Polythene lay flat tubing (or LFT for short) is one of the most useful, practical and affordable high-performance packaging solutions in the world. LFT is widely used in manual, semi-automated and even in fully automated packaging lines: as a versatile “resizable” packaging sleeve, a quick bagging material, or as a complete packaging system.
In the not-so-distant past, we’ve covered how to use LFT, and we’ve talked about how to seal lay flat tubing, with or without machines. In this post, we’re going to look into polythene LFT further. We’ll look at the benefits of printed LFT as a “one-size-fits-all”, super efficient and totally effective packaging solution, and its advantages for small to mid-sized packaging lines.
One of the biggest uses of LFT is creating polythene sleeves for packaging. These sleeves can be narrow, to protect long and thin items; like curtain rails, roller blinds, sports equipment – anything with a variable length from customer to customer. But the tubing can also be made enormously wide, and made from heavy duty polythene, to create packaging sleeves for different sizes of furniture.
Learn more about polythene furniture packaging
The reason LFT is useful for this is because it can be cut and sealed to any length off the roll. It gives a level of customisation to packaging that can benefit bespoke goods manufacturers, without them needing to stock a different packaging system for each product.
Polythene printing takes this a stage further. Depending on where the items will be sold, regulatory and instructional information is probably going to be required. And printed polythene allows this information to be supplied without any additional paper, printing or supplier costs.
There are even more tangible performance benefits for your business, besides just efficiency. Marketing and enhanced product protection to name but a couple.
Get maximum performance from your packaging
Printed polythene LFT allows you to create a single material packaging solution – one that offers full protection (depending on the product), and shows off your brand.
Poly with recycled content can be printed – and so can LFT treated with additives, like UV inhibitors. Custom polymer blends can be used to package things like gardening supplies or growbags, cut and sealed to variable lengths. When coloured and printed, this gives you a single packaging solution. It’s easy to fill, stack and distribute, and can be resized easily for different sizes or quantities of product.
In fact, LFT has loads of advantages, as long as it’s a good fit for your product and business.
Advantages of LFT
Simplicity might be the biggest business advantage of using printed lay flat tubing. A single roll of it can be used to make custom-sized packaging, with minimal sealing and labour, and a minimal material cost.
You can make polythene bags on-the-fly, with little more than a heat sealer. This makes it quick and easy to package items of varying size manually – but automated packaging machines can also be fed with LFT, and programmed to package variable product sizes, too.
Of course, LFT (being a tube) has a fixed width. You could get around this with having multiple widths on hand, or by using a larger than necessary size of LFT. But in doing so, the efficiency advantages are lost – and wastage goes up.
Also, printed lay flat tubing may suffer from unwanted or awkward pattern repetition, where logos and instructions get cut off midway through the final packaging. This can be avoided with minimal wastage when packaging manually, but can be harder to manage in an automated system without lots of fine-tuning.
All things considered, printed lay flat tubing ad packaging sleeves in general are excellent choices – if they fit your business and product. If you’re considering changing the way you use packaging, talk to us about packaging design, and how we can optimise performance and price.