The Complete Guide to the Flexible Packaging Manufacturing Process

Oct 9, 2023

With the continuous growth of the market economy, the demand for flexible packaging has been steadily increasing across various industries. Flexible packaging, due to advancements in materials and processing technologies, has become increasingly vital in numerous fields. Below is the complete guide to the flexible packaging manufacturing process:

What is Flexible Packaging?

Flexible packaging is a type of packaging that is made from flexible materials. It is designed to conform to the shape of the product it contains and can be easily manipulated or folded. Flexible packaging is widely used in various industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and more.

Flexible packaging materials are typically thin and lightweight, offering advantages such as cost-effectiveness, convenience, and versatility. They are often composed of multiple layers to provide the desired properties, such as barrier protection against moisture, oxygen, light, and contaminants. Common materials used in flexible packaging include plastic films (such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyester), aluminum foil, paper, and laminates (combinations of different materials).

flexible packaging 1

With the advancement of the market economy, the demand for flexible packaging across diverse industries has been steadily increasing. As flexible packaging materials and processing technology continue to evolve, this form of packaging has gained significant importance in numerous fields. Let me provide you with a detailed description of the manufacturing process for flexible packaging.

Flexible packaging Manufacturing Process

The flexible packaging manufacturing process involves several steps, which may vary depending on the specific product and materials being used. Here is a general overview of the process:

flexible packaging manufacturing process

Design and Prepress

The process begins with the design of the packaging artwork, including graphics, text, and any other relevant information. Designing is indeed one of the crucial processes that requires meticulous attention in order to meet clients’ specifications before commencing the manufacturing process.

Prepress activities involve preparing the design for printing, including color separation, and proofing.


The plate-making process is a crucial step in the manufacturing of plates used to transfer ink onto the printing material during the printing process. Its main objective is to accurately reproduce the colors of the original image through dots created on the printing plate.
It involves various technological advancements and precise procedures to transfer the image onto the printing plates, allowing for faithful replication of the original image during the printing process.



In this step, the chosen design is transferred onto the selected material using various printing techniques like flexography, gravure, or digital printing. The printing process typically involves creating printing plates, inking the plates, and transferring the inked image onto the material through a series of rollers or cylinders.

printing process

Gravure printing is widely regarded as the preferred printing method for flexible packaging due to its ability to facilitate mass production while ensuring high printing quality.

At KDW, we have the advantage of having our own machinery to manufacture substrates directly in our factory. This allows us to produce casting film, blowing film, and extrusion film in-house. By having control over the substrate manufacturing process, we can ensure the quality and consistency of the materials used in our flexible packaging production.

Additionally, we also collaborate with trusted partner suppliers to procure substrates. This strategic partnership enables us to maintain a reliable supply chain and ensures uninterrupted production even during peak demand periods. By combining our in-house substrate manufacturing capabilities with the support of our partner suppliers, we can guarantee a seamless production process and maintain the high standards of our flexible packaging products.

Please find more gravure printing process here.

Quality Control

Implementing quality control measures between the printing and lamination stages is crucial to ensure accurate graphic printing and identify any rejected productions before lamination. This helps to prevent additional losses and maintain high-quality standards.

At KDW, we have implemented a two-fold approach to ensure printing quality control. Firstly, we utilize an automatic monitoring system integrated into our printing machines. This system continuously monitors the printing process, detecting and flagging any deviations or errors in real-time. By doing so, it allows for immediate intervention and adjustment to maintain the accuracy and quality of the printed graphics.

Furthermore, we employ a dedicated printing quality control system machine. This machine is specifically designed to assess the quality of the printed graphics, including color accuracy, sharpness, registration, and overall print integrity. It employs advanced technology and algorithms to analyze the printed output and compare it against the desired specifications. This ensures that the printed graphics meet the required standards and minimizes the chances of defective or rejected productions.

printing quality control system machine

Please find here for more info on quality control rules at KDW.

By combining the automatic monitoring system in the printing machine and the dedicated printing quality control system machine, we double guarantee the printing quality at KDW. This comprehensive approach helps us identify and rectify any printing issues promptly, ensuring that only high-quality prints proceed to the lamination stage. Ultimately, this minimizes losses and enhances customer satisfaction by delivering consistently accurate and visually appealing flexible packaging products.


If the packaging requires multiple layers or enhanced functionalities, lamination will be applied. Lamination involves bonding different layers together using different lamination ways, such as dry lamination, solventless lamination, and extrusion lamination.

lamination plant

Please find more lamination process here.

Aging / Curing

The Aging process refers to the reaction between the main agent and the curing agent in the lamination film. It is a crucial step in shaping the adhesive layer of the lamination film. Without proper curing, the lamination film cannot proceed to the subsequent processing stages.


