August 31, 2016 - Flexible Packaging

Consider Hot Melt Sealing Technology for Horizontal Form and Fill Applications

Right now in the flexible packaging market, factors fueling growth include growing consumer preference toward convenient packaging as well as pressures for lighter weight, eco-friendly designs. To meet these demands, the flexible packaging market has been relying on new technology and innovations, such as stand up and flat pouches. Let’s take a closer look at the latest flexible packaging innovation for horizontal form and fill applications.

What is Horizontal Form and Fill?

Horizontal form and fill refers to the process of packing an item on a horizontal line. This process can be used to package a wide range of items from candy to medical devices and much more. Horizontal form and fill packing isn’t restricted by the package filling time, unlike the vertical form and fill process.

Using Hot Melt Adhesives for Horizontal Form and Fill

Hot melt sealing technology is primarily for lidding applications. However, this technology can be applied to other applications, including horizontal form and fill. Hot melt adhesives are beneficial in this application for several reasons. Inherently VOC-free, they provide the following advantages over alternative adhesive options:

  • Overall lower raw material cost
  • Reduction in heat sealing temperatures, enabling more sensitive film substrates to be used
  • Ability to seal to multiple substrates

Additionally, converters that already have hot melt equipment can incorporate horizontal form and fill applications into their production lines without needing to buy new equipment.

Using hot melt adhesives for this application enables greater utilization of current hot melt capabilities. This improves efficiencies, which results in lower overall costs. It also provides a way to maximize the technology while maintaining low capital expenditure. Furthermore, these hot melt adhesives already have FDA-compliance and are approved for direct food contact.

How are the Hot Melt Adhesives Applied?

Hot melt adhesives for horizontal form and fill can be applied in two ways:

  • Pattern applied via slot coat
  • Extruded in line

Both of these application methods provide the following benefits over alternative options.

  • Ability to seal at a lower temperature
  • Less dwell time
  • Less disruption to the packaging integrity
  • Increased throughout per piece of equipment
  • Less waste

What Types of Hot Melt Adhesives Work for Horizontal Form and Fill?

Bostik currently has ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) and metallocene adhesive formulations available for this application.

  • EVAs have typically higher hot tack and increased sealing capabilities. They adhere to a broad variety of substrates. If using a polyester film then the EVA formulation is ideal.
  • Metallocenes offer sealing temperatures as low as 160°F and better organoleptic results than other options. If using a polypropylene film, then the metallocene formulation is ideal.

For more information, call 800-7-BOSTIK.

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