Monthly Archives: December 2016

Uflex Keeping The Green Promise

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Flexible Packaging Trends to watch out for in 2017

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Another year goes down the aisles of history but leaving the packaging space richer in terms of innovation; value for money and overall sustainability. Packaging is an evergreen industry. As long as products sell, packaging will continue to drape them. There can be ups and downs of different intensities on the basis of macro and micro-economic factors in different parts of the world, but the fact of the matter remains that packaging will always be in demand.

Some top research agencies from across the globe have charted out trends that will set the tone for the flexible packaging industry. Additionally, being India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company and hailing from our own experience of selling products in over 140 countries across the globe, we now present a narrative on the trends to watch out for in the New Year.

Sustainability will be the key: There is an ever increasing clamor for down gauged packaging. Light weighting and reduction at source will be an important governing point for packaging companies through the New Year and beyond. Moreover, the pull now coming straight from the end users assuming greater responsiveness towards the environment, packaging will irrevocably echo the sentiments. Yet more emphasis will be paid by the buyers towards recycling and reprocessing of post-consumer waste by the suppliers contributing to the circular economy;

Value added brand protection features: With counterfeiting plaguing the brands and eroding their hard earned equity, there will be an invigorated attempt in 2017 to take this menace head-on. Looking at the long term positive effect that anti-counterfeiting measures have on brand image, more and more brands will chose for impregnable brand protection solutions;

Packaging shapes and structures congruent to brand image: Brands are well personified assets and enjoy an image that the marketers are very conscious about. It is hoped that several consumer packaged goods companies world over will opt to give their packaging designs a fresher look in line with the attributes that their brand stands tall for. One must not forget that ‘Good packaging protects your product. Great packaging protects your brand’.

Coming to terms with online shopping: 2017 will be a year of limitless opportunities for E-commerce and online shopping even for the FMCG. Custodians are likely to leave no stone unturned for making their brands look as appealing and striking on click and mortar as they do in the case of a brick and mortar experience. Packaging will be revved up for rendering an unmatched online experience on e-tailing front. There will be more personalization and simplification of messages for the end users. E-commerce being a growing market, there will be a rise in protective packaging as e-commerce has made inroads to the smallest of towns apart from hitting the metros in the country.

Functionality zoom: In 2017 brands will pro-actively work with their packaging suppliers to increase functionality of the packs that are seen as a clear extension to the overall product experience offered to the consumers. More emphasis will be laid than ever on re-sealability; re-closability; ease of opening; ease of carrying and disposing.

Pushing up the product to package ratio: Efforts will be on to ensure that more product is packed inside the pre-defined enclosure. The size and shape of packaging will be continually pruned and optimized for making economic sense out of the expensive retail shelves across the globe. Thus boosting the numerator and pushing down the denominator will be the earnest attempt by the brands and packaging suppliers.

Furthermore grey matter for packaging: In an ever evolving landscape, packaging intelligence is likely to get more astute, active and smart in the New Year. With IoT (Internet of things) already ruling the roost, packaging as an enabler will be far more intuitive and help providing instantaneous information to the consumers about the packed products. Be it the ingredients; physical location of goods in transit; conditions in which the product was produced and packed or the real time condition assessment of the product inside the packet. Packaging will pave way for accessing all pertinent information through the hand held devices used by consumers and other actors in the value chain. Packaging will be rendered more engaging for the GEN-Y in 2017 and the years that follow.

With the most contemporary technology and some of the best brains by its side, India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company Uflex is all geared to welcome 2017 and delightfully surprise its clients with its innovation galore.

Uflex engineers Automatic Linear Pick Fill Seal Machine

Four Lane Automatic Linear Pick Fill Seal Machine engineered by Uflex

Uflex engineers Multi Lane Automatic Linear Pick – Fill & Seal Machine

Noida, 13 December 2016: Packers for years have been grappling with the problem of narrow mouth opening of preformed Flat Bottom Pouches or 3 Dimensional (3D)Pouches on the filling lines. The vacuum cups of conventional Pick – Fill & Seal (PFS) Machines clamp open a pouch by holding its 2 side gussets thus resulting in a very narrow opening.

