Monthly Archives: January 2017

ALL THAT YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ASEPTIC LIQUID PACKAGING

packAseptic 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.ugl

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’.

 

Uflex launches Super Barrier Polyester Film

Uflex Launches Super Barrier Film, FLEXPET-FPGB

India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and solution company Uflex has launchedSuper Barrier Polyester Film, FLEXPETTM F-PGB-12.

This 12 micron Bi-axially Oriented Polyethylene Terephthalate (BOPET) film owing toa speciallymodified surface treatment (on one side)offers very high barrier to oxygen. The other side of the film can be corona treated or left untreated as per the requirements of the convertor.The Oxygen Transmission Rate (O.T.R) of this film is < 6 cm3/m2/day at 23 degrees Celsius & 0% RH. A big advantage with this film is the fact that it does not require any coating or co-extrusion of Polyvinylidene Chloride (PVDC) or Ethylene Vinyl alcohol (EVOH) for enhancing barrier properties.

An untreated BOPET normal film of 12 micron has O.T.R. as high as 135 cm3/m2/day; thereby offering much weaker barrier to O2. A normal film quite essentially requires inline or offline PVDC/EVOH coating for enhancing the barrier properties.

The benefits of FLEXPETTMF-PGB-12 filmare multifarious:

  • It offers good flexibility;
  • Exhibits very good optical properties/ transparency;
  • Offers good machinability and handling properties owing to high Tensile Strength at Break (TSB);
  • Poses excellent barrier to gas as compared to normal BOPET film;
  • Offers cost benefits w.r.t. PVDC/EVOH coated/co-extruded substrates.

Mr. J.K. Sharma, AGM, Technical Service and New Product Development (Films) talking about the USPs of FLEXPETTMF-PGB-12 said, “This film offers a clear cost advantage to the convertors over other PVDC/EVOH coated/ co-extruded filmsand is widely used in the packaging for pet foods; roasted coffee and other oxygen & barrier sensitive food products. There is a huge demand for this cost effective speciality BOPET film and we are getting good number of business enquiries.”

Giving more details about the new speciality film, Mr. Pramod Sirsamkar, President   Technical & New Product Development (Films), Uflex Limited said, “In a typical two ply laminate our latest film can serve as a superior oxygen barrier while the sealant layer can act as a great barrier to moisture. This is the simplest cross section that one can think of keeping the converting costs to a bare minimum without compromising upon the performance of the laminate. The F-PGB film complies with EU regulation and US FDA for food contact application.”

Commenting about FLEXPETTMF-PGB-12 film, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex Limited said, “We are producing this film at all our manufacturing facilities i.e. in India, UAE, Poland, Egypt, Mexico and USA. This speciality substrate is yet another example of innovation to create value added differentiation for our clients globally. Considering its superior barrier to oxygen, the film can be laminated with a sealant polymeric substrate to render a superior two layer laminate which is thin and lightleaving much lesser carbon footprint at all the three stages of the product lifecycle i.e. manufacturing; transportation and disposal.”

Uflex unveils ASEPTOTM , its much awaited Aseptic Liquid Packaging Brand

- its much awaited Aseptic Packaging Brand

The wait is finally over! India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company Uflex has unveiled ‘ASEPTOTM’ its Aseptic Liquid Packaging Brand. Uflex’s Aseptic Liquid Packaging manufacturing plant that will be commercially operational by April 2017 perfectly echoes Government of India’s Make In India ethos.

ASEPTOTM is derived from the word aseptic which means sterile. Aseptic packaging ensures that food remains free from bacteria and other harmful microorganisms for a period of at least 8 months under room temperature.

As shown in the image (3) above, aseptic packages are made by laminating Poly-ethylene with paperboard and aluminium foil. This multi-layered construction enables the carton to protect the contents from various factors responsible for spoilage, thereby preserving the product freshness and value.

• The aluminum foil layer is a strong barrier for O2 and light;
• The innermost layer made of polyethylene makes it possible to seal- through the pack;
• The paper layer provides stiffness, making it possible for the cartons to assume a brick shape thereby enabling maximum utilization of the 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 Aluminium 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 packages i.e. 200 ml, 100 ml, 1000 ml etc.

