INTRODUCTION

Taking a plunge into the past, it is quite evident that the flexible packaging industry has been undergoing some tactical reforms and these reforms/changes have been very busy creating what can be termed a “revolution” which has now lead into a new era of packaging Standardization which is currently being undergone.

CHAPTER 1、WHAT ARE SPOUT POUCHES?  
CHAPTER 2、BRIEF HISTORY OF SPOUT POUCHES.
CHAPTER 3、BENEFITS OF SPOUT POUCH
CHAPTER 4、WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN GOING FOR SPOUT POUCH.
CHAPTER 5、HOW TO PRODUCE SPOUT POUCH AND ENSURE QUALITY
CHAPTER 6、ADVANTAGES OF SPOUT POUCH OVER  RIGID ALTERNATIVES
CHAPTER 7、HOW POUCH MAKING MACHINES WORK.
CHAPTER 8、REASONS WHY SPOUT POUCH IS GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
CHAPTER 9、AVOIDABLE MISTAKES WHEN USING SPOUT POUCH.
CHAPTER 10、TO SWITCH FROM OTHER FORMS OF PACKAGING TO SPOUT POUCH.

Flexible packaging as we all know it is a form of packaging in the industry that has come to stay.

The form of flexible packaging which would be discussed here is the simple, modern and elegant spout pouch packaging which would change the packaging world of the 21st century as we all know it on so many levels.

The spout pouch is known to be able to come in different format and designs which includes the common shape and it can also be customized uniquely for a customer so that it would be able to be distinctively identified on the shelves of shopping malls and retail outlets, not only does spout pouch aids distinct identification, it also helps in stylishly recognizing products, the convenience and other functionality it proposes to suit an always rising range of product applications.

The spout pouch can be customized to give room for contents that are sensitive to oxygen through the lamination of a basic structure to a multilayer material that blocks out the inflow of oxygen.

Spout pouch can be customized with single and multiple colored designs or digital printing that attracts customers and in the case of new businesses, full panel labeled for initial new market introductions.

The spout pouch has been tested and trusted to increase the value and widen the horizon of market opportunities for both infant and already established companies where the normal traditional packaging containers fail to rise up.

One of the perfect use for spout pouch- For both broth packaging.

There are instances whereby companies have partnered spout pouches with the traditional rigid containers packaging to give their customers to pick any of the two which suits their preference.

There is a wonderful marketing strategy that has been developed which utilizes the used spout pouch as a form of refill to promote their brand loyalty and address the always desired sustainability at the same time.

So we can term it to be killing two birds with just a stone. This marketing strategy also serves as a way of giving an opportunity to provide transition towards spout pouch packaging as the go-to choice of packaging in the future.

Entering a retail store without seeing several arrays of distinct flexible packaging products is quite impossible in the 21st century.

Spout pouch has covered a huge range of upcoming but innovative and value-added products categories.

The specification of spout pouch where it stands has also proven to be an unbeatable advantage of vastness in marketing as the spout pouch can efficiently be marketed in different ways to appeal to bidding customers.

Some of the marketing strategies include; on the shelf as a stand-alone presentation, in a tray or packed in cartons it can even be hung for drive-by or for a shop and go display.

Rack by rack, customers are introduced to a wide array of changes in the packaging industry and this is impacting a wide array of choices for shoppers in terms of new products introductions and specifications.

Spout Pouch is one of the latest/ most recent forms of flexible packaging but it has already caused significant improvement in liquid products packaging.

As we all know, spout pouch is a form of stand up pouch. Stand up pouches offers a wide array of services which majorly includes protection and convenience but there are other additional benefits that customers would gain from purchasing spout pouch packaged products.

The idea that this pouch protects liquids from vapor, odor, moist and pests is only a scratch in the surface of why spout pouch is superior to most other packaging bags.

CHAPTER 1、WHAT ARE SPOUT POUCHES?    

Generally, people know that spout pouch is a subdivision of stand up pouch.

Stand up pouches can be generated through a scientific process in which multiple firm layers are manufactured together to produce a barrier bag which is strong, puncture resistant and it is also stable.

