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The evolution of horizontal flow wrapping: a journey through time

From its humble beginnings to the high-tech operations of today, the evolution of horizontal flow wrapping is one of innovation and adaptation.

To understand how horizontal flow wrapping has evolved, we will journey through time and look at the key things that defined each era, as the horizontal flow wrappers develop into the innovative machines we know them as today:

Early Beginnings (Late 19th - Early 20th Century)

Hand Wrapping: Initially, most items were wrapped manually. In many cases this process was labour-intensive and inconsistent.

First Packaging Machines: The earliest packaging machines were mechanical and served to assist workers in the manual process.

Introduction of Plastics (Mid 20th Century)

Plastic Films: With the invention and commercialisation of plastic films post-WWII, packaging saw a revolution. Cellophane was among the first to be used due to its clarity and heat-sealing properties.

Early Flow Wrappers: The advent of plastics led to the development of the first automatic flow wrapping machines. These were basic and often mechanically driven, capable of wrapping products in a continuous motion.

Technological Advancements (1950s - 1970s)

Heat Sealing: Improvements in heat sealing allowed for better sealing integrity and speed.

Electronics Integration: The integration of electronics into packaging machinery led to better control systems, allowing for increased speeds and reliability.

Polypropylene Films: The introduction of polypropylene films offered better characteristics for wrapping, such as strength and barrier properties.

Automation and Computerisation (1980s - 1990s)

Microprocessors: The integration of microprocessors enabled better synchronisation of machine components, improving the efficiency of horizontal flow wrappers.

Servo Motors: The adoption of servo technology allowed for more precise control over the wrapping process, improving speed and reducing waste.

Increased Speed and Efficiency: Machines became faster and more reliable, with less downtime and higher outputs.

The Rise of Flexibility and Sustainability (2000s - 2010s)

Versatility: Machines were designed to handle a wider range of products and packaging materials.

Sustainability: There was a shift towards using more sustainable, recyclable, or biodegradable materials in response to environmental concerns.

Data Analytics: Introduction of data analytics and monitoring software for optimising the packaging process and predictive maintenance.

Recent Innovations and Future Trends (2010s - Present)

Reducing waste: Sustainability is a big focus, as the industry looks for key ways to reduce waste. At Paramount we are dedicated to reducing waste going into landfill and offer Fuji’s high quality packaging machines to achieve a longer pack life, helping to keep your products fresher for longer.

Handling Eco Friendly Materials: Horizontal flow wrapping machines, including our Fuji range, handle recyclable, biodegradable and compostable materials, making it easy to switch to eco-friendly alternatives.

Throughout its evolution, horizontal flow wrapping has become more efficient and versatile. The journey through time shows a technological march towards increased automation, better materials and a constant push for sustainability and innovation. As consumer demands and technology continue to evolve, horizontal flow wrapping will likely continue to adapt and advance.

At Paramount, we are committed to championing and embracing cutting-edge technology. We are proud to stock Fuji, a manufacturer who has always been at the forefront of technological advancement in flow wrappers. Fuji was the first manufacturer to introduce servo motors and the first to offer a packless function, ensuring that if no product is detected, no empty bag is produced, resulting in better efficiency and less waste.

For our latest full range of innovative packaging machines, please click here.

Interested in an innovative environmentally friendly solution for your business, call our experienced team on 01252 815 252 or email

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