Multiple materials and technologies often go into the creation of a nonwoven fabric. Engineers work tirelessly to ensure that the nonwoven fabrics coming out of the manufacturing facility meet the stringent specifications of each product. But shipping rolls of nonwoven fabrics out the bay door isn’t where the story ends.
As we move into 2014, end-use packaging is becoming ever more important in the industry. According to a February article in Flexible Packaging Magazine, the flexible packaging market is expected to be worth $351 billion by 2018. We expect to see more and more converters moving toward innovative designs aimed at solving the growing customer focus on convenience and sustainability.
Can these flexible packages be utilized in nonwoven packaging for consumer products? Why are these options increasing in the industry? The article references a few excellent points:
- Weight. As the effort to reduce packaging waste continues, we expect to see more and more converters developing technologies to incorporate lighter pouches over the more rigid containers. Liquids products are obviously the leader in pouch packaging at this point because it’s easier to fill a flexible container with a liquid. But wipes converters have been using flexible wipes packages for years in the personal and baby wipes arena.
- Labeling. The supply chain for converters can be quite lengthy. If more flexible pouches are incorporated, the converter can more efficiently produce an end-use product with the label being incorporated into the packaging instead of applying a final label to a rigid package.
- Barrier properties. After solutions or lotions are added to nonwoven wipes, protecting the moisture within the packaging becomes critical. New, flexible materials for barrier protection of flexible protection are on the rise, including styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN), which is a tough, protective resin.
These are only a few ways that flexible packaging can work within the nonwovens industry. How are you using flexible packaging?
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