For products like beverages, and some perishable liquids that make use of spout pouch packaging, which is re-closeable and produced with a weld spout and cap, that helps to seal the freshness, fragrance and nutritional qualities of these products and makes them look like they were just manufactured.

There are ways in which these spouts can be manufactured to control the spill, make them convenient and hence suitable for a wide range of products majorly liquids such as beverages, sauces, creams,  cleaning agents, deodorants etc. The size and form of spout pouches can be customized specifically for each client.

Though when spout pouches are being manufactured it is important to focus on strength and durability of these pouches.

While focusing on these, the flexibility of these pouches cannot be neglected so that they can be conveniently stored in garages, hall closet, RV cupboard, kitchens or even the booth of a motor vehicle.

The major thing flexibility does is to aid convenience which of course, is a product of spout and cap, which extends the useful life/ shelf life of the contents of the pouch and also provides protection for the contents in the spout pouch against leakages and spillage.

Going by the name, stand up spout pouch packaging is endorsed to do what its name represents which is “standing up”.

So, manufacturing companies/ clients make use of this flexible packaging technique to stand out on the shelf apart from its competitors.

For liquid contents with smaller spout pouches, round and sombrero style hang holes would provide grocery shoppers and other retailers another option for display.

One of the reasons why spout pouch is now the regular go-to flexible packaging style is because of the width and length of the pouch panels which is quite broad and it is enough to accommodate company labels or stickers and it is suitable for custom printing which could be derived from clear film all of which would definitely attract/ get the attention of an undecided shopper.

Out of every 10 shoppers, at least 6 that are in the retail store are undecided on the brand to purchase. An enticing packaging style such as the spout pouch packaging is enough to convince them to go for the product even if they might not have purchased the product before.

CHAPTER 2、BRIEF HISTORY OF SPOUT POUCHES.

With the rapid increase in flexible packaging which was not predicted before, there has been a very porous demand in the flexible packaging industry whether for pouches which included side, seal, zip locks, stand up pouches.

There are some advantages which can be tagged to pouches and they are well known to be much more resource efficient and fewer costs are involved which would be termed “cost-effective” whenever it is been compared to other forms of the flexible and rigid form of packaging techniques.

About 60 years ago, there has been packaging, but the only form of packaging available then was cellophane for flexible packaging. Then in the 1960’s alternatives such as polypropylene, polyethylene and coated papers were introduced.

Later on, there came a huge development where co-extrusions, coatings, and laminations came into existence. Between the 1960’s and the next 10 years, flexible packaging grew bigger and that was what lead to the establishment of pouches.

Spout pouches became a household name in such a way that every family/ household you go to would always have spout pouches and this is due to the use of material features and the fact that it is customer friendly which led spout pouches to grow further ahead.

Initially, the inception of spout pouches was done in the year 1963 by Louis Doyen who was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the French machinery manufacturer Thimonnier and then later gained US patent.

The sample design which was first done by Doyen was made by assembling two flat sheets sealed together along the sides with a fold running along the bottom and it was sealed to the edge of the tube with an upside-down shaped section.

The pack done by Doyen had a wonderfully made pouch design, but it should be noted that it did not progress any further because of the costs incurred when producing it compared to its competition which was the flat pillow pouches and all other styles of packaging whether flexible or rigid.

In 1980’s a company was involved in existence and they were leading the market because they used spout pouches for its juice drinks and the company was registered as CapriSun.

The company was registered in the United States of America. Its sales were booming before the arrival of competition.

The patent received by Doyen later expired, however, stand-up pouches became a boom has it experienced huge success and it later became a force to reckon with in the flexible packing industry and other markets.

Stand-up pouches started replacing other forms of packaging such as cans, bottles, plastics, and paper begs etc.

DoyPack which was the first type of stand up pouch is still in existence up till date, however, many of these packs come with added features, add-ons, and fitments.

Up to date, the stand-up pouch market remains ever growing and is still advancing in terms of technology and the demand for the spout pouch is also growing hugely.

Despite the growth, companies are being innovative and creative and loads of designs, patterns, and forms are released every day and there is no sign it would stop or crash anytime soon. There is no crime in saying Spout Pouch is here to stay.

