In the packaging industry, two types of form fill and seal machines, “Vertical and Horizontal form fill sealing machine (VFFS & HFFS)” are popular and widely used. Both are automated assembly-line product packaging systems, commonly used in the packaging industry for food, and a wide variety of other products.
The Vertical form fill sealing machine (VFFS) machine forms the plastic bags out of a flat roll of plastic film, at the same time filling the bags with product and sealing the filled bags. Both solids and liquids can be bagged using this packaging system.
VFFS is one of the simplest and very common product packaging systems used in the packaging industry for food and a wide variety of other products. These machines can be distinguished basis operational performance, technology used OR basis the type of the final product.
The Horizontal form fill sealing machine (HFFS) machine is similar to VFFS except that the flow of the film is horizontal in case of HFFS machine and usually the film is formed around the product and in some cases the product is inserted into the pouches / stand up pouches as in VFFS machines.
HFFS machines are required for the products where product orientation, stacking OR breakage is critical. The continuous motion HFFS machines are commonly referred as Flow Wrappers. These machines can be distinguished basis operational performance, technology used OR basis the type of the final product.
Products Being Packaged
Horizontal form fill machines will best suit products that are solid and easily contained and handled for example products such as small toys OR products where a typical product orientation is required like chocolates, candy bars, etc. OR for making standup pouches / Doypack type pouches, any solid or liquid products can be filled in these pouches…
Vertical form fill seal machines are better for products that are loose, granulated, doughy, or difficult to handle manually. VFFS machines are better suited for things like sugar, liquids, snacks and chips. Depending on the type of product a company is trying to package, one of these machines will typically make more sense.
As mentioned above, the type of product being packaged will typically dictate what machine a company will use. Many food industry applications will be better off using vertical form filling and sealing machines, while HFFS machines are a little more versatile. HFFS machines can package some food items, but have a vast potential for being used to package items from other industries. Vertical FFS machines can be used for a number of things such as fast-food restaurant ketchup packets, gumballs, and more, but the loading mechanisms are not usually ideal for heavier single items. In that case, a conveyer belt will better handle the product.
The machine that’s ultimately best for you is dependent on what industry you’re in and, perhaps more so, what product you are trying to package.