Top ABP News CSR Leadership honours for Uflex Limited’s socio-environmental sustainability interventions
India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company UflexLimited has been conferred with two top honors for its social and environmental sustainability initiatives at the ABP News CSR Leadership Awards 2017 ceremony held in Mumbai on Friday.
“Natural Resource Conservation & Optimization of Ecosystem Services”is a special intervention Uflex has rolled out in Gautam Buddha Nagar District with the help of implementation partners Fiinovation- a global CSR consulting company and AROH Foundation- a leading civil society organization acclaimed for its work in social development and environmental restoration.
Under this initiative rolled out in selected villages of Gautam Buddha Nagar District (Uttar Pradesh) earlier in April 2016, in-situ and ex-situ Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) structures are being constructed and the maintenance thereof is being carried out through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) mechanism. This is aimed at improving the receding ground water level through construction of percolation ponds and recharging the aquifers.
An integral component of this intervention is to foster horticulture through the plantation of fruit bearing trees on individual and community based participation model in each of the selected villages and safeguard them from dying. Community training and sensitization workshops are regularly carried out at the villages about the wise and judicious use of natural resources.
“Natural Resource Conservation & Optimization of Ecosystem Services” intervention was acknowledged as the Best Environment Friendly Project by the Jury of ABP News CSR Leadership Awards 2017.
‘Sports for Growth’ is the social sustainability intervention that Uflex is supporting Society for Transformation, Inclusion and Recognition through Sports (STAIRS) to roll- out for realizing the rights of under privileged children and youth to play freely irrespective of caste, creed, gender, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status and physical/cognitive abilities, as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
The social sustainability efforts by Uflex Limited are aimed at providing the best possible sport infrastructure to the underprivileged children and youth at STAIRS centres that have been adopted by Uflex in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Particular attention is paid towards mentoring the children so that they are able to hone their skills and talent upholding true sportsmanship. Substantive efforts are also made towards Training of Trainers (TOTs) for ensuring optimized service delivery. One of the pivotal focal points of the initiative is inclusion of the girl child and the differently abled in the sports ecosystem.
‘Sports for Growth’ by Uflex was adjudged as the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative in Sport by the Jury ofABP News CSR Leadership Awards 2017.
Expressing delight over the prestigious conferral, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex Limited said, “As an organization Uflex accords very high value to socio-environmental responsiveness. We have been engaged in meaningful social interventions well before CSR became mandatory by the enactment of Companies Act, 2013. I strongly believe that businesses cannot grow without factoring in sustainability and growth of the society and environment in the long run.”
Conventionally Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Bi-axially Oriented Polyamide, BOPA (commonly known as BON) films have been extensively used in cold formed pharma packaging industry. A typical Alu – Alu blister laminate comprises three layers i.e. 25 micron BOPA/ 60 micron soft aluminium foil / 60 micron PVC.
Eliminating BOPAand PVC films in the cold formed Alu- Alu laminate blister pack for pharmaceuticals has for long remained a dauntingtask for packaging experts.
A conventional cold formed pharmaceutical blister back when dumped in the land fill gives away chlorine upon coming in contact with sunlight.This is extremely harmful for the environment. PVC also contains plasticizers with phthalates linked to a host of health disorders that can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system.PVC film leaves high carbon footprint making it further undesirable from the environmental perspective besidesexhibiting very low temperature resistance which is yet another shortcoming.
BOPA (BON) on the other hand is also fraught with challenges like high moisture absorption to the tune of 8-10% making its processing difficult; leading to de-lamination and impairing the ability of the film to be chemically primed.
Keeping these challenges of BOPA and PVC substrates in mind, the team at Films Business of Uflex undertook extensive R&D activitiesfor almost two years to come up with a special polyester film that obviates the problems posed by BON and PVC. The special polyester film is all set to replace the top and bottom substrates of the conventional cold formed Alu – Alu laminate to a whole new structure comprising36 micron special polyester/ 50 micron soft aluminium foil/ 36 micron special polyester.
Polyester is a para-crystalline material which possesses excellent barrier, clarity, printability, and hardness properties. Film forming and orientation of polyester augurs well for the creation of thin profile webs with excellent properties for use in flexible packaging.
This speciality film that has been developedby Uflex can be laminated on both sides of the aluminium foil without any problem quite like the laminate comprising BOPA, Aluminium Foil and PVC films. The engineers at Films Business of Uflex have been successfully able to bring metaphase morphology which has made it possible to form the film in Z direction which happens to be a pre-requisitefor blister packaging.
