It goes without saying that every industry has its own particular needs when it comes to picking a bulk packaging system. Each different system will suit different businesses, as well as their different products, so it is worth doing the right research before deciding on the best one for your company.
Of course, your available budget will also play a large part in which industrial packaging you require, and you need to ensure you are getting not only the correct system but one that can be relied on to perform day in, day out.
Which type of system you choose will depend on so many variables it is difficult to condense into one article, but here is a quick run-down of the more commonly used ones.
Form, fill and seal machines (FFS)
FFS machines are a popular form of industrial packaging, most commonly used to pack a wide range of food products, but also used for other solids and liquids.
An FFS machine works by creating a bag out of a hitherto flat roll of material while filling the bag with the food or product involved and then creating a seal on the bag when it is full.
One advantage of an FFS machine is that it can work at a high speed. They are also relatively economical to run, as the film is usually cheaper to buy than ready-made bags. This saves money on running costs, although you do have to bear in mind that the film will need to be regularly replaced.
Vertical form, fill and seal machines (VFFS)
Similar to FFS machines, the VFFS machines are highly suitable for industries with high outputs, as they can operate at very high speeds – up to one bag a second – to package a wide range of goods.
They work by filling each bag with the product before heat-sealing it, then labelling it as required and cutting the bag automatically.
VFFS machines can be used for all manner and size of bags, including small packages such as sachets and much larger bags, and for a variety of types of food as well as other products such as fertiliser.
Valve bag fillers
Valve bag fillers can be used for a number of different goods, including sugar and flour. They work using a two-stage system to fill the bags at two different rates, slowing down when the bag is nearly full to ensure weight accuracy.
Valve bag fillers have the advantage of being simple to use and adjust, as well as being consistent and accurate. They are relatively small, too, so take up a minimum of space.
Open mouth baggers or pre-made bags
This type of industrial packaging system is flexible and can be used with a wide range of bags.
Food-wise, they are most commonly used for dry goods such as flour and cake mixes and can be operated with different types of filling methods including gravity and vibratory feeding.
Although slower than FFS systems, they allow businesses to package more unusual products and offer the opportunity to use more robust bags than those typically used with the FFS method.