CHAPTER 3、BENEFITS OF SPOUT POUCH

Spout pouch has numerous benefits, but the key benefits would be discussed here and they include:

  • They have the easy re-closeable quality which helps customer convenience.
  • On shelf product differentiation
  • space saver during transport.
  • Spout pouches guarantees protection from outside moisture, oxygen,odor..

Spout pouch is recyclable and they require less fuel during transportation because of their lightweight.

Spout pouch has the easy re-closeable quality which makes them user-friendly and makes it convenient for customers.

The simplicity of the spout pouch makes it the go-to method of flexible packaging for producers because it is really convenient for their prospective customers.

Anytime, goods that are packaged in spout pouch are displayed on the shelf for sale, they always stand out because of the easy method of differentiation and it would most definitely attract customers even if they had no plan to purchase the item.

Spout pouch saves space during transportation because it is really handy and it makes it easy for whoever is in its possession to move about because of its simplicity.

Though Spout pouch is simple and handy, the key benefit cannot be overshadowed because of these simple and this benefit is that spout pouch guarantees protection from outside moisture, oxygen, and odor.

This means the contents of a spout pouch does not have access to air unless it is opened. Spout pouch is the best for people that want to protect foods, liquids from air or moist.

Also, Spout pouch is recyclable which means that after it has been used for whatever it is been used for currently, it can be recycled and used for other purposes. This means that spout pouches are Eco-System friendly.

CHAPTER 4、WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN GOING FOR SPOUT POUCH.

There are various uses of a spout pouch, generally spout pouches are used to protect, preserve and store items from air, moist, germs and other factors.

It should be noted that there is a limit to the contents in which a spout pouch can take and this could be due to some mitigating factors such as; quality, quantity, shape of the spout pouch and the contents itself.

Quality: The quality of items that are enclosed in the spout pouch would determine whether a spout pouch is needed or not.

If the item is not quality enough for it to warrant a spout pouch as its form of packaging and a simple cellophane is enough to protect such item from what it needs protecting from

Quantity: There are some items that are either too large or too little for it to be put in a spout pouch. This is another factor that would determine if a spout pouch is needed.

Shape of the Spout Pouch: The shape of the spout pouch goes a long way in determining if it is needed or not.

There is some spout pouch that needs to come in handy but the contents do not require a handy packaging but a rigid one.

Contents itself: The contents itself is what the spout pouch is actually housing.

This can be said to be the major determinant of whether a spout pouch is needed or not.

This should be considered first when determining the type of packaging to use whether rigid or flexible, whether zip lock or spout pouch. For instance, liquid contents cannot make use of Ziplock pouch.

Financial capability: The customer has to consider his/ her financial capability before deciding the type of packaging style to go for. This factor should be the second when things to consider are being ranked in order of importance.

CHAPTER 5、HOW TO PRODUCE SPOUT POUCH AND ENSURE QUALITY

Flexible packaging is not a manufacturing that can be made at the comfort of an individual’s backyard or room.

Spout pouch packaging to be precise. It takes a quite huge factory with heavy duty and expensive machines for a company to produce spout pouch. Conversion of raw materials to spout pouch requires the services of these heavy duty machines.

Questions regularly asked by curious individuals or customers is that “How are spout pouch produced? ” Most companies safeguard their methods of making spout pouch.

It is quite impossible to know what goes into a manufacturing plant that brings about spout pouch but it should be noted that it isn’t improbable. It is possible to get general details but specifics seems like an impossible task to do.

Bags such as sachet bags have PMS as their major raw material. Heavy duty machines convert petroleum to a sheet of plastic through a series of chemical reactions and this is done by applying heat.

The finished product of the machines which is the thin sheet of plastic can then be combined with aluminum foils and some other raw materials to make retort bags such as sachet bags, stand up pouch bags, clear bags and others.

From a continuous web of material, the first thing to do in producing stand up pouch happens when the material undergoes a set of plows that would fold a W-shaped gusset into the bottom and this is the process that makes the pouch stand up.

