How do I fill flexible packaging?

In order to fill flexible packaging with product contents, you will need specialized machinery to transform the printed material into a finished product. Since we’re a printing company, we won’t be able to package your product, however, you can purchase a form-fill-seal (FFS) machine or outsource to a co-packer to package the product. If you decide to purchase your own FFS machine, there are some things you should know.

HFFS vs VFFS Machines:

There are two types of FFS machines for flexible packaging: horizontal and vertical (HFFS and VFFS respectively). The main difference between the two is how the machine dispenses contents into the flexible packaging. Due to their different structures, HFFS and VFFS machines are tailored towards certain product types.

  • HFFS: Best suited for solid, single-item products that are easily contained and handled like candy bars, small toys, bar soaps, etc.
  • VFFS: Vertical filling is best for products that are loose, granulated, mushy, or difficult to handle manually. VFFS machines work great for sugar, salt, liquids, chips, creams, oils, and gels.

Ultimately, your product will dictate what machine type to get. If you have multiple product lines that range from solid to semi-solid, you will need both machine types which can be difficult to accommodate if you don’t have the capabilities, resources, or space to have both machines. Working with a co-packer can resolve those issues for smaller manufacturers.

After you’ve determined what type of FFS machine you need, next you’ll need to search for manufacturers that can provide further expertise. There are a variety of HFFS and VFFS machines on the market that are designed with varying capabilities to fit into different manufacturing settings. Having a thorough knowledge of your product(s), packaging requirements, and operational capabilities will be a great help when you’re shopping for a machine. With that information, FFS machine manufacturers will be better able to guide you to machine models that best fit your needs.