Flexible packaging is one of the hottest packaging trends on the market, but it does require specialized machinery to transform the 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. There are pros and cons to either method so it’s important that you have a solid understanding of your packaging requirements to help you decide what’s best for your operations.
If you decide to go the DIY route, below are important considerations for selecting an FFS machine that fits your operational and packaging needs.
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 machines dispense contents into the flexible packaging. Due to their different structures, HFFS and VFFS machines are tailored towards certain product types – see which machine will work best with your products.
- 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.
As you can see, the type of product you have 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.
Selecting the Right Machine
After you’ve determined what machine type you need, next you will 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 solid understanding 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.
Flexible packaging is used in a variety of markets and offer many benefits like portability, durability, and product freshness. Although it requires special equipment, the benefits outweigh the negatives for many manufacturers. For more information or to request a quote, please call us at 1-800-475-2235 or fill out the contact form below.