The Ultimate Guide to Pouch Packaging Machines

If you’re considering an investment in pouch packaging machines, you’re right in line with the trends of our industry. While the global market for rigid packaging remains the largest segment of the packaging industry, flexible packaging is growing at a much faster rate. According to a new report by Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), the global flexible packaging market is worth $98 billion, with an expected compound annual growth rate of 5.2% between 2017 and 2022.

That’s a statistic that makes you pay attention. So what’s driving this growth? More importantly, how can you implement pouch packaging in your manufacturing environment quickly and efficiently? Let’s talk about the process of pouch packaging and the machinery you’ll need to successfully offer your products in this popular packaging format.

What are the benefits of pouch packaging?

Before we talk about the process, it’s important to understand all the benefits that pouch packaging offers. Pouch packaging has some unique challenges in production that could create a barrier to entry. This will help you assess the return on investment and communicate your business case for moving in this direction.

Consumer Demand – Consumers like the way the flexible packaging looks. It’s also easy to open, transports well, and takes up less storage space. Pouch packaging fits in with the “on the go” lifestyle of today’s consumer.

Retailer Demand – Retailers like the fact that it takes up less shelf space. In recent years, advances in pouch stability have helped with retailer adoption.

Marketing Advantages Marketers can get better quality of ink, brighter colors, more variety of finishes, and more exposed surface area on pouch packaging. When used as part of a shelf ready packaging system, the products can make a big branding impact.

Environmentally Friendly – Pouch packaging has appealing environmental benefits. Polyethylene (PE), the primary raw material, is less wasteful than other plastics used in rigid plastic packaging. The packaging biodegrades in only 18 months when there’s a high count of microbes present (such as a landfill).

Lower Costs Since PE is strong and lightweight, transportation costs are significantly lower. Consider the fact that a truckload of flexible equates to 35 truckloads of rigid.

Protective Barriers – Flexible packaging usually has a barrier material (foil) to prevent damaging UV rays from reaching the package contents. This type of packaging protects contents from dampness, contamination, grease, and oxygen that might oxidize the material.

Diverse Customer Base – The wide variety of functional adaptations for pouches, such as zip closures, sliders, and spouts, expands their utility. As a result, pouch packaging is now widely used in food, pharma, and beverage applications.

With its functionality, convenience, and sustainability, consumer demand for pouch packaging continues to grow.

Pouch Packaging Machines for Converting

If your company wants to have complete control over the entire pouch packaging process, you’ll begin with laminating and converting machines.

Lamination Machines

Pouches are made of multiple plastic film layers, which are engineered to withstand punctures and prevent moisture, vapor, and odors from penetrating. These layers are laminated together. Karlville offers two kinds of lamination machines – adhesive and the brand new thermal lamination.

Adhesive – The adhesive coating lamination machine works with an electrical heat source. We offer the Combi Laminator, the Pro Series Solventless Laminator, the Compact Solventless Laminator, and the brand new Coat Weight Measurement System.

Thermal Lamination – Our Pack Ready Lamination model is created with thermal lamination. Karlville is the first HP-certified HP Indigo Pack Ready provider, driving the development of the Pack Ready laminator for the growing digitally printed flexible packaging market.

Slitter and Inspection Machines

After constructing the flexible packaging films, the next step involves slitting wide flexible packaging film rolls into specific widths and performing inspections. Karlville offers both slitting and inspection machines, plus a combination unit.

Slitting – Karlville offers a complete line of Conventional Slitters for Flexible Packaging and Label Stock Applications. There are seven options with widths between 800mm to 3600mm.

Inspection – We have three models of inspection machines specifically designed for flexible packaging. They can adapt to checking quality prior to the advanced stage finishing, converting, and slitting.

Pouch Making Machines

In the final converting step, pouch making machines form the final bag shapes. We offer two types – ultrasonic welding and thermal.

Ultrasonic Welding – Our Pouchmaker PM uses heat generated inside of the film (between the two layers), not from the outside as with thermal heat sealing. This machine can produce up to 360 pouches per minute.

Thermal – Whether you need to develop a wide variety of pouches or need a high-performance machine for a specific style, Karlville has five different thermal pouch making models to suit your needs.

