Flow Wrap Machines: Your Guide to Efficient Packaging

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Flow wrapping machine

June 19, 2024


Flow wrap machines have completely changed the packaging business by providing unmatched speed, effectiveness, and adaptability when it comes to encasing a variety of goods in protective film pouches. Via a number of well-coordinated mechanisms, these advanced systems expedite the packaging process from product feeding and conveying to film formation, sealing, and cutting.

Flow wrap machines have become a vital tool for companies looking to streamline their packaging processes because of its versatility in handling a wide range of product sizes, shapes, and materials in sectors such as consumer goods, hardware, food, and pharmaceuticals.

horizontal flow wrap machines

Understanding Flow Wrap Machines

Flow wrap machines are extremely complex packaging devices that cover things in protective film by means of a number of well-coordinated mechanisms. Here’s a thorough explanation of how they work:

Product Feeding and Conveying: Either manually or by means of an automated system, products are first placed on an infeed conveyor belt to start the process. The items are organizedly transported by this conveyor to the machine’s shaping area.

The process of film forming and wrapping involves unwinding a continuous roll of flexible film, usually composed of polyethylene or polypropylene, and shaping it into a tubular shape that encircles the products. This is accomplished by molding the film into the appropriate shape with the aid of a forming shoe or plow.

Longitudinal Sealing: A series of sealing wheels or bars uses heat and pressure to form a longitudinal fin seal down the length of the package as the film envelops the items. This seal is oriented in the same direction as the product flow.

End Sealing and Cutting: A second set of sealing jaws or bars, positioned perpendicular to the product flow, closes the ends of each individual package once the longitudinal seal has been established. The product is completely enclosed within the film by these end seals. A cutting mechanism cuts the sealed packets and the continuous film tube apart at the same time.

Product Discharge: The last stage is removing the sealed, divided packages from the machine and placing them, usually, onto a different conveyor belt for distribution or additional handling.

Product collation, registered printing for branding and labeling, gas flushing for longer shelf life, and connectivity with other packaging systems for ancillary processes like cartoning or case packing are some of the extra features that advanced flow wrap machines may have.

Personal Insight: If you deal with large quantities of items, investing in a state-of-the-art flow wrap machine will greatly streamline your packaging process. These machines’ automation and accuracy increase productivity while guaranteeing a constant level of packaging quality.

Flow wrapping machine

Benefits of Using Flow Wrap Machines

Flow wrap machines are a desirable option for companies in a variety of industries due to their many benefits. Here are a few of the main advantages:

High-Speed Packaging: Among flow wrappers’ most notable benefits is their capacity for high-speed packaging. These devices ensure that packaging keeps up with production by swiftly wrapping single items or batches of products. Some high-end flow wrappers have a maximum pace of 1500 packages per minute, which allows for productive throughput.

Flexibility & Versatility: Flow wrap machines are well known for their adaptability, as they can package a variety of goods, including non-food items like medical supplies and industrial components as well as food items like chocolates, cookies, and bread. Because of its adaptability, flow wrappers can be used in a variety of industries and provide a single packaging solution for a wide range of product kinds.

Accurate Product Presentation: Flow wrappers provide you exact control over the wrapping process while producing tidy, eye-catching packages. This leads to consistently attractive items, which is essential in retail settings where customers’ decisions to buy are influenced by how a product looks.

Extended Shelf Life and Airtight Sealing: Flow wrappers are excellent at sealing products tightly, maintaining their freshness and shelf life. Whether it is delicate electronic components or perishable food items, flow wrapper equipment makes sure that things are shielded from air, moisture, and other elements.

Decreased Material Waste: Because flow wrappers use materials efficiently, less packaging material is needed for each product. Flow wrap machines are considered an environmentally friendly packaging solution due to its ability to reduce environmental impact and save costs.

Simple Automation and Integration: Flow wrapper equipment is simply automated and connected into current production lines, either as a stand-alone unit or as a component of a fully automated packaging system. Packaging procedures are made simplified and efficient by this flawless connection.

Hygienic & Sanitary Packaging: Flow wrappers meet strict sanitary standards in industries like food and pharmaceuticals where product hygiene is crucial. Because of their simple maintenance and cleaning requirements, they lower the possibility of contamination and guarantee product safety.

Flow wrapper equipment provides a variety of bespoke packaging choices, such as altered film compositions, package geometries, and dimensions. This enhances product visibility and brand recognition by enabling firms to customize their packaging to fit unique branding and product requirements.