The finished rolls are sent to the customer where these rolls are run on the forming and filling line and the desired products (juices, milk, other dairy and distillery products) are filled and packed in the packages.
Good surface material coupled up with superior graphics enhances the brand equity on retail shelf.

The packaging increases shelf life of the product also saving from the dependency on cold chain besides enunciating ease of handling for the marketers and consumers alike.

Launching ASEPTOTM, Mr. Ashwani Sharma, President & CEO, New Business Initiatives, Uflex Limited said, “Aseptic Packaging market in India is majorly classified into 3 segments i.e. Juices, Dairy Products and Liquor. Packaging of flavoured milk, other dairy items and liquor in Aseptic packaging material will play a key role in propelling the growth of aseptic packaging in the coming years both in India and overseas. Our total manufacturing capacity of 7 billion packs per annum will cater to 90% of the domestic market demand. In APAC, the market growth is around 7% and in India the growth has been in double digits for the last 3-4 years.

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.”

Commenting about the investment that has gone into the upcoming aseptic packaging manufacturing plant, Mr. R.K. Jain, Group President (Corp. F & A), Uflex Limited said, “The aseptic packaging manufacturing plant is coming up on 21 acres of the 72 acre land parcel that Uflex has bought at Sanand, Gujarat. Remaining land may cater to any future expansion of Uflex’s existing business as well as for aseptic packaging manufacturing as the need be. Upholding our commitment towards environmental sustainability, the aseptic packaging manufacturing facility has been designed to be a zero discharge plant. Solar panels and Passive Architecture-Envelop Insulation have been used to preserve natural light besides conserving power energy.

The investment towards the Aseptic Packaging plant is INR 580 crore (approx. USD 85 million) and once operational, it will employ around 250 people. Our total investment over the next two-three years is INR 1500 crore in a phased manner. This already includes INR 580 crore towards setting up the Aseptic Packaging Manufacturing Plant. The balance will be utilized for modernization of manufacturing systems and processes and R&D towards yet better flexible packaging solutions using the most contemporary technology. From the current Top Line of USD 1 Billion we are very positive of doubling up in the next three-four years.”

Expressing his joy while unveiling brand ASEPTOTM, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman & Managing Director, Uflex Limited said, “Being the fully integrated multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company that we are, we will also be offering the specialised filling machines to our clients as a well-rounded packaging solution for their liquid products. Our Engineering Business at Noida is designing and manufacturing machines with a filling speed of 7,500 packs / hour for a typical 200 ml pack.

We already have a wide customer base to whom we offer fully integrated flexible packaging solutions for their solid, semi-solid, granular, powder, paste, gel and viscous fluid products. Now with our aseptic packaging manufacturing plant going operational, getting orders from the existing clients for their liquid products will be a natural extension of our long standing business relationship of several decades.”

Flexible Packaging Trends 2017

Uflex Infographic January revised

Uflex transforms Tortilla Chips’ Packaging for America’s Healthiest Grocery Store

Packaging for Whole Foods Market, USA

Some four months ago, America’s Healthiest Grocery Store, Whole Foods Market approached India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company Uflex through one of the latter’s long standing clients who had been using special packaging solution from Uflex for its Tortilla Chips.

The Problem Statement of Whole Foods Market – Multi-Layer Kraft Paper Institutional Bags with a BOPP sealant layer were not providing enough barrier to Tortilla Chips from oxygen and moisture. Result: Chips in those institutional packs were turning soggy and rancid in barely 3 weeks or so. Added disadvantages of paper being torn in the supply chain or ruptured by sharp edges of tortilla chips was a double whammy. Fabrication of multi-layer Kraft paper packs in itself is an expensive proposition that requires specialised equipment at the converters’ end with prohibitive capital costs. Printing on paper poses further limitations diminishing the aesthetics of the pack. More annoying was the fact that the Multi-Layer Kraft Paper Institutional Bags of Net Weight 16 OZ (1 LB) 454g had to be cut open from the top for taking the chips out and leaving the consumer with no option other than consuming all of it in one go with no provision for deferred consumption without spoilage.

