Own business: packaging film production

Industrial production

The proportion of packaging film of various types (the so-called flexible packaging materials) is about 40% of the total volume of materials used for packaging. Here, the film is second only to paperboard products. As the volumes of industrial production and transportation increase, experts note the rapid development of this segment, the growing competitiveness of Russian manufacturers, and investments by Western companies.

About 70% of consumer packaging in our country goes to food and drinks. The remainder falls on household goods and personal care products. Despite the large number of domestic manufacturers and Western companies in this market, the demand for flexible packaging products is still high and exceeds supply. Foreign manufacturers occupy up to 20% of the domestic market in certain categories of film products. Moreover, imports exceed exports in quantitative terms. Russian companies mainly export polyethylene films (about 75% of total exports).

Some part of the total volume of packaging film produced in our country falls on traditional materials (up to 10% on polyethylene films for packaging dairy products and also single-layer polyethylene films for packaging various types of food and non-food products). Modern film materials based on high-tech durable multilayer films (laminated, metallized, with internal printing) and biaxially oriented polypropylene film make up slightly less than half of all types of packaging film produced in Russia. Initially, specialized enterprises began to manufacture such products: printing, cardboard and paper, cardboard and printing plants, which earlier than others realized the need to modernize production. But soon a large number of new companies appeared, which from the very beginning were engaged in the production of exclusively packaging film. They could produce large volumes of products compared to other factories, and relied on the most advanced specialized equipment for the production of high-tech packaging.

Despite the fact that in almost every Russian region there are companies that produce various types of flexible packaging, this business is of great interest to entrepreneurs and investors. Experts advise to pay attention to the production of polyethylene film, which remains the leader in terms of sales. It has a short production cycle, low labor intensity and, therefore, cost. However, it can not be called environmentally friendly.

Packaging film is made on the basis of various polymeric materials, depending on the purpose of the future packaging. For example, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene foam, styrene copolymer, polypropylene, etc. can be used as raw materials. Various types of packaging films are produced from these materials, including single-layer, multi-layer and combined.

There are several basic technologies for making film for packaging. It is produced by pressing, molding using high pressure, blow molding, vacuum and pneumoforming. In some cases, polymer raw materials can be combined with other materials - foil, paper, cardboard (for example, for the production of stretch packaging, flow, skin). In the production of packaging materials of the flow variety, polymer melt is applied directly to the product being packaged. The technology of the skin involves the formation of a sealed packaging of the product, which is placed on a base of thick cardboard using heat-shrink films. Stretch-type packaging is also used in conjunction with a cardboard backing, which in this case is closer in shape to a regular box. A small “window” is formed in it, through which the packaged goods are visible. Then the box with its contents is covered with a film of PVC, PVDC and CMEA.

The choice of production technology is determined by the type of packaging products that you produce. Moreover, for the manufacture of some types of packaging you will need special equipment. Since it is not cheap, some entrepreneurs who do not have a large start-up capital and do not want to take loans start their activity with the production of one or a limited number of types of flexible packaging materials. For example, there are companies that produce only air bubble film. The technology of its production consists in the formation of heated polyethylene in the form of bubbles filled with dry air. Such a film has all the properties of ordinary plastic packaging, which protects the contents from abrasion, contamination and adverse conditions of storage and transportation, and has good shock-absorbing properties, avoiding damage to the cargo under various mechanical stresses (shock, shock). In addition, air bubble film has found its application in construction - for steam, hydro and thermal insulation of walls and roof space.

This type of flexible packaging material is a layer of frequently arranged polyethylene bubbles that are closed on one or both sides with a dense and smooth plastic film. Since each air bubble is separated from the others, if one of them is broken (when the bubble bursts when squeezed or abruptly blows), the others retain air in them. Therefore, the packaging does not lose its protective properties even in such cases.

A film with air bubbles can also be of several varieties, which differ from each other by the number of layers in the film, density and applications. The air film is produced in two and three layers. In the first case, it is soldered from two layers of polyethylene - smooth and with bubbles. Such a film is considered one-sided. The three-layer film, which is characterized by greater strength, has one layer more in its composition. The third layer is also smooth and is located above the bubble layer. The higher the density of the packaging film, the greater the load it can withstand. Density is determined by marking the finished film.

In fact, the assortment of even one type of film - air-bubble, is quite wide. In addition to the two-layer and three-layer films, there are the following varieties, each of which has its own scope. Thus, an air-bubble film combined with foamed polyethylene is characterized by increased strength and reliability. It is used for packaging expensive furniture made from natural materials, as well as for packaging mail items over long distances, since such a film has excellent cushioning properties, low cost, increased strength and a beautiful appearance.