Cost-Effective Packaging Solution: Flow wrap machines provide organizations a cost-effective packaging solution by decreasing material waste, labor expenses, and increasing overall efficiency. This helps to increase profitability and optimize the bottom line.

Improved Product Protection: Flow wrappers produce sealed packages that serve as a barrier against dust, moisture, and other impurities, guaranteeing that goods arrive in perfect condition for storage and transit. This lowers the possibility of returns or write-offs while also minimizing product damage.

Personal View: Your packaging operations can be revolutionized by embracing flow wrap technology. These devices not only increase productivity and cut expenses, but they also improve the general caliber and appearance of your goods, providing your company a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

flow wrap machine

Types of Flow Wrap Machines

Flow wrap machines come in a variety of varieties, each intended to meet particular packaging needs and output levels:

The most popular kind, known as horizontal flow wrappers, wrap goods horizontally as they travel along a conveyor belt. They work well with a broad variety of products, including non-food things like stationery, hardware, and personal care items, as well as food items like bars, biscuits, and sweets.

Machines known as Vertical Form Fill Seal (VFFS): These devices, as their name implies, form the packing film around the product vertically before sealing it. Products like snacks, spices, and drinks that are granular, powdered, or liquid are frequently packaged using them.

Shrink Wrap Machines: These machines wrap things tightly, usually in a tray or bundle, using heat-shrinkable material. They are widely used to package bottles, multipacks, and oddly shaped goods.

Overwrappers: Overwrappers loosely wrap a film over pre-formed packages or boxes, mostly for branding, tamper-evidence, or extra protection during transit. Flow wrappers construct a tight packaging around the product.

Twist Wrappers: Often referred to as bunch wrappers, these devices are designed specifically for wrapping tiny, single sweets and chocolates by twisting the film on both ends.

Flow wrap machines can be further classified into many categories based on factors such as production speed, hot or cold seal sealing mechanisms, printing, gas flushing, or product collation, as well as automation degree (totally or semi-automated). The decision is influenced by variables such as the product’s attributes, packaging specifications, manufacturing quantities, and financial limitations.

Personal Insight: The particular requirements of your production line play a major role in selecting the appropriate kind of flow wrap machine. Comprehending the distinct benefits of every variety may aid you in choosing a device that not only fulfills your present needs but also expands to accommodate your future expansion.

mask flow wrap machine

Applications of Flow Wrap Machines

Flow wrap machines are widely used in many different industries because of their adaptability and capacity to package a large variety of goods effectively. Among the principal applications are:

Food Industry: Flow wrappers are widely used to package fresh produce like fruits and vegetables, confectionary items like chocolate bars and sweets, and baked goods like bread, biscuits, and pastries. The shelf life is increased and freshness is maintained by the airtight packing.

Pharmaceutical and healthcare: To ensure product integrity and sanitation, these machines are perfect for packaging sterile medical devices, bandages, and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. There is extra security because of the tamper-evident sealing.

Consumer Goods: Stationery supplies including pens and pencils, soap bars, and cosmetics are among the personal care products packaged with flow wrappers. The product’s branding and visibility are improved by the appealing packaging.

Industrial and Hardware: Using flow wrap machines, hardware components, tools, and other industrial products can be effectively packaged to prevent moisture, dust, and damage during storage and transit.

Tobacco Industry: Flow wrap machines are widely used in the packaging of cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco goods. This ensures freshness and creates a seal that is impossible to tamper with.

Flow wrap machines are widely used in a variety of industries due to their adaptability in handling a wide range of product shapes, sizes, and materials. Their application in high-volume industrial situations is further enhanced by their ability to integrate with various packaging technologies and production lines.

My personal opinion: Flow wrap machines are a vital component of contemporary packaging due to their versatility in handling a wide range of products and sectors. Investing in these adaptable devices can greatly enhance overall efficiency and streamline operations if your organization operates in different areas.

Selecting the Right Machine

When selecting a flow wrap machine, it’s crucial to consider several key features to ensure it meets your specific packaging requirements and production needs:

Product Compatibility: Evaluate the machine’s ability to handle your products’ dimensions, shapes, and materials. Ensure it can accommodate any unique or irregular product forms.

Production Speed: Assess the desired output rate and choose a machine with a suitable packaging speed, typically measured in packages per minute. Higher speeds are necessary for large-scale operations.

Film Material Compatibility: Confirm the machine can work with your preferred packaging film materials, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, laminates, or specialized films.

