What is flow wrap or flow pack packaging?
Flow wrap or flow pack packaging is a quick, efficient method used in many industries, notably in food manufacturing.
In simple terms, flow wrapping is a process where a product is enclosed in clear or printed film. The film is sealed on all sides to form a flexible package around the product. The end result looks a bit like a pillow, which is why you might sometimes hear it referred to as ‘pillow pack’ packaging.
For your food business, this means your products will be well-protected and sealed tightly so they taste as fresh as they did the day you packaged them.
How does a horizontal form fill seal machine work?
A Horizontal Form Fill Seal (HFFS) machine is a vital piece of equipment in the food packaging industry. They are also commonly called horizontal flow wrap machines or simply flow wrappers.
As its name suggests, a horizontal form fill seal machine performs three main functions: forming, filling, and sealing.
Here’s how it works: The machine takes flat film material and forms it into the shape of your desired package, horizontally. This package is then filled with the product while still in the horizontal flow. This could be anything from a sandwich to a protein bar, a pie, or a tray of cookies. Once your product is securely inside, the machine then seals the package. This will keep your product safe and fresh while looking amazing on the shelf.
What sets the HFFS machine apart is its efficiency and adaptability. It’s capable of handling a variety of product shapes and sizes, and the continuous horizontal flow process makes it highly time-efficient. You can package more products in less time, effectively boosting your productivity and profitability.
What’s the difference between HFFS and VFFS?
The Horizontal Form Fill Seal (HFFS) machine and Vertical Form Fill Seal (VFFS) machine work on similar principles but in different orientations.
In an HFFS machine, the packaging material is fed from a roll in a horizontal direction, hence the name. The machine forms a flat or 3D bag shape, fills it with the product, and then seals it, all in a seamless, horizontal process. This is especially useful for products that are best loaded horizontally due to their shape or handling requirements, like cookies or chocolate.
Meanwhile, in a VFFS machine, the process is vertical. The packaging material is pulled downwards, formed into a tube, and the bottom is sealed to create a bag. The product is dropped in from the top, and then the bag is sealed shut. These are designed for loose, free-flowing products like chips, popcorn, and coffee.