Growth Drivers of the Thriving Flexible Packaging Industry

Growth-Drivers-of-the-Thriving-Flexible-Packaging-Industry-02

Uflex launches Extrusion Lamination Machine EL-1300 in India

‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, goes the age old adage. At India’s largest global flexible packaging solution company Uflex Limited,every necessity is viewed as an opportunity and the most optimum solution is engineered to fulfil it.

How to design a zero speed splicing system for continuous operation on woven polypropylene (WPP) as the base web was a daunting challenge that confronted the converters servicing the packaging requirements of building materials’ brands.

T-Die section of the Extrusion Lamination Machine(T-Die Section of the Extrusion Lamination Machine EL-1300 manufactured by Uflex Limited)

Converters and packaging companies have all too often faced difficulties while laminating a woven web owing to the troughs and valleys (also called warps and wefts) that are inherent part of the texture. In response to this, the engineers at Uflex designed the EL-1300 Extrusion Lamination Machine that seamlessly carries out the process of lamination for woven propylene simultaneously offering the following benefits:

(a)  Attainable lamination speed of 250 m/minute;

(b)  Corona treaters to seamlessly integrate treater into flexible packaging extrusion coating & lamination lines;

(c)  Independent drives for all segments of the machine;

(d)  Heavy Duty (Sturdy) structure;

(e)  Motorized three axis movement of carriage for air gap setting;

(f)   Chamber type doctor blade for anchor coating;

(g)  T-Die with internal duckling & lip opening up to 1mm;

(h)  Unique design of lamination drum to maintain even temperature across the width;

(i)    Sleeve type coating nip as optional;

(j)    Turret type unwind & rewind;

(k)  AC vector grade motor with digital AC vector drives.

This extrusion lamination machine is equally efficient to laminate very thin LDPE substrates to woven polypropylene and also to paper/any packaging film.

Except for some electrical and electronic parts, most of the mechanical parts have been fabricated and assembled in-house at Uflex Engineering plant in Noida. The Extrusion Lamination Machine owing to its very many advantages is much in demand across the country particularly when no other company offers it in India.

Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman & Managing Director, Uflex Limited said, “Our USP lies in the very fact that we are a fully integrated flexible packaging solution company. If on one hand we can offer laminates as rolls and pre-formed pouch, with equal ease on the hand we can offer machines that can form packs out of those rolls, fill the product in them and seal it to your satisfaction too. We also offer a wide array of printing and lamination machines that are capable of carrying out high precision converting processes to make these laminates.”

“From PET chips i.e. raw material for manufacturing polyester films to speciality packaging films, to laminated flexi-tubes and big bags we make them all. From rotogravure printing cylinders, flexo-polymer plates, elastomers and sleeves to inks, adhesives, coatings and polyols used in the converting process we make them all. If the threat of counterfeiting is what worries you, we offer the most contemporary and technologically superior brand protection and anti-counterfeiting solutions thatwill keep the fake and spurious at bay.

Thus at Uflex, ours is a 360° approach towards addressing varied flexible packaging needs of our clients across the globe,”said Mr. Chaturvedi.

Visit Uflex at HALL NO 11, STALL 11.21 at Pack Plus 2016, PragatiMaidan New Delhi from 27-30 July 2016

TheDrivers of a Thriving Flexible Packaging Industry

Flexible packaging undoubtedly is a dynamic and innovative packaging format. A recent report by Transparency Market Research has predicted the growth of this sector globally to be around 5% (CAGR) from 2016-2024, while the projected growth in the emerging markets of Asia like Indiawill be in the bracket of 15 – 20%.The-Drivers-of-a-Thriving-Flexible-Packaging-Industry (1)

In the present day and age flexible packaging is a big hit in the food, personal care and pharmaceutical industries.  Food packaging among the FMCG sector is the largest end use segment in terms of both value and volume. The growing population and the concomitant demand for fresh and frozen foods, beverages, personal care products and pharmaceuticals are some of the factors responsible for the rising demand for flexible packaging. Backed by investments in technology, equipment and R&D, the flexible packaging industry will continue to remain encouragingly buoyant in the times to come.