Sealing Mechanism: Determine whether you require hot or cold sealing based on your product characteristics and packaging material. Hot seals are more durable but may not be suitable for heat-sensitive products.

Automation Level: Decide between semi-automatic or fully automatic machines based on your production volumes, labor availability, and budget. Fully automatic machines offer higher speeds but come at a higher cost.

Additional Features: Consider optional features like printing capabilities for branding or coding, gas flushing for extended shelf life, product collation, and integration with other packaging systems.

Vendor Support: Evaluate the vendor’s reputation, training offerings, and after-sales support to ensure optimal machine performance and longevity.

Footprint and Integration: Assess the machine’s physical dimensions and compatibility with your existing production line layout for seamless integration.

Personal Insight: A thorough evaluation of these features, in line with your production requirements and business goals, will help you select the right flow wrap machine. It’s an investment that pays off through increased efficiency and reduced operational costs.

Machine Components and Technology

Flow wrap machines are engineered with precision components and advanced technologies to achieve efficient and consistent packaging. Here are some key components and technologies employed in these machines:

Infeed Systems: Various infeed methods are used to transport products onto the machine’s conveyor belt, including conveyor infeeds, lug infeeds, flighted infeeds, bucket infeeds, vibratory infeeds, rotary infeeds, and robotic pick-and-place systems. The choice depends on product characteristics and production requirements.

Film Delivery and Forming Systems: Rolls of packaging film are mounted on the machine, and the film is unwound and formed into a tubular shape around the products using forming plows or shoes. Servo-driven systems ensure precise film control and registration.

Sealing Systems: Longitudinal and end sealing are achieved through heat-sealing mechanisms like sealing wheels, bars, or jaws that apply heat and pressure to create airtight seals. Advanced machines may use cold seal adhesives for heat-sensitive products.

Cutting Systems: Rotary or guillotine-style cutting mechanisms separate the sealed packages from the continuous film tube, creating individual packages. Precise cutting is crucial for consistent package quality.

Control Systems: Modern flow wrap machines are equipped with programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and human-machine interfaces (HMIs) that allow for precise control, monitoring, and adjustment of machine parameters. These systems ensure consistent performance and enable data tracking for quality control.

Servo-Driven Mechanisms: Servo motors and drives are used to control and synchronize various machine components, such as film delivery, sealing, and cutting, ensuring accurate and repeatable motion. This technology enhances precision and flexibility in packaging operations.

Vision Systems: Advanced machines may incorporate vision systems or product inspection capabilities to detect and reject defective or improperly sealed packages, ensuring consistent quality.

Integration Capabilities: Flow wrap machines can be integrated with other packaging systems, such as product handling equipment, cartoners, case packers, and palletizers, for seamless end-to-end packaging lines.

Personal Insight: Leveraging the latest technologies in flow wrap machines can significantly enhance packaging efficiency and product quality. Investing in advanced features like servo-driven mechanisms and vision systems can provide long-term benefits through improved operational accuracy and reduced waste.

Leading Flow Wrap Suppliers

The flow wrap machine market is served by several reputable manufacturers, each offering a range of solutions tailored to specific industry needs and production requirements. Here are some of the leading manufacturers in this space:

Australian Wrapping Company (AWC): Based in Australia, AWC specializes in designing and manufacturing high-performance flow wrappers for various industries, including confectionery, bakery, cheese, meat, and non-food products. Their TLM range offers compact to high-speed systems with versatile film compatibility.

Nexus Australia: This Australian company provides a comprehensive range of flow wrappers suitable for the food and manufacturing sectors. Their machines cater to different throughput rates, from entry-level to high-speed production lines, and offer various infeed options like conveyor, lug, and robotic systems.

ADM Packaging Automation: As a supplier of Belca flow wrappers in Australia, ADM offers reliable and high-performance solutions built to European and American standards. Belca’s range includes systems for low-speed hand-fed applications to fully automated high-speed packaging lines, suitable for various product types.

Schubert Group: A global leader in packaging machinery, Schubert’s Flowpacker is an integrated flow-wrapping solution that combines pick-and-place robots with a horizontal flow-wrapping unit. This modular design offers exceptional flexibility, allowing rapid changeovers between product formats and sealing technologies.

Minipack: Based in Melbourne, Minipack supplies horizontal flow wrapping machines capable of wrapping products in clear or printed polypropylene films, ensuring a uniform, tape-less seal. Their machines cater to various industries and product types.