Pouch Packaging Machines for Spouting, Filling, and Sealing/Capping

Once pouches have been converted, it’s time for filling and sealing. Let’s talk about the different types of machines and the products ideal for each one. Whether you’re just looking for a single process machine or an all-in-one solution, we have a wide variety of machines to fit into your production process.

Insert Spout, Fill & Cap Machines

These spout, fill & cap machines are designed for feeding pre-made pouches, fitment insertion, sealing, filling, and capping.

SPOUTPRO IFC2-BP – This machine is fed with pre-made, double handle, 100% PolyEthylene jumbo pouches and is ideal for liquid contents – both food and non-food.

SPOUTPRO IFC2-T – This machine is fed with pre-made standing pouch, three side seal pouch and/or side gusset pouch and is ideal for liquid food (cold or hot fill at up to 90C°).

SPOUTPRO IFC-2 & 4  – These two IFC-Type machines fill through the already applied spout. This makes the process of filling foaming products more secure and leads to a high output of filled pouches. This is ideal for liquid contents – both food and non-food.

SPOUTPRO IFC 3-2 – This complete machinery can automatically upload the pouches, insert the spout, fill and cap. It’s fed with pre-made bags of co-ex material or laminate material with inside PE or PP sealant layer. This machine is suitable for food contact and water pouches.

Spouting Machines

These spouting machines will insert the spout in preparation for the fill & cap machines.

SI-100 TOP and SI-100 FLEX – Using ultrasonic technology, the SI-100 TOP will spout flexible pouches in the top position at up to 100 pouches per minute. The FLEX model will spout from top and corner positions.

SI-Mini – This machine is ideal for product development as well as converters entering spouted pouch business. It will insert spouts in the top, center, and corner.

SI-1T – This machine is for inserting top spouts into pre-made standing pouches and side seal pouches of co-extruded or laminate material with inside PE or PP sealant layer.

SI 60 FLEX – This machine can insert top and corner spouts into pre-made standing pouches, three side seal pouches and side gusset pouches. It can accommodate a wide range of pouch sizes and film thicknesses.

SI-30-BP – This machine automatically uploads the pouches and inserts the neck to PacXpert type flexible pouches (pre-made, double handle, 100% PolyEthylene jumbo pouch – PacXpert).

SI-40 – This machine is for inserting top spouts into pre-made pouches made of co-extruded or laminate material with inside PE or PP sealant layer. This model is highly flexible with a large format range, ideal for pouch makers or brand owners/co-packers.

Karlville collaborated with several key industry players to develop ultrasonic pouch making, filling, and capping machines (including Pouchmaker PM, SI-100 TOP, and SI-100 FLEX – pictured) that can process 100% recyclable monomaterials.

Fill & Cap Machines

These pouch filling machines allow end users to fill pouches through the spout. Karlville has developed pouch filling technology dedicated to the flexible packaging business. Filling through the spout is a highly reliable process that reduces spilling or spraying, allows for a quick changeover to new pouch sizes, permits a high fill size for less material, and requires simple machinery.

SPOUTPRO FC-Mini, 1, 1+, 2, 3, 4 – These fully automated, flexible machines use stand-up, two and three side seal, and side gusset pouches and can be filled with all kinds of liquids (food and non-food). We have five models for a variety of pouch sizes and production volumes.

SPOUTPRO FC-Mini-IP – This is our entry model for inline automatic filling through the spout and capping flexible pouches for viscous food and non-food products.

SPOUTPRO FC-Mini BP and FC-2-BP – These two machines are for inline automatic filling and capping of PacXpert type flexible pouches fed with pre-made PE PacXpert spouted pouch. You can fill with all kinds of liquids (food and non-food).

SPOUTPRO FC-2-2 and FC-3-2 – These two machines are for pouch filling through spout system with high output for small pouches. They use stand-up, two and three side seal, and side gusset pouches and can be filled with all kinds of liquids (food and non-food).


As you can see, you have many choices when it comes to pouch packaging machinery. Have more questions about which ones are right for your needs? Contact us for a consultation.

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