Traditional Pouching Methods versus the Patented Roll Pouch Methods

Introduction

This white paper addresses the technological differences, processes and products of traditional premade pouch making as well as form fill seal applications and compares each to the Roll PouchTM method of making and filling pouches.

With the examples and illustrations provided, the efficiency gains and cost savings for the patented Roll PouchTM process of making stand-up pouches on a roll quickly become evident.

1. Traditional Premade pouch making                   

The traditional method of premade pouch making allows for high quality pouches of various sizes and shapes to be made from a single machine.

This is an efficient way to produce pouches and allows some economy to be achieved at low to mid volume runs.  These efficiencies stem from a mature process offering, optimized controls and minimal tooling change for various sizes and styles.

Since there are many converters in the flexible packaging industry who supply quality films and quality pouches, it is easy to see why this method is chosen for small to mid-size operations and volumes.

Traditional pouch process

Drawbacks to Premade Pouching:

Although the premade pouch process is quite efficient these days, the real drawback to this process is the additional filling and handling of the pouches for brand owners, end users or co-packers once the premade pouches are delivered for filling.

The filling equipment in today’s market for premade pouches is not as efficient and has many limitations with size range, pouch handling and low through-put speeds.

With the complexity of picking one pouch at a time, the filling lines for premade pouches, tend to have many operational issues, require increased maintenance attention and are very dependent on the individual pouch characteristics that are delivered to the filling and sealing line.

Some of these issues include the coefficient of friction of the pouch surface when advancing and indexing the individual pouches, which tends to leave opportunities for frequent equipment misfeeds, jamming and skewing of the pouches.  Premade pouch “curling” or “flatness” can also cause these same challenges.

Special pouch configurations, such as liquid pouches, stand-up pouches and reclosable pouches, do not stack or bundle conveniently. This severely limits the handling efficiency of these to one pouch at a time and requires tooling to guide and manage the process that is specific to each pouch size and configuration.  This alone significantly increases both changeover time and upfront tooling costs.

For example, if a reclosable premade pouch is not shipped to the end user with the reclosable feature (zipper) in the designated open or closed position for that particular filling equipment, the filling equipment is not able to open/close it independently and this results in a mis-fill or rejection on the line.  Either way, the process line is compromised and efficiency is lost.

Traditional pouch filling machines



 
Premade pouch fill and seal systems

 2. Pouch Form Fill Seal Process

 The form fill seal process of pouch making is exactly as it is defined. The process takes a pre -printed roll of film, unwinds it, forms it into a pouch, shape seals it and opens the pouch for filling.

There are two types of form fill seal machines -- horizontal and vertical.  Each machine is typically built around a specific single style of pouch and occasionally has a limited range of sizes for that one style.

Each form fill seal machine has its own unique application.  Vertical form fill seal machines are generally limited to flat satchel style pouches while horizontal form fill seal machines lend themselves to greater versatility such as stand-up pouch configurations.  Neither of these options has the flexibility to allow the multiple pouch configurations or size ranges that premade pouching equipment have.

Drawbacks to Form Fill Seal Pouching:
Even though the process sounds simple and economical, it has drawbacks and challenges.

One of the biggest drawbacks is maintaining consistent pouch inspection and quality; e.g. leak detection and hermetic seal quality.

The form fill seal market has no efficient and consistent way of ensuring the package that you are putting your products into is leak proof and hermetically sealed, so you may not be getting the shelf life you are expecting for your products.

This is a huge drawback for brand owners, and presents itself with product reputation concerns and product quality issues, not to mention potential product liability concerns.

These form fill seal systems also do not lend themselves to high through-put (being a one-up process), therefore the only way to achieve higher volumes is additional capital expenditure for added equipment lines in order to increase the through-put.