If a spout is going to be part of a package, it would get sealed on the inside of the web which is close to the top edges, the most common access method which is zippers, however, spouts, recloseable openings, and other perforations are also available.

After the formation of the gusset, vertical seals are the next step which is made alongside the pouch, and the spout is aligned in the same area to close ends and reduce the level of thickness.

The bottom folds are then sealed up by the machine and this should hold the gusset together at both ends. After this stage, the pouch is divided vertically through the center of the seal’s side to create the container aspect of the spout pouch. This is how the spout pouch is made.

However,  that is not the final stage as the empty spout pouch would have to be moved to the next workstation where the pouch would be filled with its final products or where it would be packaged in cartons for shipment to the end users.

There is another section where the spout pouch would be moved to and this is where the spout would be closed and the pouch is sealed again, above the spout.

There is a notch which is usually cut into the sides of the pouch between the top seal and the spout to make it easy and convenient for the consumers to open without facing any hitches when they want to use the contents of the spout pouch and no mess would happen.

CHAPTER 6、ADVANTAGES OF SPOUT POUCH OVER  RIGID ALTERNATIVES

  1. Weight Reduction
  2. Durability
  3. Reduced Transportation Costs
  4. Powerful Branding
  5. Ecosystem Friendly

Weight reduction is one of the major concerns of manufacturers because the increased weight would mean that they would incur more transportation, storage costs etc.

When comparing Spout Pouch with other forms of rigid packaging methods, spout pouch is relatively lighter and this is beneficial to all and sundry.

Rigid Containers have one major disadvantage and that is the fact that they incur damage whenever they are being transported. Spout pouch is out to solve this problem of damages.

This means the number of complaints packaging manufacturers would receive from their customers would be drastically reduced. When there is no damage to the packaging, then the contents inside would not get compromised.

Apart from not compromising the contents of the pouch, the artwork or graphic design on the pouch is also protected.

Transportation cost! Transportation cost!!  is the major complaints of manufacturers and whenever rigid containers are made use of, the transportation cost would always skyrocket but when flexible packaging came into existence, especially spout pouch the transportation cost incurred reduced drastically and manufacturers were able to give a sigh of relief and this was possible because of the existence of spout pouch.

Branding became easier, efficient and more effective under spout pouch as the company would now have control over its packaging graphics.

The ability of a packaging to stand up on its own or assume an interesting shape would make it stand out from other products on the shelf and would make the shopper always remember it.

What a shopper needs is a positive product experience and that includes liking the product and its packaging.

CHAPTER 7、HOW POUCH MAKING MACHINES WORK.

Pouch filling or pouch packing machines is an example of packaging equipment type which fills pre-made pouches with materials and then seals them off.

Pouch filling and sealing machines come in two major varieties which are the; Rotary and inline. The rotary layout would be explicitly explained in this article.

Rotary Layout machine design is designed to conserve valuable plant floor space and is designed with top-notch simplicity packaging.

For the initial stage, rotary pouch making machines are loaded with pre-made bags.

There can be a minimum of one bag and a maximum of four infeed ‘lanes’. The most popular model is the single lane model also known as the Simplex model.

Steps on liquid pouch filling and sealing machines.

  1. Loading
  2. Gripping
  3. Embossing
  4. Opening
  5. Product filling
  6. First sealing station and deflation
  7. Seal cooling and discharge

Step 1

The first step which is pouch loading involves loading performed pouches into bag magazine of liquid filling and sealing machines. This process is manually done and it must be completed by a human operator.

The pouches are then transferred to the interior part of the machine by a roller called bag feeding roller. In order to eliminate the manual aspect, a robotic infeed technology was developed for pouch filling and sealing machines.

It operates thus; A robotic arm makes use of vacuum suction pads to hold each pouch and then transfers them to the bag grippers.

Step 2

Pouch gripping takes over from loading, anytime a pouch is detected in the magazine by a proximity sensor, and the robotic infeed technology performs its duty, the bag would be held consistently throughout it’s entire journey to each station of the pouch making a machine.

These grippers can hold successfully up to 10kg on the best AUTOMATED POUCH FILL AND SEAL MACHINES.

