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Flexible food packs bulk up with superior performance
Abby Possinger of Fres-co System USA points out the benefits of a new kind of bulk-bag packaging.

Flexible food packs bulk up with superior performance

A booth at the Powder & Bulk Solids show yielded a pair of breakthrough flexible packaging innovations, the Termalock Powder Bag and Flexible Bucket, applicable for food ingredients and more.

It’s not just people who bulk up, but packaging can too, as these two examples from a recent exhibition demonstrate while showing that bigger can be made better.

An April day began favorably at a suburban Chicago exhibition managed by Packaging Digest’s sister publication, Powder & Bulk Solids, when the first stop of the day at one booth yielded two “plus sized” flexible packaging innovations for food products.

The bait that drew my immediate attention was the “new” signage at the booth of Fres-co System USA. Inside and most prominent was a pallet-load display of the vendor’s new Termalock Powder Bag and, at a small kiosk a few feet away, the intriguingly named Flexible Bucket.

Handling the company's booth duties was Abby Possinger, market development manager, food and feed ingredients, who was enthused about the 2018 debut of a new bag and specialized design. Unlike multilayer kraft paper bags, the Termalock Powder Bag’s durable multilayer structure provides a barrier for sensitive bagged powders, especially food ingredients.

As notable is the valve’s specialized one-way channel design that prevents clogging associated with standard open-mouth bags with a one-way valve. Another benefit of the packaging is that when stacked and palletized, the air-tight bags make for stable pallets versus alternative formats, Possinger pointed out.

Additional information was provided in a follow-up interview for both of these packaging introductions to discuss key features, options and more starting with the Termalock bag, which took several years’ research and development to perfect.

What customer need does it address?

Possinger: The Termalock Powder Bag directly addresses recurring problems that plague the producers of bulk powders, namely oxidation, moisture and dehydration. The one-way degassing valve with built-in vent chamber offers 100% airtight protection and a near-zero moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR). With flat storage when empty and perfect palletization when filled, the advantages over alternative packaging options are overwhelmingly apparent.

What is considered the industry standard format and why is this better?

Possinger: Traditional industrial packages have air holes that allow premium powders to oxidize, dehydrate, or come in contact with moisture during their transport from the producer to the end user. The Termalock Powder Bag is an open mouth, airtight package that forms stable pallet. It can package a wide range of products, including proteins, amino acids, vitamins, probiotics, premium sweeteners, chelating agents and among many others.

What are the key features?

Possinger:

Safe and Efficient Transport Designed with palletization in mind, weight distribution concerns will be dramatically minimized. Traditional Kraft-Poly packaging often forms an unstable, and unsafe “mushroom-like” profile when palletized.

Space Savings It would take 34 truckloads of fiber drums to ship the same product volume as one truckload of Termalock Powder Bags. And prior to filling, the bags store flat, saving space in a warehouse for more product.

Reduced Complaints and Returns Customers expect product to arrive in the condition it left the factory or warehouse. When powdered ingredients are sealed against moisture, dehydration, light, oxygen and rodent and insect infestation, degradation becomes a worry of the past.

Longer Shelf Life According to customers, our industry-leading sealing technology extends their products’ shelf lives by up to two years.

What basic structure and options do you offer?  

Possinger: The basic material structure of polyester/aluminum/nylon/polyethylene varies by product or customer need, but the durable high-barrier film structure is combined with a one-way valve and built-in vent chamber.

Size is determined for each specific product, but the general size is for products weighing approximately 50 lb/25kg.

Also, vibrant, multi-color printing is always available at Fres-co to call attention to the product or brand.

What product categories and types is it suitable for?

Possinger: The Termalock Powder Bag is suitable for powder products in a wide range of product categories, including food, feed, pharmaceutical and cosmetic ingredients.

Next: The Flexible Bucket

 

What customer needs does the Flexible Bucket address?

Possinger: The Flexible Bucket was designed to meet the demanding needs of one of our customer’s unique challenges–standing out among competitors while being able to transport a range of discrete goods by hand with ease. Our superior multicolor printing is available to add graphics to the Flexible Bucket, reinforcing the brand and boosting the products shelf appeal up to six times over the traditional rigid bucket. Combined with the reinforced shaped handle that maintains its form and strength, and the extra ply of material in its construction, the Flexible Bucket is easier and more comfortable to carry than other flexible pouch or rigid buckets.

What is considered the industry standard format and why is this better?

Possinger: The industry standard format is a rigid bucket. Our Flexible Bucket, an industrial pouch, allows customers to carry a wide variety of discrete goods by hand, eliminating the struggle with bulky buckets and increasing ease of movement. With an EZ Open recloseable top and a high strength-to-weight ratio, the Flexible Bucket is the ultimate weight-saving, space-conserving solution for product transportation and storage.

What are the key features?

Possinger:

Strength and Ergonomics A high strength-to-weight ratio due to its four-ply construction versus standard two-ply, paired with its proprietary handle design, distinguishes the Flexible Bucket from standard pouches that are not as easily transportable.

Space savings Folds­ flat to take up mere inches in a storage area compared to the space that an equal number of traditional buckets would consume.

Sustainability Easy to dispose of and recycle with 85% less plastic than a rigid bucket. The Flexible Bucket also reduces the overall operational cost of transportation by replacing traditional rigid containers, which have a larger footprint that takes up more storage and space per shipment.

What product categories and types is it suitable for?

Possinger: The Flexible Bucket is suitable for a variety of bulk dry flowable products ranging from food and feed ingredients to resins, agricultural pesticides and specialty chemicals.

Is any customer using or testing?

Possinger: Our first customer for the bucket pouch was Pest Management division at Liphatech, which converted from a rigid plastic bucket to the Flexible Bucket (shown at top).

According to Jim Doll, the senior marketing manager for pest management, “Fres-co came to us with a variety of ideas for different types of packaging so that we could improve our graphics and stand out among our competitors. They succeeded; when we showed the packages internally, there was a definite ‘wow’ factor. When you add the portability, the ergonomic handle and the resealable top, the Flexible Bucket will give our customers even more reason to use our product.”

Anything else to mention?

Possinger: With a weight capacity of 16 lb, the Flexible Bucket is a small but powerful proprietary pouch.

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MinnPack 2018 (October 31 – November 1, Minneapolis) is part of the Midwest’s largest advanced design and manufacturing event that brings you the latest in materials, automation, packaging and more. ___________________________________________________________________________________

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