All these issues compelled Whole Foods Market to look for alternate packaging solution for their Tortilla Chips, and that’s when they were referred to Uflex.

Whole Foods did not want to create any confusion in the minds of consumers regarding the look and appeal of its tortilla chips packaging. Moreover being the largest seller of organic food in the US, Whole Foods Market quite essentially wanted to give a paper like organic look to the packaging thereby upholding their brand ethos.

The engineers at Uflex with a clear brief from the client designed a three layered; 12.5 micron coated Polyester / 18 micron BOPP (both sides treated) / 35 micron Polyethylene packaging structure as a 3D flat bottom pouch. Polyester provides excellent barrier from oxygen and also exhibits good thermal resistance owing to its melting temperature that is as high as 150-160 degrees Centigrade. BOPP acts as a strong barrier to moisture. Polyethylene (PE) serves as a sealant layer besides imparting strength and sturdiness to the pouch. To impart a paper like organic look, special registered matte coating was applied on the glossy polyester film.

The pouch is reverse printed and the same machine has the facility of carrying out Registered Top Coating either in matte or gloss thereby rendering a transparent window. A see through window is always a great value addition as the consumers always prefer seeing the product packed inside for making an informed buying decision. A concealed Press-To-Close (PTC) pocket zipper has been provided on the front panel of the 3D pouch with a perforated strip for easy opening and protecting the product for deferred use without any fear of spoilage. An important fact that must be noted is that usually pouches have to be cut from the top using scissors or knives in order to retrieve the snack. This can lead to contamination of food and is therefore not advisable. The PTC slider pocket pouch efficiently obviates this shortcoming.

The transformed packaging offers the following clear advantages:
(a) Shelf life of tortilla chips increased to 90 days;
(b) Opening the pack is very convenient for the consumers. Small potions can now be taken out from the institutional pack and the pouch could be zipped thereafter for deferred use keeping the quality of chips absolutely intact through the prescribed shelf life;
(c) The 3D pouch renders a 360 degree branding canvas to the pack as it has five distinct panels. This further enhances the visibility and aesthetics of the pouch at the Point of Sale (POS).

Talking about the new packaging for Whole Foods Market, Mr. Anup Sachdeva, Joint President Packaging (Global Exports) at Uflex Limited said, “Earlier in December, especially for the Christmas Season we dispatched 1 million new pouches to the co-packer by Air. The new pouches are now on the retail shelves and I am given to understand from the client that the response has been terrific. The matte finished paper-like pouch perfectly lives up to the image and ethos of the organic food packed inside. More importantly the inks that we have used in the converting process are Toluene and MEK free further emboldening the brand image in the organic space. Tortilla is categorized as healthy food and enjoys a huge market in West America. Consumers are quite appreciating the Press to Close (PTC) zipper on the front panel for the great convenience that it brings along with it.

We are getting more and more enquiries from Tortilla and other snacks brands in the United States that are still using conventional paper packaging. We are very hopeful of more business transactions fructifying in the near future.”

Commenting about the success of the metamorphosed packaging of Tortilla Chips for Whole Foods Market, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex Limited said, “You will be glad to know that the pouch has been fabricated on a special Quad Seal Machine with a registered PTC/ Slider applicator and perforation facility. This machine has also been indigenously manufactured by our Engineering Business at the Noida Plant. Being an end-to-end multinational flexible packaging materials and solution company we offer immense ease to our clients globally. All their packaging requirements are met under one roof.

Another very important point that I would like to mention over here is that the revamped packaging for Tortilla Chips did not require any new or specialised filling and sealing line at the Co-packer’s end. The erstwhile machine fills and seals the new pouches equally efficiently. Coming to think of it, no additional Capex is a major boon for the Co-packer. I am glad Uflex has been able to deliver Whole Foods Market exactly the packaging that they had been looking for. Adding value to our clients’ business through innovation is our raison d’être and my team is doing that perfectly and infallibly.”