This leads to rather sluggish filling of these pouches without being able to have full mouth opening. Let’s face it- The impeded filling speed of conventional PFS machines has not been able to do justice to the state-of-the-art 3D/flat bottom pouches that are touted to take flexible packaging to a whole new level of functional and aesthetic excellence.

India’s largest fully integrated multinational flexible packaging materials and solution company Uflex Limited with this problem statement at hand, has engineered the Multi Lane Automatic Linear Pick – Fill & Seal Machine. The vacuum cups of this machine unlike the conventional PFS machines clamp open a pouch by holding its 4 Ps or the panels thereby opening up the mouth as wide as it gets.

If we compare any rotary PFS machine to the newly engineered Multi Lane Automatic Linear Pick – Fill & Seal Machine, the comparable speed of filling and sealing 3D/flat bottom pouches has more than doubled. Uflex is the only company in India to have indigenously engineered this simple and intellectually appealing machine. This machine can be equipped with Volumetric, Gravimetric or Liquid Filling systems.

The clear advantages of the Multi Lane Automatic Linear Pick – Fill & Seal Machine are:

  • Higher filling output rate (pouches/minute) of 3D/flat bottom pouches owing to wider mouth opening and the machine being multi-lane;
  • Since the mouth of the pouch is opened to the hilt, bigger sized products can be inserted, filled  and sealed inside the 3D pouches;
  • The same machine can be used to fill Doy Pack/Stand Up Pouches; 3 Side Seal Pouches and Normal Zipper pouches as well;

The features of the Multi Lane Automatic Linear Pick – Fill & Seal Machine are:

  • Fully Automatic Linear Pick Fill Seal Machine is a continuous machine designed for the efficient packaging of various products like Tea, Sugar, Salt, Granular products etc.;
  • The Machine is PLC controlled with Touch screen HMI, making it operator friendly;
  • Five Servo integrated to achieve high performance;
  • Versatile machine where the pouch sizes can be changed easily;
  • Accurate Pick and Place Mechanism for exact position of the pouch;
  • Unique filling System;
  • Compact design with small foot print;
  • Easy operation;
  • Low maintenance;
  • Various Optional attachments can be provided like nitrogen flushing etc. as per customers’ requirement.

Commenting about the features of the new Four Lane Automatic Linear Pick – Fill & Seal Machine; UFLEX LPFS-4TMr. Ajay Tandon, President & CEO, Engineering Business, Uflex Limited said, “This sophisticated machine is a classic example of Interventional Engineering by Uflex. Our customers i.e. packers approached us with the pain point of not being able to rapidly fill the 3D/flat bottom pouches. Narrow mouth opening of pouches in the conventional PFS machines was actually bringing down the productivity of the packers. Some of them even filled up the pouches manually. It took us 15 months to engineer this machine at our plant in Noida.

The Four Lane Automatic Linear Pick – Fill & Seal Machine; UFLEX LPFS-4T owing to the multitude of benefits beholds huge potential not only in India but overseas as well. We will be exhibiting UFLEX LPFS-4T at International PackTech India, from 15 to 17 December 2016 at the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Centre; Goregaon (East), Mumbai. We will be in Hall No.1 stand no. C-42.”

Expressing delight at the launch of the Four Lane Automatic Linear Pick – Fill & Seal Machine; UFLEX LPFS-4T, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex Limited said, “The flexible packaging industry has evolved rather rapidly and now one can see the most innovative packaging solutions on the retail shelf. Flat Bottom Pouches or the 3 Dimensional Pouches (3D) are one of the most brilliant and efficient examples of modern day packaging. Owing to the unavailability of a suitable filling machine, the magic of these brilliant 3D pouches was somewhat restrained. I am glad that my Engineering Team at Uflex has created a machine that can ensure wider mouth openings of flat bottom pouches ensuring easy filling at much higher speeds and output rates. This in turn will surely give boost to the sale of flat bottom pouches. Having a stellar pouch without an appropriate filling machine is just like having a great car without tyres. Being the fully integrated flexible packaging materials and solution company that Uflex is, we always ensure that path breaking packaging designs are complimented with the associated packing/filling machines too. This is a Uflex Promise”