Curing can be classified into two types: normal temperature curing and heating curing. In normal-temperature curing, the reaction between the main agent and the curing agent takes place at ambient temperature. This process allows the lamination film to complete the reaction without the need for additional heat.

On the other hand, heating curing involves subjecting the lamination film to a specific temperature to facilitate the reaction between the main agent and the curing agent. The application of heat accelerates the reaction, leading to faster curing and shorter production cycles.

Both normal temperature curing and heating curing have their advantages. Normal temperature curing offers simplicity and convenience as it eliminates the need for additional heating equipment. However, it may require a longer aging time compared to heating aging.

Heating curing, on the other hand, allows for faster curing and shorter production cycles. By providing the necessary heat, the reaction between the main agent and the curing agent is accelerated, resulting in quicker shaping of the adhesive layer.

The choice between normal temperature curing and heating curing depends on various factors, including the nature of the lamination film, the desired production speed, and the specific requirements of the product. Manufacturers carefully consider these factors to determine the most suitable curing method for their lamination film, balancing efficiency, quality, and production time.

Curing Room

Slitting and Rewinding

Slitting refers to the process of cutting the lamination film or printing film into the desired width. This step is performed during production to customize the width of the film according to specific requirements.

In the slitting process, the material to be slit is released through an unwinding device. The longitudinal movement of the material is controlled by a photoelectric control system, ensuring precise positioning of the cutting tool for accurate slitting. The slitting tool cuts the material into narrower strips.

After slitting, the cut strips are rolled into rolled films using a winding device. These rolled films serve different purposes depending on the requirements. Some are used as finished products for customers’ automatic packaging machines, while others are treated as semi-finished products that will be transferred to the next process for pouch making.

The slitting process plays a crucial role in customizing the width of the film to meet specific needs. By accurately controlling the cutting position and efficiently rolling the cut strips into rolled films, manufacturers can provide customized film products for various applications, ensuring efficient and precise packaging processes.


Pouch Making

The bag-making process involves heat sealing the composite film into a bag shape according to customer requirements. It is important that the inner layer of the composite film possesses heat-sealing properties. The bag-making process in flexible packaging can be divided into two methods: back-sealing bag making and side-sealing bag making. The back-sealing bag-making method is of the split type.

During production, the bag-making material, a semi-finished product is released from the unwinding device and enters the forming stage. This stage is primarily accomplished through the collaboration of the photoelectric control system, forming plate, and regulating device. These components ensure precise shaping and formation of the bag material. A rectified deviation device was incorporated at this stage to ensure precise adjustment of the pouch size.

Then punch holes if necessary, according to the design of the bag.

The bag material then progresses to the heat sealing stage, where longitudinal and transverse heat sealing devices are utilized to complete the heat sealing of the bag. The newly heat-sealed portion is subsequently cooled and shaped. The photoelectric control system maintains control over the delivery position of the heat-sealed material. Puch holes again if it is necessary.

After the heat sealing process, the continuous bag material is cut into individual bags by the cutting device. This step ensures that each bag is separated from the continuous material, and ready for packaging and use. You may also asked to make fillte angle or oblique angle when it is required.

pouch making process

By following these steps, the bag-making process produces properly sealed bags that meet customer specifications. The precise control of heat sealing, cooling, and cutting ensures the formation of high-quality bags for packaging various products in the flexible packaging industry.

The normal types of pouches include:

Add fitments

For spout pouches, coffee bags, and pouches with zippers, additional fitments such as spouts with caps, valves, zippers, and tins are added after the pouch-making process. These fitments are integrated into the finished pouch to enhance its functionality and convenience.

After the pouch has been manufactured and assembled, specific fitments are applied based on the desired features and requirements. For spout pouches, a spout with a cap is attached to provide easy pouring and reclosing functionality. Coffee bags may include a valve to allow for the release of gases while maintaining freshness. Pouches with zippers are equipped with zipper closures to facilitate repeated opening and closing for convenient access to the contents.

By adding these fitments after the pouch-making process, manufacturers can create versatile and user-friendly packaging solutions. These fitments add value and functionality to the pouches, making them suitable for a wide range of applications such as beverages, snacks, and other consumer goods.

Packing and Shipping

After the above steps according to customers’ requirements, quality control before every process, pack the finished products and then ship to customers’ addresses. That is the whole process of the flexible packaging manufacturing.


Start With KDW

Please contact us for more info of the flexible packaing, our expert term will get in touch with you timely.

+86 13559233681(Wechat, Whatsapp)

No1, Anbian Rd, Torch High-Tech Zone (XiangAn), Xiamen, Fujian, China