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Article | September 30, 1997
Water, motor oil in stand-up pouches
In the U.S., stand-up pouches continue to gain acceptance in a variety of applications (see stories, p. 18 and 58). Yet with few exceptions, manufacturers and consumers haven't been very enthusiastic about these packages for liquids.
That's not the case around the globe however. Two noteworthy examples are stand-up pouches for water in Japan and motor oil in India. Within the past year Hakusan a company headquartered near Tokyo has expanded production of mineral water in 200-mL 500-mL and 1-L sizes for retail while offering a 3-L size (below right) for foodservice. All four sell in a flexible bottle called the Poucher manufactured on machinery made by Japan-based Nishibe. The machinery is equipped with a module developed by Sumitomo Bakelite Japan that adds two string-like oriented nylon ribs to the pouch as it's made to provide rigidity for standing and pouring. Nishibe and Sumitomo Bakelite are represented in the U.S. by Profile Packaging (Sarasota FL). The Poucher a lamination of oriented nylon and linear low-density polyethylene ranges from 4 to 5 mils; the thicker gauge is for the 3-L "bottle." As the Poucher is filled it stands up like a bottle even though its sidewalls are made of flexible film. It's lighter than a rigid bottle an important advantage in waste-conscious Japan. A dispensing spout fitment made of LDPE gives consumers an easy-pour feature. Mer<> chandised on store shelves next to bottled waters the Poucher is typically printed flexographically in several colors. Three Japanese converters are reported to manufacture the pouches under licensing agreements with Nishibe. Premade converted pouches are then shipped to Hakusan for filling on horizontal fill/seal machinery from Sumitomo. Filling speeds and cost comparisons relative to other package formats were not available. As for the engine oil in India it's marketed by Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. a government enterprise located in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Nishibe equipment is used to make the pouches which are sold in 6-oz 1/2-L and 1-L sizes. From the inside out the metallized lamination for all sizes includes biaxially oriented nylon/LLDPE/polyester. Thicknesses are 3 mils for the 6-oz pouch 4 mils for the 1/2-L size and 5 mils for the largest size. A Profile Packaging spokesman says tests of the pouches are underway in North America.
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