Soparkar & Kothari Technologies is an independently owned women-led company based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. As reported earlier by Packaging South Asia, the company had installed a Varex II with MDO blown film line by W&H for the manufacturing of breathable and non-breathable back sheet films for the hygiene industry.
Backed by the all-women trio of Shraddha Soparkar, Deval Soparkar, and Vidisha Kothari, the company has one goal in mind – providing hygiene product manufacturers in India with a one-stop solution for high-quality sustainable films. To achieve this, S&K has now invested in a cast line from Taiwan to produce non-breathable back sheet films and an 8-color state-of-the-art CI flexo press to augment the printing on the existing 4-color flexo press. In addition, in the converting section, it has installed a pouching machine. All the new machines were successfully commissioned in December 2022 at the company’s 50,000-square-meter plant in Changodar on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.
Shraddha Soparkar, director of Soparkar and Kothari Industries says, “With the addition of the 8-color CI flexo to our existing 4-color CI flexo machine and the new pouching machine, we now have a complete setup for the primary packaging of hygiene products.” The firm can currently produce 650 metric tons of film and with its two flexo presses, print the entire 650 metric tons monthly.
“Personal care brands also need high-quality primary packaging to distribute their products. With the addition of these machines, we have become a one-stop solution for these brands. This is the first plant in India that is not only manufacturing the back sheet but also the primary and secondary packaging for the industry. We are optimizing the supply chain position of these brands,” explains Vidisha Kothari, a director at S&K.
Reducing the carbon footprint
The directors said the company plans to commission additional pouching machines in the next six months. They also plan to install an in-house recycling machine to increase their focus on sustainability – a key area they are working on. Director Deval Soparkar states, “We are promoting breathable back sheet films as they use less resin, and help to reduce the overall carbon footprint. Non-breathable films are not good from a health point of view as well. Earlier, suppliers were not having the appropriate resins and the machine availability to produce these efficiently but today S&K has the machines to address this problem.”
S&K Tech can produce MDO film on its Varex II blown film line, a replacement for PET/PE laminated structures. “It is not a one-to-one replacement but if you start today, in the future you will find more such replacements. Before we launched our plant, most brands were working on 20 gsm and above, but we have been able to produce films as low as 11 gsm. With this, we have assisted many brands in downgauging.”
With persistent efforts to transform the manufacturing and packaging of hygiene products in India, S&K Technologies is at an advanced stage in adding more brands to its already long list. Soothe Healthcare, Swara Baby Products, Kangaroo, K Enterprise, PAN Healthcare, Uniclan Healthcare, and MD Hygiene are already using breathable back sheet films manufactured by the woman-led enterprise. The firm also plans to manufacture top sheet hygiene films in India shortly, which are generally imported at present.