Flexible Packaging Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is flexible packaging?

Non-rigid packaging structures used to package and protect products. According to the Flexible Packaging Association, flexible packaging is any package or any part of a package whose shape can be readily changed. Common examples of flexible packaging are bags and pouches.

What is converting?

Converting is simply changing something into a different form. In the case of flexible packaging, converting would be the process of utilizing films, foils and resins and through the process of lamination, forming them into a multilayer structure.

What is extrusion coating?

Extrusion coating is the coating of a molten web of synthetic resin on to a substrate material. The actual process of extrusion coating involves extruding resin from a slot die at temperatures up to 610°F/320°C directly onto the moving web, which is then passed through a nip consisting of a rubber covered pressure roller and a chrome plated cooling roll. The latter cools the molten film back into the solid state and also imparts the desired finish to the plastic surface.

Learn more about extrusion coating.

What is extrusion lamination?

Extrusion lamination uses a similar process as extrusion coating, except the extruded hot molten resin acts as the bonding medium to a second web of material.

Learn more about extrusion lamination.

What is adhesive lamination?

Adhesive laminating is a process that laminates multiple webs of material together using adhesives instead of molten plastic resin. There are multiple types of adhesive lamination systems for flexible packaging, including solventless, solvent-based, and water-based.

What is the difference between mono-extrusion and co-extrusion?

Mono-extrusion is the extrusion of a single resin, whereas co-extrusion is the simultaneous extrusion of two or more different resins into a sandwich-like film with clearly distinguishable individual layers.

Do you form and fill packages?

No, we supply custom-engineered, printed or unprinted:

  • multilayer flexible packaging rollstock
  • premade pouches (such as stand-up pouches) which are formed, filled, and sealed by contract packaging companies or by manufacturers with packaging equipment

We work with an extensive network of contract packaging companies and can refer you to a contract packaging company if you need forming, filling, and sealing capabilities.

What information do I need to get a quote?

Generally, in order for us to provide a quote we need details such as company name, contact information, item/project name, structure, web width, quantities, and specifications.

If you aren’t sure what flexible packaging structure you need, we have an experienced team of packaging engineers that can assist with structure suggestions and provide resources such as product/package compatibility testing. If you need structure suggestions, it is helpful for us to know the type of filling equipment that will be utilized, the ingredients of the product, and the method of distribution.

For printed items, additional details that will need to be determined are the cut-off, package size, and the number of colors in the art.

Our experienced service team is available to walk you through the process.

What are Glenroy’s typical lead times for packaging film?

Typically, for standard new orders, lead times are four to six weeks, and for repeat orders, lead times are two to four weeks. Raw material availability may add to these time frames.

If you’re under tight deadlines, let us know and we’ll do our best to meet your needs.

For lead times on ExpressWeb narrow web packaging films, please see the Narrow Web Flexible Packaging FAQ’s below.

What information is needed to place an order with Glenroy?

Once a credit application has been approved, the four categories of information that need to be established are:

  • Purchase Order: Includes information on quantity, item identification, requested delivery date, shipping location, invoicing location, special instructions, etc.
  • Artwork: Artwork files, PMS colors or samples of specific color matches, and contact information.
  • Layout: Front and back copy orientation, graphic position, eyespot location, size, etc.
  • Specifications: Material structure, roll dimensions, etc.

Please contact us for assistance with placing an order.

I'd like to know what packaging film structure is being used for a competitor's product in the marketplace in order to identify potential materials to use in my own packaging. Can Glenroy help?

Glenroy’s packaging engineers can reverse engineer a supplied package and offer a structure suggestion based on the results. This is referred to as “material breakdown analysis” or “analysis of construction.” This process takes approximately one week from receipt of a sample.

Learn more about reverse engineering.

Can Glenroy recommend a specific film lamination suitable for any given project?

Glenroy offers many services that will help assist your organization in understanding materials that are fit for use. Glenroy can provide suggestions and product/package stability testing, but it is up to each product manufacturer to understand how their product acts over time in a specific type of packaging.

Learn more about custom engineered laminations.

Does Glenroy offer any child-resistant packaging?

Glenroy does provide material used in child resistant applications. We can offer a material suggestion based upon the application and final usage. The only way to truly deem a structure child resistant is to have child-resistant protocol testing performed.

What is product/package compatibility testing?

This is a process that helps to determine if a material is resistant to chemical degradation or physical change caused by the product.

Learn more about product/package compatibility testing.

Why is product/package compatibility testing strongly suggested for products without a known history in a flexible packaging structure?

Product/package compatibility testing is a screening process to determine if a given product might have any adverse effects on the packaging structure. The most common adverse effect is a reduction in the adhesion levels between the layers of the structure. The reduction in adhesion levels can range from slightly noticeable to full delamination. The more severe the interlayer adhesion level reduction, the more difficult it will be to tear open the package and the lower the package burst strength will be. The product/packaging compatibility testing will help to determine the most cost effective structure for the product.

Learn more about product/package compatibility testing.

How much product is needed for product/package compatibility testing?

We request that you send between 20 and 32 ounces of product.

What is Barex?

Barex is an impact modified acrylonitrile copolymer sealant film. Raw materials manufacturers have ceased production of the material, but various Barex alternatives are available. For example, Anobex™ has very similar properties to Barex.

Do you offer a Barex alternative?

Yes, we offer various options that can meet similar requirements as Barex. Please contact us for further details on what flexible packaging films may be a good candidate for your needs.

What is Anobex™?

Anobex™ is an acrylonitrile methyl acrylate copolymer with excellent chemical resistence and gas barrier properties. It is a high-barrier material designed for applications where chemical resistance, oxygen barrier, gas barrier, flavor protection, and/or odor protection are critical.

What is Surlyn?

Surlyn is a specialty sealant resin made from ethylene acid copolymer.

When would I want to consider using Surlyn?

Surlyn is known for its high hot tack strength, wide range of sealability, and ability to seal through contaminates, such as powders. Surlyn also provides an excellent barrier for oily or greasy products.

What is EAA and how is it different from EMA or EMAA?

EAA (Ethylene acrylic acid) is a copolymer of ethylene and acrylic acid monomers EMA (ethylene methyl acrylate) & EMAA (ethylene methacrylic acid) do not bond as well to aluminum foil.

What is LLDPE and how does it differ from LDPE?

LLDPE stands for linear low-density polyethylene and is a substantially linear polymer (polyethylene). LLDPE has higher tensile strength and higher impact and puncture resistance than LDPE. It is very flexible and elongates under stress. It can be used to make thinner films, with better environmental stress cracking resistance. It also provides good resistance to chemicals and to ultraviolet radiation.

What is MVTR and OTR?

MVTR stands for moisture vapor transmission rate, or the rate at which water vapor passes through a substance. OTR is Oxygen Transmission Rate, or the rate at which oxygen passes through a substance.

What are typical thicknesses for sealants when creating sample packets for a mailer?

Typically customers choose sealant films in the 3.0 mil mm range for this type of application. However, not all sealant films perform the same at this thicker gauge. Please contact us for assistance in engineering flexible packaging structures for your sample packets.

What are typical thicknesses for sealants when packaging samples that will be distributed in mailers?

Typically customers choose sealant films in the 2.0 mil mm range when packaging for a mailer.

What is MI?

In the flexible packaging industry, MI means “thousand impressions”.

What is MSI?

MSI means “thousand square inches”.

What is MMSI?

MMSI means “million square inches”.