Inno­v­a­tive pro­duc­tion of PVOH pouches

Pro­cessing water-sol­uble film ­presents rather tricky chal­lenges. ­Harro Höfliger is expanding their ­leading-edge tech­nology using an ­inno­v­a­tive ther­mo­forming method.

In many house­holds, they already belong to everyday life: pre-por­tioned units (pouches) for washing machines or dish­washers that are con­ve­nient to handle. Quite often they are pro­duced on machines made by Harro Höfliger. “The pro­duc­tion steps sound simple: forming, filling, sealing and cut­ting. But this is mis­leading. The water-sol­uble PVOH film used comes with chal­lenges,” says Alina Nick, Sales Director Por­tion Packs.

As Sales Director Por­tion Packs, Alina Nick knows the chal­lenges pro­duc­tion processes may pose.

A cur­rent example is the forming of the PVOH film. “Via a vacuum ther­mo­forming process, it is formed into the desired shape,” explains the expert. “The appli­ca­tion of high heat and a rapid forming process using a high vacuum cre­ates thin areas in the film. This is a real problem because, for the safety of the user, the pouches are sup­posed to dis­solve in water only after a cer­tain time.”

This is where Harro Höfliger’s spe­cial ther­mo­forming method comes into play: “It is based on our patented con­tin­uous forming process in which heat and vacuum are opti­mally coor­di­nated with each other. By heating the film more slowly, it gains elas­ticity without high tem­per­a­tures, and the vacuum required is also reduced. Ulti­mately, this results in more film thick­ness, even when it comes to com­plex designs.”

Water-sol­uble PVOH film plays a major role during pro­duc­tion of pouches.

Another example for the department’s inno­v­a­tive strength is the patented water sealing method: In this process, a print head applies water to the lid film with pin­point accu­racy and in a con­trolled manner. These water drops start to par­tially dis­solve the film before it is pressed onto the base film for sealing.

Alina Nick sum­ma­rizes: “With such processes, we not only shape per­fect pouches – we also set new stan­dards in this chal­lenging field.”

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Photos: Avector/Adobe Stock