Step 3

This is when dates or lot codes which are required to appear on the finished product are embossed on the pouch and this is usually done by a printing or embossing equipment. Inkjet printers are usually recommended,  thermal transfer options are also available. This option places characters in the bag seal arrived.  This stage is called the Optional printing or Embossing stage.

Step 4

The next stage which happens to be the pouch opening stage is where the vacuum suction pads grasp the outside of the liquid pouch and gently opens the bag. A blast of clean air is used to ensure that the pouch is wide open and ready to get filled.

There are sensors present which would tell whether there is a pouch present. If a pouch is missing, the sensors would pick it and communicate this to the filling and sealing stations, and they would not engage for that particular pouch because it is missing.

This helps reduce spillage and ensures that product loss is completely eliminated and also makes sure the empty pouch can be reused in the next cycle.

Step 5

In the liquid product filling stage, a pre-specified dose of the liquid product is pumped into the pouch by a liquid piston filler that can draw product from a holding tank.

The filler specifications are always dependent on the liquid product properties. In general, liquid pumps can handle anything in liquid form, whether water or thick sauces with particles.

Where the product is a liquid and solid product mixture this station would dispense only the solid products. A machine called settler would then shake the bag to ensure that solid components settle at the bottom of the pouch.

This would then take us to the second stage of this step which is the OPTIONAL SECOND FILLING STATION.  This is only useful when the product has both liquid and solid product mixture or the pouch requires a high volume of liquid fill, the optional second filling station would then dispense the liquid product.

Step 6

Like the name implies, first sealing station, before this step, the pouch has to undergo deflation where two wire deflator components ensure that any present extra air is squeezed out of the bag.

To ensure proper and secure pouch closure, two sealing stations are always advised for liquid products, this step is the first. A pair of heat sealing bars closes over the sealing area on the top part of the pouch and brings the sealant film layers together to create a closed seam.

Ultrasonic sealing can also be used and this makes use of vibrations to induce molecular friction which generates heat in the area between the film layers.

Ultrasonic seeing is actually costlier but does not need a second sealing station, unlike the heat sealing where a second sealing station is required to reinforce the seal and ensuring a completely closed package seam.

Step 7

This is the last stage and it is called the seal cooling and discharge stage and it’s just to strengthen and flatten the seam. A cooling bar passes over the sealed portion of the pouch.

This cooling bar also has the feature of adding serrations to the seam if it is desired. The finished spout pouch is now discharged onto a conveyor belt and can be transported to the final packaging whether a case or carton packers.

CHAPTER 8、REASONS WHY SPOUT POUCH IS GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Normally, snack pouches have carbon residues and most customers are avoiding items that are packaged in plastics because of the residues.

Traditional packaging is highly perishable and they add more dirt to the ecosystem and they block drainages and piping.

Unlike rigid packaging, spout pouch does not require much material and the energy consumption rate is really low.

Since the government is now serious with Corporate Social Responsibility, packaging businesses have been able to meet up with the government’s demand on CSR because of spout pouch because it is a sustainable packing material.

Eco-friendly: A spout pouch is bio-degradable and reusable.

  • Cost-effective: As compared to traditional synthetic packaging, self-standing bags reduce production cost and are more durable.
  • Easy Storage: Sprout bags are compact units. Since they come with round, flat and angular bottoms, they fit in everywhere. They can even be hung on the wall.
  • Recyclable: Unlike plastic cans, spout pouch is completely recyclable and this reduces waste creation.

All these factors make spout bags an attractive alternative packaging option, something that goes near the space age concept of green marketing.

CHAPTER 9、AVOIDABLE MISTAKES WHEN USING SPOUT POUCH.

Majorly, spout pouch is used for liquid products and the risk of spilling and wasting liquid contents is higher than that of solid products.

This is one of the reasons why selecting protective packaging styles such as spout pouch is so important for involved parties. For years, companies have always been dependent on rigid packaging such as heavy glass and the rigid plastic bottle last to contain their products and these companies would never go for cans because of the residue which would not only change the taste of their products but also have negative effects on its consumers.

