An automated flow wrapping system allows businesses to quickly react to customer orders and achieve complete packaging of even considerable orders in a short period of time.
As a result, short lead times can be met, making businesses more appealing to customers and helping them to grow by packaging larger volumes of products.
· Flow Wrap Is Customizable
Flow-wrapped products provide excellent opportunities for increased branding. BOPP matte flow wrap films offer customers an unobstructed view of your products. Optimal for produce packaging, these films can increase product visibility and improve retail sales.
Customized BOPP Flow Wraps
· Flow Wrap Adds a Layer of Protection
Flow-wrapped products benefit from an added layer of protection from outside contamination. This contamination can be in the form of dust, moisture, or harmful UV rays. Flow-wrapped products also benefit from less direct handling.
This limits “pick through” damages that can occur at retail. For products within the food, pharmaceutical, and medical industries, protecting products from outside contamination is extremely important for the safety of the consumer or end users. Flow wrapping provides a protective barrier and seal.
Why Choose BOPP Matte Film for Flow Wrapping?
BOPP matte films are designed to run high speed over wrappers or flow wrap machines. BOPP matte Horizontal flow wrapper film is usually a hot sealing type. BOPP matte film is widely used in flow wrapping due to the following properties:
- BOPP matte film has a high heat resistance that allows for increases in seal temperatures without the film burning. Higher heat sealing temperatures mean significantly shorter heat dwell times and noticeably faster machine line speeds.
- This film has high barrier properties that exceed all of the requirements set by the Large Grocery Chains.
- BOPP matte film is user-friendly for Horizontal Form Fill and Seal (HFFS) machine operators. It is designed to work at a wide range of temperatures with less jamming and costly Scrap.
- BOPP matte film is designed to withstand the cold refrigerated environment to prevent cold cracking.
- This film is proven to be able to run on the Widest Width HFFS machines. It is well recognized by leading manufacturers of HFFS machines such as Harpack/Ulma and Omori. Specific engineering of this film for HFFS machines means no problems like product jamming in the machines or “gumming up,” thus saving machine downtime.
- BOPP matte film has a strong structure and excellent resistance to punctures and tears.
- Its superior clarity allows for easy product identification and scanning through the overwrap.
- BOPP matte film has one of the market’s Best Thickness Uniformities (gauge). The uniform thickness variation makes this film the best quality with consistent barrier and physical properties.
- Once the temperature is set, the film is set! Even with changes in atmospheric conditions (such as humidity, temperature, and altitude), this wide tolerance film will continue to be user-friendly.
Applications of Flow Wrappers
Flow wrappers have a broad packaging range. They are suitable for wrapping different solid shape products into sachets, such as:
Snack Food Products Packing
Biscuits, Brownies, Cookies, Crackers, Croissants, Muffins, Cake, Cupcake, Bread bun, Toaster pastries, Pancakes, Sandwiches, Wafer, Waffle, Instant noodle, Rice noodle, Tortilla.
Bar Shape Products Packing
Breakfast bars, Candy bars, Chocolate bars, Crisp rice bars, Energy bars, and Nutrition bars.
Daily Necessary Products Packing
Napkin tissue, Toilet paper, Soap, Washing sponge, Towel, Toothbrush, Electric sockets
Flow Wrapped Soap in BOPP Matte Film
Medical Products Packing
Syringe, Mask, Infusion tube, Bandage, Medical tablets
Bearing, Nails, Hinge, Zippers, Oil seal ring, Spare parts
Toy and Stationery Packaging
Tape, Pen, Notebook, Glue stick, Ruler, Toy, Label, Clips, Card, Calendar, Memo note