Other notable manufacturers in the global market include Hayssen, Bosch, Multivac, and Ilapak, among others. These companies offer a wide range of flow wrap machines with varying levels of automation, production speeds, and specialized features to meet diverse packaging requirements across industries.

When selecting a flow wrap machine manufacturer, it’s essential to consider factors such as machine capabilities, reliability, after-sales support, and compatibility with existing production lines and packaging materials. Consulting with industry experts and conducting thorough research can help identify the most suitable manufacturer for your specific packaging needs.

Personal Insight: Partnering with a reputable flow wrap machine manufacturer ensures you get a reliable, high-quality machine tailored to your needs. Consider long-term support and maintenance services as crucial factors in your decision-making process.


Flow wrapping machines, which provide unmatched efficiency, versatility, and product protection across a range of industries, have evolved into an essential component of contemporary packaging processes. By encasing products in a continuous flow of film material and producing safe, airtight seals that increase shelf life and preserve product integrity, these advanced systems simplify the packaging process.

Flow wrap machines are a popular option for companies looking to streamline their packaging processes because of their high speed and capacity to handle a broad variety of product shapes, sizes, and materials. From consumer goods and industrial components to food and pharmaceuticals, these machines have shown their value in producing aesthetically pleasing and consistent packaging that improves product visibility and branding.

In order to further improve their accuracy, adaptability, and general efficiency, flow wrap machines are integrating cutting-edge technologies including servo-driven mechanisms, vision systems, and smooth interface with other packaging systems. To satisfy the rising demand for ecologically responsible practices, manufacturers are also looking into sustainable packaging options and eco-friendly film materials.

Flow wrap machines have a strong value proposition for companies looking to streamline their packaging processes and beat the competition because of its capacity to cut down on material waste, save labor expenses, and enhance product security. Unquestionably, flow wrap machines will play a significant role in the development of packaging in the future as the need for dependable and effective packaging solutions grows.


What types of products can be packaged using flow wrap machines?

Flow wrap machines are highly versatile and can package a wide range of solid products across industries like food (baked goods, confectionery, snacks), pharmaceuticals (medical devices, bandages), consumer goods (cosmetics, stationery), hardware components, and tobacco products.

How does the speed of flow wrap machines vary?

The packaging speed can range from 50-150 packages per minute for lower-end machines to 300-1500 packages per minute for high-speed, industrial-grade machines, depending on the product characteristics and production requirements.

What are the advantages of using flow wrap machines over other packaging methods?

Key advantages include high packaging speeds for efficient throughput, airtight sealing to preserve freshness and extend shelf life, minimal material waste, versatility to handle diverse product shapes and sizes, improved hygiene through automated processes, and seamless integration into production lines.

What factors should be considered when choosing a flow wrap machine?

Important factors include product compatibility, desired production speed, film material compatibility, sealing mechanism (hot or cold seal), automation level (semi-automatic or fully automatic), additional features like printing or gas flushing, vendor support, and machine footprint for integration into existing production lines.

How do horizontal flow wrappers differ from vertical form fill seal (VFFS) machines?

Horizontal flow wrappers move products horizontally and wrap them in a continuous film, suitable for solid products. VFFS machines form and fill the packaging vertically around the product, often used for granular, powdered, or liquid products.

What are the common film materials used in flow wrapping?

Biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) and polyethylene films are widely used due to their strength, clarity, and compatibility with printing and lamination. The choice depends on the product characteristics and packaging requirements.

By addressing these frequently asked questions, manufacturers and end-users can gain a better understanding of flow wrap machines’ capabilities, applications, and factors to consider when selecting the appropriate solution for their packaging needs.

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    Leon Liu

    Leon Liu


    Hello! I’m Leon, a seasoned Technical Sales Manager with over a decade of immersion in the packaging machinery sector. Currently, I’m putting my expertise to work at Spack Machine, a front-runner in crafting innovative packaging solutions.

    Having a solid educational foundation in mechanical integration and adeptness in marketing and AI tools gives me a unique perspective. I seamlessly bridge the gap between the technical and commercial facets of our offerings. My primary goal? To craft tailored solutions that resonate with our clients’ unique demands, ensuring they benefit from enhanced efficiency and cost savings.

    At heart, I’m driven by my passion to assist businesses in refining their packaging workflows. I firmly believe in a customer-first approach, emphasizing genuine value creation for our partners.

    I cherish connections with fellow professionals from the packaging realm and beyond. Let’s collaborate and chart a course for mutual growth!

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