Companies have endless options when it comes to selecting their product packaging so it isn’t always easy to select the right option. This year, many companies will turn to flexible packaging solutions. The word is out that the benefits expand through the whole supply chain when flexible packaging solutions are utilized. While this isn’t always an option, there is likely somewhere on your packaging line that you can benefit from flexible packaging.
What is Flexible Packaging
According to the Flexible Packaging Association, “flexible packaging is any package or any part of a package whose shape can be readily changed.” Some of the most common examples of flexible packaging include bags, pouches, shrink films, tubes, sleeves and carded packaging.
Companies are constantly choosing flexible materials because of their versatility. These materials conform to the size of the product; this creates cost savings when it comes to shipping.
Examples of Flexible Packaging
Flexible packaging materials are generally film. These applications are broad, and include solutions such as: sachets, bags, stand up pouches, flexible mailers. This is one of the fastest growing segments in the packaging industry due to the customizable nature. As long as the product isn’t marked fragile, it can generally be packaged with a flexible option.
Primary and Secondary Packaging
Flexible packaging options are available for your primary and secondary packaging needs. Primary packaging flexible packaging options are convenient for shipping and for storing on the shelf. With advancements in technology these solutions have become sturdy and common to see. For example, sauces, soups, shampoos and more are being packaged in squeeze pouches.
For secondary packaging, flexible options are convenient as well. One main category that uses flexible packaging is apparel. Flexible mailing envelopes are able to protect the clothing from any weather or moisture, and reduces any extra space that is common when clothing is packaged in a corrugated container.
Add on features
Another benefit of flexible packaging is that you can have a variety of add on features. Here’s some examples: zip closure, perforation for tear-open, fully open top, sliding closure, press and seal, automatic sealing and filling and more. With digital printing, it is also easy to customize flexible packaging to match your branding.
Equipment for Flexible Packaging
Companies have been improving their packaging lines with equipment, machinery, and automation for decades. This has exploded even more with Covid. Additionally, it has become more cost effective to have equipment as advancements have proliferated. In effect, every part of the packaging supply chain can benefit from equipment. For example, automatic bag fillers are essential for some flexible solutions.
Flexible vs. Rigid Packaging
Packaging materials can be broadly categorized into 2 primary categories: flexible and rigid packaging. Flexible packaging is lightweight bags or pouches sealed using heat or pressure. Flexible packs can be modified or customized with ease. They are manufactured at low costs but offer minimal protection from compression or perforation. On the other hand, rigid packaging usually include tin cans, cardboard or plastic boxes, or glass containers. These options usually cost more but are more protective.