For a long time, packaging professionals have been debating on the advantages and disadvantages of pre-made pouches and form fill seal technology. There is no doubt that both technologies have their advantages, but the question we want to address is: Should a small company or startup jump straight into the more complex form fill seal (FFS) technology, or is it better to start with pre-made pouches? We took various factors into account like quality standards, costs, speed, flexibility, expertise required to run a machine and downtime, and these are our conclusions.
Pre-made pouches are a better option for companies that just started replacing rigid packages with flexibles. Later, as the production volume grows, if needed, a company can graduate up to FFS.
With pre-made pouches, a pouch supplier does all the quality checks before delivering pouches to you. With form fill seal, you are responsible for all related quality aspects of the package, since you become the pouch manufacturer. FFS equipment also requires much more expertise to run in comparison to pre-made equipment.
The cost of the equipment for handling pre-made pouches is lower. Filling speeds with pre-made pouches are slower than with FFS, but that also means a lower scrap rate. Pre-made pouches also allow various pouch shapes, various fitment types, and various placements on the pouch. These options are very limited with FFS technology.
Form, fill & seal might work for companies that are looking for very high speeds and that have the same product running through continually. The downside of this technology is the change of the film. It is quite time-consuming so if you are changing products regularly this is not your best option. Some products can sweat in the bag and cause mold and other issues. If you drop an FFS bag it will probably split at the weakest point, down the back seam. A pre-made poly woven bag is much more robust than an FFS bag.
The main advantage with pre-made pouches is the flexibility. You can run a stand-up pouch, sealed pouch, windowed pouch, zipper pouch and various others. Pre-made pouches can also be made with various material finishes: metalized pouch, clear pouch, kraft paper pouch, rice paper pouch, clear pouch, foil pouch and matte/satin pouch.
When it comes to packaging equipment, bags can be loaded manually or with a help of an automatic system. The changeover to different bag sizes and formats can be done in just a few seconds.
So if you are a small company, startup, or you are in the process of replacing your outdated rigid packaging with flexible one – premade pouches are the best solution for you. There are many premade pouch fill & seal machines out there, but one particular solution is about to dominate the market. ROO-100. Developed by Nortech Industries, it can handle a wide range of bag sizes and it features one-touch changeovers and a compact overall footprint. Read more about it here, and don’t hesitate to ask us for a quote!