Furthermore, rising consumer demand for better, lightweight, convenient, durable, tamperproof and aesthetic packaging has worked remarkably well in favour of flexible packaging.  Constant innovations, R&D into developing advanced flexible packages have helped the industry to stay abreast with the changing trends and customers’ preferences.

Over the last few years, innovations in terms of product development towards barrier property parameters like absorbing food odours, retard oxygen migration, and longer food preservation havebeen driving flexible packaging. Engineers have incorporated better barrier properties leading to a longer shelf life and better functionalities of the flexible packaging solution. Flexibles are a great deterrent against moisture, microbes, change in temperatures, dirt etc thereby greatly extending the shelf life of food, detecting spoilage leading to less food wastage.

Sustainability is an important factor responsible for the growth of flexible packaging. Advantages like low raw material usage, less use of natural resources in the production stage, less waste as compared to traditional packaging formats, have made flexible packaging the favoured one amongst end consumers and manufacturers alike.  Flexible packaging requires far less energy during the manufacturing, transportation and disposal stage. It has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that one truckload of empty flat pouches is equivalent to more than 75 truckloads of empty rigid containers. The post-consumer waste is re-processable, which again is a big plus. With intense competition in the market, the sustainability factor proves to be a shot in the arm for flexible packaging.

The flexible packaging industry has been developing innovative packaging solutions for various sectors and applications. Uflex being India’s largest global flexible packaging solution company is at the helm of delivering innovativepackaging solutions through its continuousand improved R&D. The company with its roots in Indiais revered as a pioneer for driving innovation tocreate value added differentiation for its clientele world over. Continual product improvisation in terms of superior aesthetics; better functionality; enhanced barrier properties, infallible anti-counterfeiting/brand protection properties; eco-friendliness have put Uflex in a unique league of its own.

Latest studies reveal that the per capita packaging consumption in India is quite low at 4.3 kgs, compared to countries like Germany and Taiwan where it is 42 kgs and 19 kgs respectively.The penetration of packaged products is barely 20%-25% in India.This gives a huge opportunity to packaging players like Uflex to grab the market pie which sooner than later will follow in footsteps of the western markets where the packaging penetration is almost close to 100%.

Hence, there exists a huge scope for innovations, entrepreneurships, infrastructure advancements in the flexible packaging industry in India. Concerted initiatives are required to convert the large unpacked segmentinto packed, processed, authenticated and well-presented goods. Uflex Limited stands committed towards this growth storyinbringingthe Indian flexible packaging market at par with the global market.

Uflex inaugurates ‘Fully Automatic Robotic Laser Engraving Line’ at Noida facility in technical collaborationwithM/s Think Lab, Japan

In printing industry, precision and efficiency cannot be emphasized enough.In order to offer infallible printing consistency to its converting clients, India’s largest global flexible packaging solution company Uflex Limitedshook hands with Ms. Think Lab, Japan and set up a Fully Automatic Robotic Laser Engraving Line for manufacturing rotogravure cylinders at the Noida facility.

Robotic Arm feeding the steel base shell for Nickle Copper electroplating in plant section B at Uflex Noida, India(Robotic Arm feeding the steel base shell for Nickle/ Copper electroplating in plant section B at Uflex Noida, India)

The robotic laser engraving line has reduced the cumbersome process of manufacturing rotogravure printing cylinders to a single operator job. This automation however poses absolutely no threat to the current manpower as there existsa separate well contoured market segment for conventional electro-mechanically engraved, embossed, coated rotogravure printing cylinders much likethe laser robotic plant engraved rotogravure cylinders. While over 200 cylinders are manufactured per day using the conventional process at Uflex, through the robotic laser engraving line spread in approximately 1/10th of the entire cylinder manufacturing shop floor area at Noida, a single operator can produce additional 60 cylinders per day.

