Flexible Packaging and How It’s Used
A customer often looks at zip lock pouches, vacuum pouches or stand up pouches with a zip lock at a grocery store. What do you call that type of packaging? The answer to that question is, Flexible packaging.
Let’s roll back a bit and understand packaging first. In layman’s terms, packaging is the art of putting together the content of a product together in a wrapped pouch made with plastic/paper/polyester film.
There are multiple types of packaging: paper packaging, plastic boxes, rigid packaging, foil-sealed bags, poly bags, flexible packaging, chipboard packaging, among others.
This blog will explain what flexible packaging is, we’ll talk about mylar bags in brief and why flexible packaging is immensely growing nowadays.
What is Flexible Packaging?
As mentioned earlier, flexible packaging is any lightweight bag used to pack food items like breads and chips or also used to pack pet food.
These lightweight bags are sealed using pressure or heat and the packaging is printed attractively so that the end consumer makes a quick decision to buy the ultimate product.
Flexible packaging provides a packaging solution to the consumers too. Everyone comes across zip lock pouches in a grocery store, a consumer can buy these pouches to carry his/her lunch to work.
As the name goes, flexible packaging, it definitely fulfills various requirements of a customer.
Flexible packaging uses sealed pouches, lighter materials like plastic and polypropylene. These materials can bend easily and put together to save space.
One such important kind of bags within flexible packaging is Mylar bags, let’s understand what are Mylar Bags and how are they made
Bags used to stock food and grains, so as to avoid oxygen, moisture and light. These bags are prepared to adhere to high tensile strength and to keep the shelf life of a food intact.
How are Mylar Bags made?
Mylar bags are prepared with aluminum foil to resist metallized polyester film.
Mylar is a trademark, held by DuPont. Mylar was initially coined as BOPET (biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate) BOPET bags are polyester film with barrier properties that include gas and chemical stability, moisture resistance and electrical insulation.
Mylar bags are made when a film of molten polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is squeezed out on a chill roll which gets extinguished into an amorphous state and then PET is biaxially oriented by drawing.
How can you print your own Mylar bags?
Printing on Mylar bags is very cost efficient and easy. Companies prefer custom printed Mylar bags so as to create an appeal in the eyes of its customers.
The package design was traditionally printed using three different printing processes: Flexography, Silkscreen printing and Gravure. New technologies are now enabling customers to start printing their own mylar bags. Inkjet printers in particular allow for an unparalleled ability to digitally print these custom bags.
The ArrowJet Aqua 330R can be used for printing on mylar bags.
This inkjet printer comes with the latest technology for printing high resolution labels and also supports flexible packaging with speeds up to 150’/min.
The ArrowJet utilizes a water based pigment ink, which allows for more food safe packaging then other methods of printing this type of material. It can also use a water based varnish or a lamination after printing to treat the bags so their is no direct contact with the inks.
This is especially important when packaging food items. While the inks used on this printer are non-toxic, it is always best to have as little contact with the interior of the material as possible.
After printing, the mylar needs to be sent to a form flex and seal machine which will fold the material and seal it to give it its pouch shape. You can see a full video of the printing and forming process below.
Why is Flexible packaging growing immensely?
Some might argue in the packaging industry that flexible packaging is growing exponentially rather than linearly. To provide some weight to the argument, flexible packaging gives many benefits to the buyers as well as sellers.
Environmentally friendly packaging is the need of the hour. Flexible packaging supports long term food storage for users. They can reuse the bags if need be.
Flexible packaging is less susceptible to dents, tamper evident and lightweight. Child resistant packaging is a growing market, specifically in the cannabis space. Flexible packaging allows for easily creating child resistant and tamper evident packaging for this space.
Sellers enjoy the convenience of customizing bags and print conveniently to create brand image. Custom mylar bags are quickly becoming all the rage in almost every industry.
Food packaging has been never easy before the introduction of flexible packaging. Everyone prefers to carry lunch which does not increase their weight when going to work or school.
Industries are shifting to offer more of packaged products and processed food, hence packaging markets are moving towards adopting more and more flexible packaging methods
Not only food packaging but also the healthcare industry is demanding more and more flexible packaging materials. The flexible packaging materials typically have an oxygen barrier to keep oxygen out. This can be paired with an oxygen absorber to create a long lasting interior for the contents of the packaging.
Flexible packaging is proving to be a cost effective method. Mostly used in low cost products such as chips, biscuits, breads, milk, frozen foods, etc
Due to the lightweight nature of packaging, any user ends up saving space when a sealed zip lock bag is used over a rigid box.
Packaging industry is growing with new methods of packaging and printing coming out. Users rely on a process which helps them save cost and eventually increase their profit.
The right printer when used to print out a custom design on a mylar bag goes a long way for a company.
For more information on different types of printers for printing flexible packaging CONTACT US TODAY!