1. Know their Process

Although flow packaging and overwrapping are similar in name, they are different packaging technologies; they pack different types of products, use different equipment, and achieve different functions. Below we will describe each process and the differences between them.

Flow Wrapping vs Overwrapping (1)

2. Overview of flow wrapping

Flow packaging sometimes referred to as pillow bag packaging, horizontal bagging, fin-seal packaging, is a horizontal movement packaging process used to cover any geometric shape of the product with transparent or custom printed polypropylene film. The finished packaging is a flexible bag with a crimped seal at both ends.

The flow packaging process uses a flow packaging machine, which designs and manufactures a wide range of products to achieve different aesthetic appearances and feelings. With these machines, the following actions will occur:

  • Place the product on the infeed conveyor
  • The product is transported to the forming area
  • Pack the product with sealing material
  • The outer edge of the material fits along the bottom
  • Use pressure, heat or both to form a tight seal between adjacent edges
  • The movement of the product, through the rotating cutter edge or end seal crimping machine to seal both ends, and from another separate package
  • Unload the packaged product for storage and/or further packaging operations

3. Overview of Overwrapping

Unlike flow packaging, overwrapping is only used for packaging and sealing the flat surface of the product, such as boxes, cartons, and trays in heat-sealing film. The end result is a packaged product that is packaged and sealed, much like a gift. This process is suitable for adding secondary packaging to packaged products to maintain freshness and combine individually packaged products.

Similar to flow packaging, overwrapping utilizes specialized equipment, for example. , Packaging machines. These machines do the following:

  1. Push the product through the heat sealing film from a larger roll
  2. Fold the film around the product
  3. Heat-sealed film on the overlapping part
  4. Use a shape plate to form an envelope-like end, and seal it with a heating plate or conveyor belt
  5. Unload the packaged product for storage and/or further packaging operations

4. The difference between flow packaging and overwrapping packaging

When deciding on flow packaging and overlay packaging for packaging operations, it is important to keep in mind the differences between them. For example, flow packaging is suitable for products of various shapes, while overwrapping is only suitable for flat products. In addition, flow packaging is used to protect products from damage and degradation, while overwrapping allows multiple packages to be combined into a unit, making it easier to store and deliver.

5. Which method should you choose?

Both flow packaging and overlay packaging provide unique advantages, but sometimes it is clearly better to use one than the other. Below we outline some of the key advantages and applications of each packaging technology.

6. Benefits and applications of flow packaging

Some of the benefits of using flow packaging methods to package products include:

  • Wide size tolerance: Flow packaging can adapt to various product shapes and sizes.
  • Sealing: The seal formed by the flow packaging process isolates air and moisture, keeps the packaged products fresh, and extends the shelf life.
  • Easy to set up and operate: The flow packaging machine can be used to easily adjust different product parameters, including size and shape.

Based on the above reasons, flow packaging has been widely used in the entire industry. It is often used in the food and beverage, medical, pharmaceutical, tool and hardware industries to package their products, such as candy bars, baked goods, soaps, lotions and duct tape.

7. Benefits and applications of overwrapping

Overwrapping provides many manufacturing advantages, such as:

  • Versatility: The overwrapping can be used in a variety of ways, including as the main packaging of the product, as a method of bundling individual products into a single multi-packaging unit, or as further protection for the packaged product.
  • Attraction: The overwrapping creates a sleek packaging appearance.
  • Tamper-proof: Since the overwrapping requires special equipment to be used correctly, it is obvious whether it has been tampered with or removed.
  • Compound control: The overwrapping prevents contaminants (allowing a longer shelf life) and keeps the internal compounds (helps to contain strong odours).

Many consumer industries use overwrapping. The most common of these include the food and beverage, healthcare, and personal care industries, which use this process to package commodities such as frozen meat, tea boxes, paper towels, cold medicines, and lipsticks.