How to avoid getting stuck on stick packs

As stick packs continue to revolutionise single portion products, manufacturers need commercially-viable, automated packaging solutions to meet increasingly diverse demands. We explain here how to tackle the key issues successfully.

Cutting-edge technology, tailor-made solutions and trend-led flexibility

Stick packs owe their steady rise in popularity to the multiple benefits they offer both consumers and manufacturers. Highly portable and convenient, this packaging format has been applied to hot and cold beverages, spices and sauces, nutraceuticals, baby formula and more.

From a production perspective, stick packs are a highly attractive option; offering many advantages such as improved dosing accuracy, safety and production speeds, as well as reduced packaging costs. In fact, these elongated, tube-shaped packs can save up to 40% of packaging material compared to more traditional, single portion packaging forms.

Not surprisingly, this has led to demand for packaging equipment capable of handling the growing number of secondary packaging styles. Stick in cartons remains an established format, while the growing trend for flexibles has recently prompted a move towards stick in bag and stick in pre-made bag options by some manufacturers.

We have been at the forefront of developments in this area from the beginning. From this market-leading position, we have established the industry standard for stick pack secondary packaging systems, which range from low-speed semi-automatic to high-speed, fully-automated custom applications.

This proven experience has enabled us to build a detailed picture of the concerns facing manufacturers and provide the solutions to resolve these pressing issues.

So, what are the main considerations for stick pack packaging lines?

  • Flexibility and precision: Different market segments often have unique demands, so stick pack packaging lines require intelligent components to keep pace. Quick and easy changeovers that are repeatable and adaptable to different formats are essential, but so too is the need to maintain reliability, efficiency and product control.
  • Optimising product handling: Product content can vary, and each type requires a tailored approach. For example, when secondary packaging sticks are filled with liquids, the viscosity of the product can have a major influence on product handling. Similarly, powders or granules can settle at the bottom of stick packs when produced from Vertical Form-Fill-Seal (VFFS) equipment. So, depending on the content and other packaging specifications, equalising units should be part of the solution.⁣

    Of course, technology doesn’t stand still. You need to be sure that you are benefiting from the latest packaging solutions designed to optimise different product handling needs.
  • Catering for multiple packaging options: There is an increasingly diverse range of options for both primary and secondary packaging – but each requires a considered approach. Paper, metalised foil and aluminium foil are all popular options for stick packs, but each material type has its own characteristics that need to be addressed to ensure optimal output.

    Equally, the growing trend for flexible secondary styles may offer unique printing capabilities and costs savings, but also demands specialist equipment to fully realise opportunities such as ‘stick-in-bag’ and stick-in-pre-made-bag.
  • Adding long-term value: There are a whole host of wider issues that also come into play in stick pack applications – and meeting these requirements is how we can add a new dimension to your packaging lines. From our unique Flexcount counting technology, to our simple sampling feature for uninterrupted quality control and optional bulk loader, we can meet virtually any requirement.

 

To find out more about Mpac’s industry-leading stick pack packaging expertise or discuss your individual needs, please do get in-touch.

 

 

Posted by Simon Mason