Major advantages associated with the rotogravure cylinders manufactured on the fully automatic robotic laser engraving line are:

  • Consistency in printing for flexible packaging;
  • More mileage from the cylinder;
  • Less ink consumption during printing operation as compared to conventional electromechanical engraving;
  • Production volumes have gone up from the erstwhile 180 cylinders per day to produce 240-250 cylinders;
  • The cylinders produced are dynamically balanced and can run up to a speed of 500m/minute;
  • High Definition image re-production capability of 6,400 DPI which is not attainable through the conventional electro-mechanical engraving process;
  • Very less production space is required in comparison to the conventional process with similar production capacity;
  • Requires less power, hence the running costs are low.

Owing to the whole gamut of benefits that they bring, the rotogravure cylinders manufactured on the robotic laser engraving line are in great demand by converters and packaging companies catering to niche multi-national brands.

Expressing delight on this feat, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman &Managing Director, Uflex Limited said, “For this ambitious project we decided to partner with M/s Think Lab, Japan because of their unmatched technological finesse in gravure printing technology which is globally acclaimed. It is a name that instils trust and confidence and thus serves to be a perfect strategic partner for Uflex for our cylinder manufacturing business. We are getting online real time service support and assistance from Think Lab which is now completely dovetailed with our operations and ensures practically zero downtime. Our precision has improved manifold so has the production efficiency.”

Bureaucracy TodayCSR Excellence Award 2016 to Uflex for ‘Promotion of Sports’

‘Sports for Growth’ – a focussed intervention by India’s largest global flexible packaging solution company Uflex Limited has been conferred with the Bureaucracy Today CSR Excellence Award 2016.The initiative is aimed towards realising the rights of all children to play freely irrespective of caste, creed, gender, religion, ethnicity, physical/cognitive abilities and socio-economic status as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This scientifically planned social sustainability programme that is being rolled out in partnership with a leading NGO, STAIRS in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat emphasizes upon inclusionof underprivileged children & youth particularly the girl child and differently abled in the Sports Ecosystem of India. This further leads to social empowerment of the beneficiaries.

BT-CSR Excellence Award 2016 for 'Promotion of Sports'(Bureaucracy Today – CSR Excellence Award 2016 to Uflex Limited for ‘Promotion of Sports’)

The award was given away at a high profile event held in Delhi with influential personalities including Union Ministers, MPs, Corporate Honchos, Senior Bureaucrats and the CMDs of top public sector undertakings in attendance. The award ceremony was organised by the popular current affairs magazine Bureaucracy Today.Shri AnantGeete, Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises was the Chief Guest at the event.

In a tough competition where entries from 356 organisations were received across the country, only 36 could make the final cut. The eminent Jury comprised luminaries like Mr. Sunil Kanoria, President ASSOCHAM;Dr.Arbind Prasad, IAS, Director General FICCI;Mr. Ajay Shriram, President CII (2014-15); Mr. Sunil Arora, IAS (R), Former Secretary Information and Broadcasting Ministry; Mr. R.S Sharma, former CMD ONGC,Mr. KhurshidGanai,IAS, Chairman J&K Public Service Commission; andMr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, IAS, DG & CEO IICA (Chairman of the Jury).

Some of the organisations that were also honoured along with Uflex are Hindustan Petroleum; NTPC; Tata Business Support Services Limited; Power Grid India Limited; Capgemini, Wadia Group; DLF Foundation; Tech Mahindra Foundation;Wockhardt Foundation; Apollo Tyres; Sony India; Aircel; ACC Limited; Lafarge; Cairn India Limited; Chambal Fertilizers Limited among others.

Talking about ‘Sports for Growth’ initiative, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex Limitedin an official statement released soon after the ceremony said, “It is encouraging to see that the initiative we started a few years ago in association with STAIRS is now attaining critical mass with more and more participation by girls and the differently abled. Our endeavour is to institutionalise sports in the best interest of the not so privileged children and youth. Sports is a great instrument to promote national integration besides keeping our children physically fit and mentally agile.”