Commenting about this major breakthrough in the field of pharmaceutical packaging, Dr. SudhirNaik, Senior General Manager, Corporate Technical Services at Films Business of Uflex said,“Getting better functionalities as compared to theAlu – Alulaminate structure comprising BOPA-Aluminium Foil- PVC, Uflex has come up with a special polyester film that will have significant and substantial benefits for the converters catering to pharmaceutical brands. If we talk about India, BOPA (BON) is imported from countries like China, Korea and Taiwan. More over the convertors are left with no option other thanmanagingvaried inventories of BONand PVC films separately. With the introduction of our specialised Polyester film that will now be laminated on both the sides of Aluminium foil, the logistical hassles for convertors will surely go down. The dependency on import of BOPA will also go down as the converting industry gradually switches over to our new specialised polyester film for cold forming the blister packs. This film therefore makes a strong case for import substitution in India.
Talking further about the new polyester film Mr. Pramod Sirsamkar, President – Technical & New Product Development (Films), Uflex Limitedsaid, “The moisture absorption of this specialised polyester film is as low as 0.8% working out to almost 92% less than that of Nylon which is a big advantage. Aluminium foil as you know offers negligibly low oxygen and water vapour transmission rates. Such high barrier may not really be required by the drug packed inside. We are therefore also working towards offering high barrier (yet thinner) speciality polyester films as an alternative to aluminium foil that may further lead to the reduction in overall weight of the ensuing laminate. The introduction of specialised polyester film in Alu – Alu blister packaging as a replacement for BON and PVC films has also opened up avenues for us to come up with biodegradable and oxo-degradable variants further minimising the carbon foot prints. We are also working on developing such speciality filmsusing recycled polyester and Green PET that will bolster our commitment towards the environment.”, added Mr. Sirsamkar.
Complementing the comments from Films Business, Mr. Amitava Ray, Executive Director and Head of Packaging/Converting Business at Uflex said,“It is incredible that we have been able to replace the existing 25 micron BOPA/ 60 micron soft aluminium foil / 60 micron PVC structure with the new laminate comprising 36 micron special polyester/ 50 microns soft aluminium foil/ 36 micron special polyester films. There is also a yield benefit in the case of the new laminate structurebut with no compromiseon functionalities whatsoever.This light-weighting of the laminate equates to lesser energy consumption at all the three critical stages of flexible packaging life cycle i.e. manufacturing; transportation and disposal.
The reverse printingon the special substrate has further opened up the avenue for enhanced brand visibility and last mile communication possibilities through the body of the pack. Being fully integrated flexible packaging solutions company we also stand in a good stead to offer specialized and technologically advanced anti-counterfeiting features for the new Al- Alu laminate keeping the fake and spurious products at bay. This is all the more important for pharmaceutical products.
There is a substantial and growing demand for Alu-Alu blister packaging in India as well as across the globe. With the new Alu- Alu blister laminate structure in place, we at Uflex have been able to engineer a product in India that has way to go in several continents! This also upholds our commitment towards our Government’sflagship scheme, Make In India.
We are ready with the product and are working with leading pharmaceutical companies for the commercial rollout.
We will be exhibiting this packaging solution along with several value added packaging products for the pharmaceutical industry at ASIA PHARMA EXPO 2017 to be held at Bashundhara Convention City in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 23 to 25 February 2017. We will be in Hall 4-A; Booth no: 4001”,concluded Mr. Ray.
Expressing delight on the specialized polyester film that has been engineered by his team, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex Limited said,“This is innovation with value added differentiation at its purest that fairly and squarely addresses the shortcomings of both BONand PVC films faced by convertors catering to the pharmaceutical companies. This film is a great product for the pharmaceutical packaging industry that will raise the bar for competition both in India and overseas thereby being a game changer. When the bar for competition is raised flexible packaging industry as a whole stands to benefit both in terms of quality as well as technology.”
Uflex will be present at Booth 4001 in Hall 4-Aat ASIA PHARMA EXPO 2017 to be held at Bashundhara Convention City in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 23 to 25 February 2017
Uflex reports Consolidated Total Revenue of Rs. 1498 Crore and Net Profit of Rs. 74 Crore for Q3 FY 2016-17
India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company Uflex Limited announced the earnings for quarter ended 31 December 2016 today.
