This is the first article in a series of blog articles intended to educate users new to flow wrapping as well as to help experienced users looking for a quick reference. It covers the basic operational principles of horizontal flow wrapping. These principles are the same for every horizontal flow wrapper, often referred to as horizontal form fill and seal (HFFS) machines.
Every wrapper has an infeed conveyor, a film feed assembly (backstand), a film forming area (former), bottom seal (finseal), a cutting head and a discharge area. Food and non-food products created by processing equipment, are placed on the infeed conveyor of the flow wrapper. This can be done by hand feeding or by using an automated feeding solution. As the infeed conveyor delivers product to the forming area, film is drawn from the film feed assembly into the forming area, where a film tube is formed around the product and a finseal is created. The film tube and the product are then delivered to the cutting head. The cutting head creates the end seals while it cuts apart adjoining wrapped products into individual packages, and delivers the packages to the discharge area. From the discharge area, the packages can be either cartoned at a packing station or accumulated for packing at a later time.
More details on the basic principles of horizontal flow wrapping can be found in Bosch’s Guide to Flow Wrapping. Download your copy today under the “Links and Downloads” section on the Pack 101 flow wrapper webpage on the Bosch Packaging website. This guide contains other sections to assist users in initially setting up their wrapper, film selection, changing over to new products, or solving problems common in flow wrapper operation.