Rigid packaging such as Boxes, cartons, and Jugs are really weighty and opening them are quite stressful.

Currently, the major go-to flexible packaging technique is the spout pouch because of the solutions it provided.

This un-weighty and flexible packaging style are preferred because it maintains test and quality of the product, does not emit residue and it is not injurious to its consumers.

Also, there are so many designs available to customize spout pouches as it is not stereotyped. Companies can become innovative and develop more designs to satisfy their customers better.

Though spout pouch seems like a flawless form of flexible packaging style, there are some common mistakes which can be avoided if the right precautions are taken to ensure that the packaging delivered to customers protects its contents well and the brand image is not tarnished. Examples of ways to avoid such mistakes include:

  • Testing of a pouch to make sure there are no functionality failures
  • Spouts and Filaments: The packaging supplier must ensure that each spouted bags suits the uniqueness of each product to avoid jeopardizing the functions of the bag.
  • Flexible Packaging Materials: Spout pouches ought to be designed to be user-friendly, light weighted and portable. So it would be better to make sure each spout bags are personalized, unlike rigid bottles which do not give room for flexibility.
  • Filling Equipment: it is best to garner expert knowledge on the type of equipment used for spout bags and how it would have an impact on the overall design of the packaging.
  • Pouch Prototypes: Before ordering for spout pouch in bulk, the prototype viewed must contain the companies graphics and designs so that the company would know what the finished product looks like to make sure they are just perfect for the contents before they hit market shelves.

CHAPTER 10、TO SWITCH FROM OTHER FORMS OF PACKAGING TO SPOUT POUCH.

  1. Waste Reduction
  2. Storage space needed
  3. Ecosystem friendly
  4. Healthy option
  5. Longevity of market life
  6. Cost Reduction

Reduction of waste is considered to be a major source of concern in virtually all companies because regardless of how immaterial a waste is, the accumulation of all wastes would lead to a significant amount which would affect the company negatively most likely in the future.

Apart from the company,  there are other stakeholders that would benefit from reduced wastage such as environment, economy.  When packaging is being discussed, spout pouch stands out distinctively in the section of waste reduction.

Different studies have been taken and it was found out when using spout pouch, 85% of waste is reduced when using cans as primary packaging to store the same contents.

Storage Space is another issue which arises constantly with warehousing and manufacturing plants.

If a team is able to receive solutions to storage space issues after they have been stressed because lack of space prevents them from achieving desired goals, commencing production and ordering materials needed.

Customers also benefit from space savings because the price of goods would be reduced. The flexibility of spout pouch and it’s light weight allows more of it to be stored in desired locations, unlike rigid packaging.

People are now getting conscious of their ecosystem and are getting concerned about the impact everyone has on the world at large.

Not only should we be conscious of what is going around us and the ecosystem, but even the government requires companies to make more ecosystem/environmentally friendly policies.

Since cans are easily recyclable, it had always misled people that it was the best option but actually, waste reduction causes the spout pouch to be more ecosystem friendly.

Humans are known to be more conscious of what they consume as they age.

Healthy food consumption becomes one of the major plans of humans. There have always been issues with the chemical used to make cans as they always lead to emissions after the contents have been sealed.

It’s not only the chemical that is a major source of concern. There is a thin layer that is used to line cans, this line has been compromised severally and has caused health hazard especially when the contents are foods that contain some sort of acidic substances.

This might cause leakages or might make the aluminum that was used in making the can peel into the food. Contamination would always cause health issues.

Normally, people have the belief that can have longer market life compared to spout pouch protected contents.

However research has been made to nullify that belief and according to the research, spout pouch enclosed contents have the market life of up to 10 years maximum while that of a can is 5 years and even less for some particular products.

So, shoppers should be more confident to pick a spout pouch enclosed item whenever they are faced with the choice of selecting between can and spout pouch.

Cost reduction occurs as a result of the waste reduction when waste that is been lost is summed up, it has a huge value and once it is reduced, the cost would also be reduced. Other costs that would also be reduced includes;  fuel costs, start-up capital, landfill and amount of renting space. So it can be easily said that all the points mentioned before would later lead to cost reduction.