Total Consolidated Revenue for Q3 FY 2016-17 stood at Rs. 1498Crore as compared to Rs. 1495Crore for the same period in the last fiscal. At operational level the Consolidated EBITDA for the quarter ended 31 December 2016 stood at Rs. 212Crore registering a growth of 7% with respect to the previous financial year when it was Rs. 198Crore. The Consolidated Net Profit for Q3 FY 2016-17 has been Rs. 74 Crore as opposed to Rs. 79Crore for the same period in the preceding fiscal down by 6.9%.
For the first nine months of FY 2016-17, the company reported a 7.2% (Y-O-Y) increase in the Consolidated Net Profit which stood at INR 250Crore. Consolidated EBIDTA during the same period has been reported at INR 672 Crore registering a Y-O-Y growth of 5.4%.The Total Revenue for nine months ended 31 December 2016 has been Rs. 4555Crore down by 1% from the year before when it was recorded at Rs. 4602 Crore.
Commenting about the financial numbers, Mr. R.K. Jain, Group President (Corp. F & A), Uflex Limited said,“While the Y-O-Y revenue growth for both quarter and nine months ended 31 December 2016 has remained muted but the sales volume have grown by 9% and 8% respectively.
Given our well spread product portfolio of films and fully integrated value added flexible packaging solutionsboth in India and overseas we are very hopeful of achieving much better results in the ensuing quarter.”
In an official communique released soon after declaring the results, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman & Managing Director, Uflex Limited extended best wishes for 2017 and said, “Continuing our innovation streak, this year will witness a game changer in pharmaceutical packaging. After rigorous R&D of nearly two years, our Films Business has engineered speciality polyester film that is all set to replace the top and the bottom-most layers of the conventional BOPA – Aluminium Foil – PVC laminates that have been used in Alu-Alu blister packs across the pharmaceutical industry all this while. We have successfully been able to bring in metaphase morphology which has paved way for cold forming of the speciality polyester film in Z direction required for blister packaging. Most importantly the laminate produced out of the new speciality polyester film can be used equally efficiently on the existing cold blister forming machines without requiring any additional capital expenditure. This film exhibits excellent printability, mechanical and thermal properties. The benefits that shall accrue to convertors and pharmaceutical brands by the virtue of our new polyester film will be significant. In the coming months we will share more details about this product.
During the third quarter we unveiled ASEPTOTM our aseptic liquid packaging brand. I am glad to share with you that the response for our upcoming product has been more than encouraging already. Our aseptic liquid packaging manufacturing plant at Sanand, Gujarat will be commercially operational by April/ May 2017. Being a fully integrated flexible packaging materials and solution company, we will also be offering top of the line liquid filling machines (‘ASEPTOTM Smart Lines’) commensurate with the most contemporary aseptic packaging material for our clients.
Let’s brace up for an eventful year ahead where many new milestones will be achieved and flexible packaging as an industry will graduate to a whole new level of excellence!”, concluded Mr. Chaturvedi.
Getting a metallic sheen on a non-metallic substrate soundsrather uncanny, but owing to the reflective colour communication system offered by the Cylinders Business of India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and solution company Uflex, this has become a reality.
Metallic effect on non-metallic substrates can be achieved by reflective colour communication technology that works in combination of a Specialised Pre Press Software and Special Laser Engraving Hardware.
This effect is attained by manufacturing a special Rotogravure Cylinder (may or may not be in place of a white cylinder) that usesnormal transparent gold/ transparent silver inks or lacquer inks. The customised software ensures that the dots are preciselydistributed throughout the design so as to produce a homogeneous metallic effect which shimmers better than printing done by some of the costliest metallic inks on metallic substrates/laminates.
Getting the same effect through specialized metallic inks can make conversion costs hit through the roof.
Some clear benefits of this technology are:
- Reduction of Laminate Cost for End Customer
Converters and brands stand to benefit with a perfect metallic sheen on a two ply laminate instead of three or more substratesas long asa barrier layer is not required (compulsorily) by the product to be packed.
- Reduced Ink GSM
This specialcylinderfor metallic effect is manufactured as half tone image. Over and above this, if we eliminate the white printing cylinder(as white ink is opaque having solid pigment concentration)altogether, this arrangement translates to much less ink consumption which is a boon for the printer.
- No additional capital expenditure
These cylinders work just as fine on the existing printing machines thereby not requiring any modification or additional capital expenditure at the printer/converters’ end.
