So you need to develop and commercialize a new flexible, semi-rigid or rigid composite package that incorporates one or more films. How do you get started with the process of deciding what film or films to use or include in the structure? Plenty of polymers and film production methods are in common use in the industry; a basic understanding of the choices available and the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches can simplify the selection process and get you moving faster towards a good solution.
Use this playbook as a resource to get you started down the road of developing competence in film selection and as a review point to check that you’ve considered the right criteria and options.
We’ll start with an overview of the broad types of functions polymer films can provide; move to specific quantifiable attributes that relate to those functions; review the main categories of polymers used in films, highlighting the most common workhorses used in packaging; and describe the film production methods and why each has its place. This will provide a look at the basics of an area of technology that is fundamental to the flexible packaging industry, has application to some semi-rigid and rigid packages, and affects every consumer who purchases packaged goods.
Before even starting to think about polymers and production options, it’s important to first know what to focus on.
The goal is to specify the attributes or properties that matter in converting and end use for film structures that work in such a way that the supplier can make satisfactory structures consistently and efficiently and that the converter and end user receives materials that consistently meet their needs at a cost appropriate for the use.
Let’s break down the essential elements of this goal…