SynchroGroup’s Area Manager, Toni Gil, interview in Packaging News

Toni Gil, as an expert from the flow wrapper world, answered those questions frequently asked by equipment buyers. 
Linda Searby, journalist: I am looking at buying a horizontal flow wrapper. How much should I expect to spend?
Toni Gil, export manager, Synchrogroup: Within the Synchrogroup range, you will find an entry level, fully electronic flow wrapper starting from about £25,000 for the manual feed option, right up to £85,000 for a high speed machine that can connect to a fully automatic infeed system.
Searby: Do all flow wrappers use heat sealing or are there other sealing options?
Gil: Flow wrappers can also work with cold sealing films when the product is heat sensitive. These films are mainly used to wrap chocolate products at very high speed and are traditionally more expensive than heat sealing films.
Searby: What pouches will I be able to produce? Can I produce stand-up doy pouches?
Gil: Flow wrap machines can produce pillow type pouches, with or without side gussetting, when using a single film roll (top or bottom), or four side sealed pouches when using a machine with two reels (top and bottom). Synchrogroup is one of the few manufacturers to offer a two roll machine.
Searby: What closure options are available for flow wraps?
Gil: Flow wrap bags can be provided with a resealable ‘window’. A typical example is a wet wipes pack. While it is also possible to apply a zipper along the length or width of the pack, the technical complexity of the applicators means that this option has not really taken off. Other options include easy opening systems like zig-zag end cut, ‘V’ notch or tear tapes.
Searby: How much flexibility is there to change between different pack formats and sizes and what is involved in changeover?
Gil: The major benefit of Synchrogroup’s electronic flow wrappers over traditional mechanical flow wrappers is ease of changeover. A complete format change may take no longer than 5-10 minutes if parameters such as sealing temperatures, bag length, print centring and running speed are all part of the product recipes the user creates and stores in the machine control software. Machines can be supplied with fixed or adjustable forming boxes. In the case of fixed, a dedicated forming box is required for each product size. Adjustable forming boxes can be set up for all formats just by changing their settings.
Searby: How much and what maintenance will the machine need?
Gil: Synchrogroup electronic flow wrappers are virtually maintenance free as we don’t use mechanical parts such as chains and belts.
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