- Cost Effective
This is an economical technology for augmenting a brand’s shelf appeal without the use of metallic inks that are extremely expensive;
This technology is adaptable for future substrates, inks and coatings.
Commenting about the special reflective colour communication technology, Mr. P.K. Agarwal, Joint President Cylinders Business, Uflex Limited said, “This technology is a real shot in the arm for the convertors and helps themadd value for their clients by enhancing the aesthetics of their packaging without using prohibitive metallic inks or metallic laminate for that matter. We are getting many enquiries for the special printing cylinder.”
Talking further about this latest technology, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman & Managing Director Uflex Limited said, “With the help of the special reflective colour communication technology, we are adding immense value to the process of converting. Such progressive value addition throughout the chaineventually results in an aesthetically unique and functionally superior packaging. The Packaging/Converting Business Vertical at Uflex has already tried and tested this technology which makes us confident to offer this solution to converters outside Uflex. Being a fully integrated end to end flexible packaging materials and solution company we as a principle always test our products internally andmarket them only upon being adequately satisfied with the performance.”
Aseptic packaging is defined as the filling of a commercially sterile product into a sterile container under absolutely un-contaminated conditions and hermetically sealing the containers ruling out the possibility of any reinfection. This results in a product, which is shelf-stable at ambient conditions. The term “aseptic” is derived from the Greek word “septicos” which means the absence of putrefactive micro-organisms.
Therefore Aseptic packaging is a means of ensuring that food remains sterile and free from bacteria and other harmful microorganisms for a period of 8 months under room temperature. The specialty of this packaging material is that the product packed in this packaging need not to be kept in refrigerators.
Aseptic Packaging market in India is majorly classified into 3 segments i.e. Juice, Dairy Segment and Liquor segment. The Packaging of Flavored Milk, Dairy products and Liquor etc. in Aseptic packaging material will play a key role in propelling the growth of aseptic packaging in the coming years both in India and globally.
Aseptic packages are made by combining Poly ethylene with paperboard and aluminum foil. The multi-layered construction enables the carton to protect the contents from various factors responsible for spoilage.
- The aluminum foil layer is a strong barrier for O2 and light.
- The inner plastic layer made of polyethylene makes it possible to seal through the liquid.
- The paper layer provides stiffness, making it possible for the cartons assume a brick shape, thus enabling maximum utilization of available storage and transportation space.
Printing, creasing and punching of Paper Board is done on the printing machine. This is followed by the lamination of Paper board on the extrusion machine with Aluminum film and a different type of Polyethylene.
The rolls from the Lamination machine are converted to rolls of smaller width as per the required size of package i.e. 200 ml, 100 ml, 1000 ml etc.
The finished rolls are sent to the customer where these rolls are run on the filling line and the desired product (juice,milk,liquor) are filled into the packages.
Presently the Indian Aseptic Liquid Packaging Market is growing @17-18% per annum and the market is expected to double up in the next five years to approximately 20 billion packs per annum. Drawing parallels, China boasts of a tremendous growth story which has already reached approximately 80 billion packs. In India with similar population the growth potential is humungous. Aseptic Packaging Manufacturing is the BIG THING for taking Uflex to the NEXT LEVEL of Business Excellence. We are all set to take off in the Indian market and position this business globally.
Uflex is India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company and has recently launched its Aseptic Liquid Packaging Manufacturing Brand ASEPTO. The word ASEPTO is derived from ASEPTIC.
Being the fully integrated flexible packaging solution company that it is, Uflex is also engineering aseptic liquid filling machines with a speed of 7,500 packs / hour for a typical 200 ml pack.
The plant has been set up with an initial Capex of INR 580 crore (USD 85.55 million) and will employ 250 people in the first phase. The plant will be environment friendly with zero discharge. Solar panels and Passive Architecture-Envelop Insulation have been used to preserve natural light besides conserving power energy. With the aseptic liquid packaging plant going operational, Uflex will complete its entire product bouquet which currently spans across packaging solutions for solids, semi-solids, granular material, powders, pastes, gels and viscous fluids.
The capacity of Aseptic Liquid Packaging plant will be 7 Billion Packs and will be commercially operational by April 2017. The proposed plant is equipped with latest machines from world class OEMsthat make world class Aseptic packs and re-affirms Uflex’s commitment to Government of India’s flagship scheme of ‘Make in India’.