Uflex launches Direct UV Offset Printable Polyester Film

Direct UV Offset Printable Polyester Film engineered by Uflex
UV offset printing on non-absorptive surfaces is getting popular by the days. It gives an ultimate packaging solution for Board Lamination and Decorative Printing. The daunting challenge in this segment however remains the availability of right kind of substrate where direct printing can be done without any primer/ treatment.

Let’s try to understand this, a little better. Liquids do not wet surfaces with free energies lower than their surface tension. On the contrary an extremely high surface free energy as compared to the surface tension of the ink will also result in poor wetting and adhesion. Therefore according to printing industry experts, for best wetting and ink adhesion on to non-absorptive surfaces the ‘dyne level’ or the surface free energy of the substrate should be about 10 dynes above the surface tension of the ink.

Unfortunately many polymeric substrates have too low surface energy required for good printing and ink adhesion and therefore the substrate has to be remedially modified in order to make it printable.

This modification is usually done with an adjustable corona treatment or by applying a suitable primer coating. Corona treatment is fast and relatively inexpensive, but surface dyne levels are susceptible to loss or decay during prolonged storage and upon contact with some fountain solutions. Precautions must be taken to obtain a uniform dyne level that is not too high. Corona treatments can at times also dramatically increase troublesome static charges in the material treated. Therefore to avoid this, primer coatings that adhere to both the substrate and to the subsequently applied inks are used. This as one could well imagine is an elaborate and time consuming process that has been posing further challenges for the convertors.

With this problem statement at hand, India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company Uflex Limited has engineered a speciality polyester film F-UVC film which is suitable for direct UV offset printing without requiring any primer/ treatment. The film is available in both bare transparent and metallized variants, where the un-metallized side is used for UV offset printing and UV curing. The metallized polyester film i.e. FLEXMETPROTECTTM (F-UVC-M) is available in optical density ranging from 1.4 to 2.2. The wide range of optical densities gives choice to customer to use the product for diverse range of applications. The metal bond between the metal and the film is 130-180 gms/25mm.

There are several benefits of Direct UV Offset Printable PET Film:

(a) It is suitable for direct surface printing without primer/ corona treatment;
(b) The lead time is minimum at convertors’ end;
(c) Yields excellent print results, high gloss and clarity with high quality resolution for pictures and half tone jobs with good scuffing resistance;
(d) It is suitable for high speed machines and is versatile, tear proof and crack resistant;
(e) It offers excellent smoothness, flatness and ink adhesion.

Mr. J.K. Sharma, AGM, Technical Service and New Product Development (Films), Uflex Limited highlighting the benefits of the Direct UV Offset Printable PET Film said, “Primer coating for rendering the films printable is a cumbersome and time consuming exercise at the Convertors’ end. The coating machine is a big capital investment in itself. Therefore with this new innovation by Uflex, the convertors can heave a sigh of relief. Not only does the film increase operational efficiencies of convertors but also restricts their capital expenditure.”

Talking about this new speciality film, Mr. Pramod Sirsamkar, President – Technical & New Product Development (Films), Uflex Limited said, “This is a great product for UV curable offset printing giving excellent scuff resistance, adding value for both the customer and the end user. The demand for this film is very encouraging.”

Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex Limited expressing delight at the new launch said, “Our feedback loop in the global market is very strong. We are always in touch with our clients globally and are promptly responsive to their needs. Convertors had been facing difficulties with primer coating of the films as it takes a lot of time. This had been impeding their productivity. I am happy that the team at Uflex addressed the pain point of convertors by engineering the UV Offset Printable PET Film, which now permits surface printing without any treatment.”