An air-bubble film with a metallized coating (combined with foil) is characterized by high heat transfer resistance and, therefore, good heat-insulating properties. It is used for thermal insulation of walls, roofs, ceilings, and is used in the installation of “warm floor” systems. Such a film allows to reduce the thickness of insulating structures, reduce the cost of thermal insulation of the building, to provide steam and sound insulation. In addition, it is durable (its service life is more than fifty years), does not lose its properties even at high humidity, is environmentally friendly and has a low cost. Air-bubble film combined with cardboard is intended for packaging fragile items or items that are sensitive to moisture (flat furniture parts containing glass, mirrors, etc.). They combine the cushioning properties of flexible packaging and the specific properties of paper. Light-stabilized greenhouse air bubble film contains special additives. They significantly change its properties and increase its life. Greenhouse film is used as a covering material. It weighs little and at the same time protects the plantings from the cold ten times better than glass, and a hundred times better than ordinary plastic film. At the same time, it transmits ultraviolet radiation, and on its inner side, which contains a special additive that eliminates the so-called “lens effect”, water condensate is not collected. A special bubble film is even used to cover pools. It covers the surface of the pool in order to slow down the cooling of water, moisture insulation of external buildings and prevent external pollution. Thanks to air-filled bubbles, such a film reliably covers the surface of the water and at the same time provides oxygen access to it, in contrast to the usual “smooth” film.

For the production of air-bubble film, high-tech equipment and high-quality primary raw materials (food grade polyethylene) are used.

A high-quality film is completely safe for humans and is recyclable, which reduces the negative impact of polymer materials on the environment. For the production of such a film, special automated lines are used, which include an extruder, a device for forming air bubbles, a device for cutting, a device for trapping garbage, a device for winding the finished film into rolls, an electric cabinet. Modern equipment works on non-stop production technology. The speed of its tape rolling is about 1000 meters per hour. When choosing equipment, pay attention to the presence of various rollers for the production of bubbles of different sizes. For example, for transportation of large, but fragile goods that require careful handling, not a standard bubble wrap is used, but a package with a bubble diameter of more than one centimeter. Although a fully automated line can significantly reduce costs and time for the production of packaging film, however, it will not be possible to completely exclude human participation in this process. Specialists must mandatory test materials from each batch. Each roll of film is weighed and marked in accordance with the type, density and size of the packaging material in it, and then sealed in a plastic bag.

The composition of the raw materials used for the manufacture of the film may include various additives, as a result of which materials with special properties are obtained. For example, in the production of a greenhouse bubble film, an ultraviolet stabilizer is added to it. This allows you to increase the service life of the package by two to three times. There are components that can eliminate the possibility of condensation inside the greenhouse or shorten the decomposition of the material (the so-called biodegradable additives). We are no longer talking about dyes that allow the production of materials of any colors and tones. However, the cost of such a film will be higher than the usual transparent without additional properties. Experts call the following calculation procedure: the use of any additional additives increases the cost per square meter of packaging material by 0.75-0.8 rubles.

When equipping warehouses for storing finished packaging, keep in mind that the maximum width of the film is one and a half meters, and in each roll it turns out 100 running meters. Overall dimensions of the roll are 67 meters in length and 1.5 meters in height, and its volume is 0.55-0.67 cubic meters. meters. The weight of the roll, depending on the density of the film, is from 6.5 to 20 kg. This is standard data, the deviation from which cannot exceed 2%.

Flexible packaging materials are produced at enterprises according to technical conditions, which are developed in accordance with various standards. In addition, they are certified and pass the declaration of conformity.

The cost of an automated line for the production of one-type packaging film (using the example of an air-bubble film) is about 1.5-2 million rubles. An extruder for the production of plastic film can be purchased separately for 1.2 million rubles.

Used equipment for the production of polypropylene film, including an extruder, a cutting machine and a dyeing machine, will cost 1.3 million rubles.

And, of course, in addition to finding premises for production, selecting and buying equipment and raw materials, at the very first stages of work, you should take care of finding sales options for your packaging products. Small companies sell packaging materials directly. They can be purchased from one roll of packaging film. They also cooperate with transport companies, trading and manufacturing enterprises. Do not neglect traditional advertising. Advertisements for the sale of packaging materials in specialized and advertising publications can be very effective.

Different sources refer to different payback periods of such production, which depend on volumes, market, initial investments, level of competition in the region and other factors. But, on average, these terms can range from several months to a year and a half.

Sysoeva Lilia

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