Traditional Form Fill Seal Systems

 
Horizontal Form Fill Seal System

3. Solving the pouching and filling application issues with the patented Roll PouchTM System

The patented Roll PouchTM system truly represents the best features available of both the premade and form fill seal technologies, combining them to utilize these features in order to increase efficiency and consistency while providing significant cost savings and shrinking the return on investment window.

Roll PouchTM utilizes a unique process technology for making the premade pouches, while leaving the pouches on a roll for greater ease and less handling at the filling process.

The Roll PouchTM system manufactures the pouches on a roll from a premade pouch line, in a transverse method, which simply allows the pouches the ability to be unwound end to end for the filling process. This ensures all the benefits and flexibility of premade pouching remain, while the end user will benefit from a simplified efficient method to process and fill the pouches once the pouch is produced.

One of the key benefits to the Roll PouchTM system’s premade pouch making flexibility is the ability to offer easy set-up and changeovers for multiple pouch sizes and configurations.  Quality control is easily managed because you are not filling the pouch at the same time you are forming it, as you would in a form fill seal method. This leaves room for multiple inspection points and methods prior to the filling operation.

Unique Roll-Pouch Patented Pouch Making Process


Diagram: shows the method of making pouches transversely as compared to traditional pouch manufacturing methods. This makes it efficient to run multiple up formats while allowing for the pouches to be wound on a roll for the filling lines.
 
The Roll PouchTM process solves the pouch handling issues inherent in the form fill seal process by leaving the pouches connected and allowing them to be roll fed into the filling line. This feature in turn resolves the issues of coefficient of friction of the pouch surface when advancing and indexing the individual pouches which would result in equipment misfeeds, jamming and skewing as mentioned earlier.  Additional efficiency is gained by eliminating the time required for the picking device to select an individual pouch, hence increasing the thru put.

Roll Pouch Filling Process (single or Multiple up Configurations)


When compared to the form fill seal machine, Roll PouchTM offers greater flexibility of pouch configurations and sizing the same as premade pouching lines. This design offers brand owners the ease to switch from one package size to another; e.g. from snack size package options up to the club (bulk) food chain pouch size packaging requirements.

As stated in previous sections both fill and seal lines and form fill seal lines lend themselves to a one-up operation, truly limiting the throughput of the end product and requires additional equipment and capital expenditure to handle added volume.

Roll PouchTM solves this issue with its ability to manufacture and fill pouches in a multiple-up format.  In the time required to fill and seal a single pouch using the traditional methods, a manufacturer can now potentially fill up to five pouches at once on a Roll PouchTM system thus providing an exponential increase in through-put.
 
Cost Savings Analysis:
The cost comparison below shows the direct capital cost structure of the Roll PouchTM system in relationship to traditional form fill seal applications.

The Roll PouchTM system advantage reduces the packaging costs by almost 100%

 4.  Fit-for-use applications for Roll PouchTM Technology?

It’s essential that end users, brand owners, and converters use the appropriate flexible packaging material for the application at hand.  If a converter is looking to package a dry or wet foods, pow­der ingredients, lotions, oxygen sensitive products, etc., the Roll PouchTM system can accommodate various flexible packaging materials and many product type applications:
  • Dry Powder products
  • Granular Products
  • Pastes and semi solids
  • Agricultural and Chemical Products
  • Retort applications
  • Medical Packaging
  • Bulk item packaging
  • Liquids Packaging
The patented Roll PouchTM system technology offers users the ability to efficiently and easily apply additional features on the pouch such as fitments, zippers, etc.

Below you will see the process outline which allows the manufacture of liquid pouches inline in a multiple up format.  This gives the Roll PouchTM method of manufacturing a multiple tier productivity jump over the traditional manufacturing methods, by offering a fixed datum point that is not under tension to insert and seal fitments in line for liquid pouch applications.


Conclusion

The Roll PouchTM process can be easily integrated into most pouching applications in order to achieve the stated efficiencies and cost savings and allow both brand owners and end users significant gains in productivity as compared to traditional methods of pouch manufacturing and filling.
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