3rd season of STAIRS School Football League (SSFL) closes with a bang

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Having witnessed dozens of enticing encounters among hundreds of teams over the last many days and after winning the hearts of millions of football lovers and players, the 3rd season of STAIRS School Football League (SSFL) — which was kicked off by Shri Vijay Goel, Minister of State, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, on Oct 19th, 2016, at Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi – came to an end on Thursday, Dec 1, 2016. Shri Rajiv Yadav, Sports Secretary, Government of India, presided as the Chief Guest for the closing ceremony, while many other dignitaries graced the occasion with their presence.

Mega sports event SSFL-3 saw more than 30,000 school-level footballers from 2000 schools of Delhi & Gujarat participating in the tournament. During the event 4000 matches (500 in Delhi and 3500 in Gujarat) were played, making it the biggest as well as the longest-ever football league at the school level. A total of 256 teams, comprising 128 teams of under 14 boys and 128 teams of under 17 boys, participated in the tournament. Apart from the boys’ team, the tournament also witnessed avid participation from 32 girls’ teams in U-14 and U-17 categories.

The closing event was followed by a prize distribution ceremony, during which trophies, medals and certificates were given to the winning team and players for showing exemplary performance. Shri Rajiv Yadav, Sports Secretary, congratulated the winning team for their gritty win and thanked all the participants for their enthusiasm and passion for the game of football. He also assured all future support to the STAIRS School Football League, world’s biggest football scouting and training programme at the school level, and other initiatives of STAIRS in order to encourage and develop sports at the grassroots level.

Congratulating the winning team and talking about STAIRS, Mr. R.K Jain, Group President, (Corp. F & A) Uflex Limited , said, “We are glad to see the growing love and passion of today’s children towards sports like football, and think that if nurtured well, they can well be the super sportspersons of tomorrow. So far as our association with STAIRS is concerned, it has come a long way for institutionalizing sports in the best interest of underprivileged children and youth. I am happy to see how this platform has evolved over the years, paving the way for inclusive development. One noteworthy thing to mention is that not only boys, but even girls are now showing their keen interest in football. SSFL-3 itself saw participation from 32 girls’ teams, which is quite encouraging. We hope that the confidence of children playing under the Uflex-SSFL banner will only grow over time.”

Addressing the august gathering at the closing event, Mr. Siddhartha Upadhyay, Founder and Secretary General, STAIRS, said, “Gone are the days when Indians were crazy only for cricket. Now football seems set to regain its lost glory and make a big comeback in times to come. The massive craze for soccer among the nation’s youth today as well as hosting of events like SSFL-3 are a precursor to this. I am happy to announce that SSFL has already established itself as the largest football talent scouting and training programme in India, and has also become one of the most significant ‘talent spotting’ platforms for clubs and bodies seeking to acquire talent right at early adolescence. During a short span of two years of its existence, about 35,000 children have already been enrolled with SSFL, while the aim is to cross 1,00,000 footballers on a permanent basis for scouting, training and development. I see a great future for football in India.”

The fundamental objectives of SSFL include:

a) Transforming the sporting scenario at the grassroots,
b) Uproot all obstacles confronting sporting talent at the hinterland and
c) Nurturing future champions and creating opportunities for them to excel

SSFL-3 began with league matches at over 8 different venues across four zones in Delhi while the semi-final and final games were played at the central venue. The event was solely meant for the children under 14 years and under 17 years of age and exactly followed the FIFA World Cup format. All the participating school teams also had to go through the qualifier rounds. For the 3rd season, SSFL got assistance from Sakaar Association for all its matches in Delhi and from Gujarat State Football Association for all Gujarat-based matches.

S.No Winner Runner – up Final Score
Under 14 girls
  1.  
Ahlcon Public School Modern School, Vasant Vihar 2-0
Under 17 girls
  1.  
RSKV, East Vinod Nagar Ahlcon Public School 1-0
Under 14 boys
  1.  
GBSSS No 1, Moti Bagh  STAIRS East 4-0
Under 17 boys
  1.  
Nalanda Public School  CRPF Rohini 4-1