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A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Flow Wrapping Machines

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When it comes to packaging solutions, one method stands out for its versatility and efficiency: flow wrapping. Also known as horizontal bagging, flow wrapping is a process that encapsulates a product in a clear or printed film, forming a tightly wrapped package that is sealed on three ends. With an ability to package a broad range of products efficiently, flow wrapping machines have gained popularity in various industries — including food, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods. At Australian Wrapping Company, we proudly offer a selection of top-tier flow wrapping machines designed to meet the diverse needs of our clients.

In this in-depth guide, we will explore the fascinating world of flow wrapping machines, starting from their operational principle to the diverse applications they accommodate. Whether you are new to flow wrapping or seeking to deepen your understanding, this guide aims to provide practical, informative insights that empower you to leverage these machines effectively.

Get ready to embark on an educational journey into the realm of flow wrapping machines. By the end of this guide, you’ll be well-equipped with the knowledge to navigate the flow wrapping landscape confidently, choose the right machine, and utilise it to unlock new efficiencies in your packaging process.

How Flow Wrapping Machines Work

1. Feeding and Product Infeed

The flow wrapping process begins with feeding the products onto the infeed conveyor, either manually or automatically, depending on the flow wrapping machine model. The conveyor transports the products towards the film forming section. Systems can be customised to ensure proper product spacing and alignment.

2. Film Formation and Sealing

As products move towards the film forming section, a roll of film unwinds and wraps around the forming box, creating a tube around the products. Longitudinal sealing takes place by heating the overlapped film edges, ensuring an air-tight seal. This forms the central seal on the backside of the finished package.

3. Cross-Sealing and Cutting

Finally, the machine’s sealing jaws create cross-seals on the package at regular intervals, simultaneously sealing one end of one package while closing the rear end of the adjacent package. A cutting blade separates individual packages, which are then ejected from the machine, ready for further handling or packing.

Diverse Applications of Flow Wrapping Machines

1. Food Industry

Flow wrapping machines have become a staple in the food industry, given their ability to package a wide variety of products quickly and efficiently. Some typical food products packaged with flow wrapping machines include:

  • Baked goods such as biscuits, cookies, and crackers
  • Confectionery items like chocolates, candy bars, and lollipops
  • Snack foods including granola bars, popcorn, and chips

2. Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Industry

Pharmaceutical and personal care products require secure and sanitary packaging. Flow wrapping machines offer an effective solution for packaging items such as:

  • Medical supplies like syringes, bandages, and test kits
  • Personal care products including razors, toothbrushes, and cosmetics

3. Electronics and Consumer Goods Industry

Flow wrapping machines support the packaging needs of the ever-growing electronics and consumer goods sector, capable of handling items such as:

  • Batteries, chargers, and power adapters
  • Stationery items like pens, pencils, and erasers
  • DIY and hardware tools, including paintbrushes and small hand tools

Benefits of Flow Wrapping Machines

1. Rapid Packaging Speeds

Flow wrapping machines boast impressive packaging speeds, capable of processing up to 200 packages per minute, depending on the model and product size. This increased speed significantly reduces production time and enhances overall productivity.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Flow wrapping machines offer cost savings by efficiently using packaging material and reducing wasted film. The use of a single film roll, as opposed to multiple packaging materials, also contributes to cost efficiency.

3. Extended Product Shelf Life

By creating secure, air-tight seals, flow wrapping machines contribute to extending the shelf life of various products. This feature is especially crucial for perishable items like food, ensuring fresh, high-quality products reach consumers.

4. Superior Product Visibility

With the option to use clear or printed films, flow wrapping machines provide excellent product visibility, a critical factor in enhancing shelf appeal and promoting sales. Additionally, the film’s tight fit around the product ensures a professional, tamper-evident appearance.

Selecting the Right Flow Wrapping Machine for Your Needs

Choosing the appropriate flow wrapping machine for your business involves considering several factors, including the types of products you need to package, their dimensions, specific production requirements, and desired packaging speeds.

1. Product Type and Dimensions

Flow wrapping machines can accommodate a wide range of products, but it’s essential to select a suitable machine for your specific packaging needs. Confirm the machine specifications can handle the size and shape of your products.

2. Production Requirements

Consider your production requirements and evaluate the machine’s capability to meet those demands. This may include assessing packaging speed, compatibility with product assembly lines or feeding systems, and the ability to handle multiple packaging options.

3. Custom Features

Some flow wrapping machines offer customisable features that may be desirable for your specific needs. Examples include incorporating date or batch code printing, using specialised film materials, or the ability to integrate gas flushing for modified atmosphere packaging.


Flow wrapping machines offer businesses a versatile and efficient packaging solution capable of accommodating various industries’ diverse product requirements. By understanding the operating principle, diverse applications, and benefits of these machines, you’re well-equipped to select the right machine for your needs and leverage its potential to maximise efficiency in your packaging operations.

As your knowledge of flow wrapping machines expands, your business can unlock new opportunities and elevate your packaging process, positioning you for success in an increasingly competitive market. Armed with the information presented in this comprehensive guide, you’re now ready to tackle your packaging challenges with newfound expertise and confidence.

The Australian Wrapping Company is an expert in providing various services such as shrink wrapping, pallet wrapping, flow wrapping, shrink sleeve applicators, and heat sealer packaging equipment. For flow wrapping solutions, reach out to us today!


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