There is an upsurging demand for laminated film packaging driving the bags and pouches segment in the form fill seal equipment market.

1. What are Form Fill Seal (FFS) Machines?

Form Fill Seal (FFS) machines are packaging machines in which the filling and sealing of a package take place on the same machine.

Form Fill Seal machines are highly sophisticated that feature computer interfaces and control networks. Many companies prefer to use FFS systems as they are included with greater benefits such as speed and versatility. With the increase in demand for lightweight and economical packaging solutions, the demand for laminated film bags has increased.

There are two types of Form Fill Seal Machines (FFS). They are:

  • Vertical Form Fill Seal (VFFS) Machines
  • Horizontal Form Fill Seal (HFFS) Machines

2. Vertical Form Fill Seal (VFFS) Machines

In theory, all vertical packaging machines work the same. A flat web of film, originating from a large roll of film at the start of the machine, is shaped into a tube. This tube is closed at the bottom: this is the bottom of the new bag. As soon as the product is dispensed into the bag, the top side is also closed. The time and steps that are needed to make one bag are collectively called a machine cycle. The development of these machines, partially made possible by the introduction of plastic packaging materials was an effective answer to the increasing demand for the mechanization of all possible aspects of the production processes.

Types of laminated film bags

In principle, VFFS machines produce three types of bags. Within these main types, there are countless possible variations in model, length, and width.

  • Products such as fresh vegetables, chips, or candy are usually packaged in a pillow bag. This bag shape is also called a flat bag.
  • A common variation on the pillow bag is the gusset bag and it is usually presented in combination with a carton or box around it. It is commonly used for packaging breakfast cereals.
  • A bag that can stand up with a flat bottom often referred to as a block bottom bag and is used for cookies or coffee, for example.
  • The doy bag is another form of a stand-up bag and is often referred to as a stand-up pouch.

There is a huge variety of packaging materials that can be processed on VFFS machines: however, virtually every product has a number of unique requirements. Screws should not poke through the packaging, salty snacks have to remain crispy as long as possible, and the aroma of the coffee cannot be lost, just to name a few obvious examples. In addition to single-layer packaging materials, laminates are often used, in which each layer has a specific function attuned to the product.

Other interesting page: Compare the difference of LDPE film and HDPE film

3. Horizontal Form Fill Seal (HFFS) Machines

In addition to vertical machines, there are also horizontal packaging machines, that work in roughly the same way. Horizontal machines are used for example for packaging candy bars, granola bars, individually packed candies, and trays of cookies or other sweets. The product is not dropped from above into a film web formed into a tube but is slid into it horizontally or placed on it.

4. Requirements for laminated film materials

Nearly every product influences the selection of packaging material.

Combined with the ever-increasing demands that consumers, organizations, and governments place, there are now countless different packaging materials. Some film materials consist of a single layer (monofilm); but usually, materials consisting of multiple layers (laminates) are used.

Polyethylene (PE) is often used as a sealing medium. In addition, this stretchable material is also used as a monofilm. It is not air-tight but it is moisture-proof, rendering it suitable for packaging frozen products, cereal, for example, that do not emit any odor and that cannot spoil due to oxygen exposure.

The second type of monofilm is polypropylene (PP), a material that can be sealed reasonably well. It is very clear and easy to tear open, which explains why it is used for transparent candy packages, among other things.

There are two main sealing systems. The choice of one or the other system depends on the packaging material used.

  • Heat-sealable packaging materials, which include most laminates, are sealed with a heat-sealing system.
  • For sealing low melting point materials such as polyethylene, a special polyethylene sealing system or PE-sealing system is used.

5. Bags packed from rollstocks

The Pillow bag

The pillow bag or flat bag is the simplest bag shape. To prevent pleats in the cross seams, there are bag spreaders at the bottom of the forming tube.

The gusset bag

The gusset bag, a variation on the pillow bag, is generally used for products that are then packaged in a cardboard box, such as breakfast cereal. In this type of bag, the extra packaging material is folded inwards on both sides. This side-fold makes the bag less wide but gives it extra depth during filling so that the space in the cardboard box can be better utilized.

The bag with a block bottom

The bag with a block bottom or stand-up bag, in which coffee or cookies, for example, are packaged, is yet another variation of the gusset bag. At the bottom of the forming tube, a mouthpiece is attached that extends from the round shape of the forming tube to the rectangular form of the bottom of the bag with a block bottom. Some manufacturers use a rectangular forming tube instead of around one.

Other bag shapes

All other bag shapes that can be made on these machines are derived from the above basic shapes. Some examples:

  • Four sides sealed bags, known from such products as coffee pods;
  • Pyramid bags, in which gummies are packaged, for example;
  • Three sides sealed bags such as those used for 250-gram packaging of candy.

With many years of experience in the field of laminated film packaging, Union packaging ensures that packaging materials are safe for products and suitable for high-speed packaging machines. Our rollstocks are suitable for both vertical and horizontal packaging machines and will greatly assist in the production of your goods.

5. A supplier of prestigious and quality plastic films

Union Packaging with many years of experience in the field of providing plastic films and plastic packaging is manufactured from virgin plastic particles and meets FDA standards. Customers can rest assured when cooperating with us because Union Packaging always ensures:

  • Customer satisfaction is the number 1 priority
  • Outstanding product quality from stable sources of quality goods from Taiwan and China
  • Competitive price
  • Reputation builds a brand
  • Product safety certification
  • Fast shipping
  • Various payment policies
  • Enthusiastic, dynamic, and creative staff
  • Providing a wide range of plastic films for packaging materials
  • Being a close partner of many suppliers

Union Packaging is a reputable and experienced supplier of OPP, CPP, MCPP, PET, MPET, PE laminated film…. in the industry. We always try to research, develop and improve product quality, improve customer care ability to meet the increasing demands of the domestic and foreign packaging market. Please contact us now: 0987 437 469 – 0903 750 384 for specific advice and quotation.


Address: No. 5, 3643A Street, Pham The Hien, Ward 7, District 8, HCMC

Tel: 0987 437 469 – 0903 750 384


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