Flow wrapping, also known as fin-seal wrapping, horizontal bagging, or pillow pouch wrapping, is a quick and economic packaging method used for a broad range of products.
During this process, items proceed through a flow wrapping machine, which precisely places a polymer-based packaging material over the product and seals the package. Flow wrapping incorporates three unique seals consisting of two crimps at the ends and a longitudinal fin seal that runs along the back of the package.
Manufacturers may turn to flow wrapping due to:
- Rising operational costs
- Increased consumer demands
- Constant pressure to improve product packaging efficiency
The speed and seamless action of flow wrapping machines allow businesses to achieve shorter turnaround times for larger orders. Recent developments in the automation of flow packaging machines also significantly reduce labor costs, allowing you to invest more in other areas of your business.
How Flow Wrapping Works
Although flow wrapping machines come in a wide variety of forms, they all consist of the same essential elements: an infeed conveyor belt, a film feed assembly, a forming area, and a discharge area
- Operators first place the product on an infeed conveyor belt, which transports the product to the forming area.
- At the forming area, the machine wraps a layer of sealing material around the product, mating the two outside edges of the material at the bottom.
- The mating edges then pass through a pair of rotating fin seal wheels, which form the longitudinal seal using heat, pressure, or a combination of both.
- The product then moves through a series of rotating cutting heads, or end seal crimpers, that seal the front and back ends of the product while separating the adjoining products into individual packages.
- After this process, the machine delivers the products to the discharge area, where they accumulate for storage or further packaging.
On top of this basic model, factory managers can tailor flow wrapping machines’ packaging speed, packaging dimensions, equipment dimensions, and other optional features to their facility’s requirements.
Horizontal Flow Wrapping versus Vertical Flow Wrapping
Flow packaging operates mainly via horizontal or vertical processes. As their names suggest, vertical flow packing packages products vertically, and horizontal flow packing wraps products horizontally. Choosing between the two depends on the type of material being packaged and the desired bag type.
Horizontal flow packaging solves most packaging needs, but vertical flow packaging greatly speeds the process for loose products that can be easily dropped into the package, such as powders, granulated products, liquids, and fresh or frozen produce.
Wrapping Services for All Media
With more than 200 different machines onsite, Econo-Pak can accommodate virtually any project. Flow wrap films, which provide efficient and airtight covering, appear in a variety of multiple and individually wrapped products including chocolates, hard and soft candy, gummies, and more. Flow wrapping also speeds the mail order and e-commerce process.
At Econo-Pak, we can take on nearly any type of flow wrapping project. In addition to our machine fleet, we maintain over 240,000 square feet of production floor space, allowing us to complete orders of any size or scope.
Production Run Time
With three shifts running per day, we offer some of the industry’s best turnaround times for orders ranging from single products to high-demand bulk orders. No matter the quantity, the quality of our packaging solutions remains intact, and we pride ourselves on delivering only the highest-quality final products.
Our HACCP-based quality control system is fully compliant with all FDA regulations. We are also industry certified, holding SQF Level 3, Gluten-Free, Kosher OU-D, and organic certifications along with many others.
Start Flow Wrapping Your Product with Econo-Pak
To learn more about our flow wrapping services, or to enlist Econo-Pak for your next packaging project, contact our team to request your quote today.