Flexible Packaging Film
What is flexible packaging?
Non-rigid packaging structures used to package and protect products. According to the Flexible Packaging Association, flexible packaging is any package or any part of a package whose shape can be readily changed. Common examples of flexible packaging are bags and pouches.
Converting is simply changing something into a different form. In the case of flexible packaging, converting would be the process of utilizing films, foils and resins and through the process of lamination, forming them into a multilayer structure.
What is extrusion coating?
Extrusion coating is the coating of a molten web of synthetic resin on to a substrate material. The actual process of extrusion coating involves extruding resin from a slot die at temperatures up to 610°F/320°C directly onto the moving web, which is then passed through a nip consisting of a rubber covered pressure roller and a chrome plated cooling roll. The latter cools the molten film back into the solid state and also imparts the desired finish to the plastic surface.
What is extrusion lamination?
Extrusion lamination uses a similar process as extrusion coating, except the extruded hot molten resin acts as the bonding medium to a second web of material.
What is adhesive lamination?
Adhesive laminating is a process that laminates multiple webs of material together using adhesives instead of molten plastic resin. There are multiple types of adhesive lamination systems for flexible packaging, including solventless, solvent-based, and water-based.
What is the difference between mono-extrusion and co-extrusion?
Mono-extrusion is the extrusion of a single resin, whereas co-extrusion is the simultaneous extrusion of two or more different resins into a sandwich-like film with clearly distinguishable individual layers.
Do you form and fill packages?
No, we supply custom-engineered, printed or unprinted:
- multilayer flexible packaging rollstock
- premade pouches (such as stand-up pouches) which are formed, filled, and sealed by contract packaging companies or by manufacturers with packaging equipment
We work with an extensive network of contract packaging companies and can refer you to a contract packaging company if you need forming, filling, and sealing capabilities.
What information do I need to get a quote?
Generally, in order for us to provide a quote we need details such as company name, contact information, item/project name, structure, web width, quantities, and specifications.
If you aren’t sure what flexible packaging structure you need, we have an experienced team of packaging engineers that can assist with structure suggestions and provide resources such as product/package compatibility testing. If you need structure suggestions, it is helpful for us to know the type of filling equipment that will be utilized, the ingredients of the product, and the method of distribution.
For printed items, additional details that will need to be determined are the cut-off, package size, and the number of colors in the art.
Our experienced service team is available to walk you through the process.
What are Im-press’s typical lead times for packaging film?
Typically, for standard new orders, lead times are four to six weeks, and for repeat orders, lead times are two to four weeks. Raw material availability may add to these time frames.
If you're under tight deadlines, let us know and we'll do our best to meet your needs.
For lead times on ExpressWeb narrow web packaging films, please see the Narrow Web Flexible Packaging FAQ's below.
What information is needed to place an order with Im-press?
Once a credit application has been approved, the four categories of information that need to be established are:
- Purchase Order: Includes information on quantity, item identification, requested delivery date, shipping location, invoicing location, special instructions, etc.
- Artwork: Artwork files, PMS colors or samples of specific color matches, and contact information.
- Layout: Front and back copy orientation, graphic position, eyespot location, size, etc.
- Specifications: Material structure, roll dimensions, etc.
Please contact us for assistance with placing an order.
Narrow Web Flexible Packaging Film
Do you offer custom laminations for surface printing?
Yes, in addition to our stocked ExpressWeb flexible packaging films, we can custom-manufacture unprinted flexible packaging laminations ideal for narrow web printers.
What are Im-press’s ExpressWeb standard film widths?
Im-press’s stock narrow web films are carried in 40", 45" & 52" widths, which can be slit to accommodate the needs of an application.
What are ExpressWeb packaging films?
Please visit our narrow web flexible packaging page for further for details on our ExpressWeb surface printable flexible packaging films.
What are the typical lead times for ExpressWeb narrow web flexible packaging materials?
ExpressWeb surface printable flexible packaging films are stocked and ready to ship within two to three business days.
Premade Pouches/Stand-up Pouches
Do you provide filling of premade pouches?
No, we design and manufacture premade pouches. We can offer suggestions for pouch filling companies based on the pouch type and product contents.
What is the minimum order quantity?
This varies widely depending on the project. Please contact our service team to discuss minimum order quantities.
Does Im-press stock premade pouches?
Im-press does not currently stock inventory of premade pouches.
Can you supply prototypes?
Yes, we excel at creating pouch prototypes. We can even supply prototypes printed with your graphics. Please contact our service team to discuss your project.
Vacuum testing is when a premade pouch is tested by filling it with air and submerging it in a water bath using a plate to hold it under water. 15 to 20 Hg (inches of mercury) is drawn by vacuum on the tank and the tank is inspected for air bubbles. Air bubbles would indicate air is escaping the pouch and identify any leaks.
What is your lead time for stand-up pouches?
Im-press works hard to get materials to you when you need them. Please let our service team know your timelines and we will work with you. Generally, on new orders, lead times are 6-9 weeks and on repeat orders 5-7 weeks. Raw material availability may impact these time frames.
What is an inserted gusset?
An inserted gusset is a two web system, applying a secondary web as the gusset.
A folded gusset is when the gusset is formed by using one web folding into the gusset.
What is a tap and gland fitment?
A tap and gland fitment is a push to pour spout where the gland gets welded into the pouch during fabrication. The valve then is applied by pouch filler after the product is filled through gland.
Do you offer pouch venting?
Yes. Please contact our service team to discuss your project.
Printing & Graphics
What is reverse printing?
Reverse printing is the process of printing on the back side of a clear substrate, sometimes referred to as subsurface printing, with a reverse image. In the process of manufacturing flexible packaging the print will be buried between the outside substrate and the rest of the structure, offering scuff and chemical resistance. When the outer substrate is mounted to the remainder of the structure, it will be right reading.
What is the difference between flexographic printing and rotogravure printing?
Flexographic printing is the method of printing on a web press using rubber or photopolymer plates with raised images. Rotogravure printing does not use plates, rather the image is etched directly onto a cylinder. It can be distinguished when looking through a loupe - it has teeth like marks around type and solids.
What kind of ink systems does Im-press use?
Im-press uses solvent based, pigment inks.
Viscosity describes a fluids resistance to flow. In everyday terms, viscosity is the thickness. A liquid with a low viscosity, such as water, would be considered thin. A liquid with a high viscosity, such as honey, would be considered thick. Ink viscosity refers to this resistance of the ink.
Delta E is a color tolerance measurement. It is the measurement of a “sample” color compared to a “reference” color and uses a color difference equation to find the value. Im-press uses the DE2000 equation for our measurements.
GMI, Graphic Measures International, monitors and measures the performance of packaging suppliers. They assist brand owners control the variables through print facility certification and scientific, repeatable measurement of global packaging.
Yes, Im-press has gone through the GMI audit process and is a certified print packaging supplier.
How do I submit a graphics file?
You may email graphics files to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
. We recommend compressing/zipping files prior to sending. When sending files via email, please include a pdf of the artwork.
What is a press approval?
A press approval is the process of being onsite during the printing phase of the manufacturing process for a specific item. A press approval allows you to approve colors and the overall look of the item as its being printed.
How do I arrange a press approval?
At the beginning stages of your project, you may contact your Im-press representative to arrange for a press approval.