Blue River Capital acquires stake in International Print-O-Pac Limited

Orders Expansions Investments and Alliances

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The Singhvi family, promoters of International Print-o-Pac Limited, the Noida-based commercial printing and board packaging company, have divested a minority stake to Blue River Capital based in Mumbai for Rs. 55 crore. Blue River Capital I, LLC is an international private equity fund, focused on capital growth investment in India.

International Print-O-Pac began as a prepress unit in the Okhla industrial area of New Delhi and gradually expanded to commercial printing and packaging with a large purpose built plant in Noida in end 1997. The managing director of the plant is Amila Singhvi and the chairman is Ravindra Singhvi. Their son Rishab Singhvi who joined the company in 2001 is the executive director.

Disclosing the deal to the financial press on January 17, Ravindra Singhvi, chairman, IPPOPL, said, “The demand for high quality packaging from organized retail will increasingly drive the growth of the Indian print-packaging industry. In addition, the emergence of India as a competitive global manufacturing and outsourcing hub will provide an additional impetus to growth. IPP is working towards realizing the potential offered by these opportunities.”

Added Rishabh Singhvi, executive director, IPPOPL, “With print publishing outsourcing growing at 20% and the board packaging growing at 25% each year, IPP intends to embark on a significant expansion program to meet local and international demand. Our partnership with Blue River Capital will encourage faster and focused growth. We look forward to working towards attaining threshold volumes in each of our business areas – packaging, commercial printing and publication printing for top line growth while simultaneously developing the next generation products vital to the bottom line.”

Muneesh Chawla, Managing Director of Blue River Capital India Advisors, explained the rationale for the investment in IPPOPL. “Its’ integrated printing and packaging business model allows the company to deploy capital efficiently, and offer complete, value added packaging solutions to large global retailers. Modern day organized retailing demands innovation in design and consistency in quality and delivery. IPP is well positioned on all these counts, and we expect it to take a leadership position in the industry.”

International Print-O-Pac is a producer of premium printed products and packaging for FMCG companies, international book and magazine publishers, government and international institutions for domestic and export markets. The press release says that the company recorded 40% growth in FY 2005-06 and derives 25% of its turnover from exports. IPPOPL intends to utilize the proceeds to fund its expansion program to achieve a turnover of over Rs. 300 crore in FY 09-10.

Situated on an 8-acre site opposite the NOIDA SEZ with a built-up area of 350,000 square feet, the company’s NOIDA plant today is the largest paper and paperboard printing location in India. The company produces paperboard packaging, labels, books, magazines and stationery products. IPP has been one of the fastest growing printers in India especially since it built its first 140,000 square foot building at Noida in 1997 and installed the first 8-colour sheetfed offset press in the country. Since then it has added another building and considerable manufacturing space and printing and converting assets.

MAPE Advisory Group served as the sole arranger for the investment. This is the second private minority equity investment in a printing and packing plant in the last year. Parksons Packaging based in Mumbai with a plant in Daman received Rs. 50 crore from ChrysCapital for an undisclosed share of its equity in June 2006. MAPE was the advisor in that investment as well.

Founded in 2005, the Blue River Capital fund currently has over US$ 140 million (Rs 630 crore) under management. According to the India Brand Equity Foundation’s website, Blue River Capital is backed by Edelweiss Capital which also has an office in Mumbai. BRCI has received investments from the promoter family of Swiss cement maker Holcim as well as US-based PE firm Argonaut, backed by American billionaire George Kaiser. The Asian Development Bank also invested US$ 25 million in Blue River last year. Blue River is managed by Shujaat Khan, managing director of Blue River and Muneesh Chawla. Shujaat Khan worked at Chryscapital in its early days and Muneesh Chawla was previously at IL&FS Investment Managers.

Jindal commissions largest BOPP line
Jindal Poly Films, India’s largest producer of oriented films, has commissioned the world’s largest BOPP line (45,000 MTPA) at it’s Nasik, India plant, which is also the world’s largest single location packaging film facility. The new line is slated to hit 100% utilisation by March 2007. They have decided to add one more 45,000 MTPA BOPP line and an 8.7 meter wide 25,000 MTPA BOPET line, both of which will commence production in early 2008. With this, their total installed capacity will reach 135,000 MTPA of BOPP and 110,000 MTPA of BOPET films. A large proportion of their output is exported.

They have also commissioned a PVDC coating line for films to supplement their in-house coating and metallising facilities

JBF-RAK gives Bobst GBP 6 million order
Bobst have secured a GBP 6 million contract from JBF-RAK for 3 primary slitters, 4 secondary slitters with roll handling systems and a 2.45 meter wide high performance vacuum metalliser for supply during the second half of 2007. This is one of the largest orders received by Bobst since their take-over of Valmet.
JBF-RAK is a $ 90 million joint venture between JBF Industries of Mumbai, India – India’s 3rd largest PET chips manufacturer – and Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority of the UAE. They are setting up three BOPET lines and a PET chip plant in UAE with an aggregate capacity of 300 MT per day for packaging and industrial applications.

ITC P&SPD to add 100,000 tons
ITC, India’s largest manufacturer of paperboards, is investing INR 15.4 million over the next 2 years to expand capacities for paperboards and specialty papers. This will take their capacity for paperboard from 300,00 MTPA to 400,000 MTPA at their Bhadrachalam plant. Their total elemental chlorine pulp production capacity is also being increased from 100,000 MTPA to 220,000 MTPA by the last quarter of 2007. The capacity of their Coimbatore plant is also being increased.

Parksons – CD CARTONDRUCK alliance
As part of its strategy to become a globally recognized player in the folding carton space, Parksons Packaging Limited, the leading Indian carton manufacturer based in Mumbai with plants in Daman and another in Pune awaiting inauguration in mid-April 2007, has formed a strategic alliance with CD CARTONDRUCK AG of Obersulm, Germany. Parksons informed the trade and financial press on 30 January 2007 and also spoke to several members of the media over the telephone.

CARTONDRUCK (annual sales of 65 Million Euros) like Parksons is a family run business and is the producer of exclusive folding boxes for the international perfume, cosmetics and luxury markets. CARTONDRUCK with manufacturing capabilities in Germany, Poland and the United States is acknowledged as one of the highest quality manufacturers globally.

Parksons\’ Managing Director Ramesh Kejriwal said regarding the strategic collaboration, \””The alliance with CARTONDRUCK is an important step towards our goal of being a global leader in the folding carton industry. CARTONDRUCK is the ideal technical partner for Parksons and their capability allows us to service our global clients more efficiently.

CARTONDRUCK will act as a solid backup for our clients in the European and US markets allowing us to meet any urgent needs of our clients.\”” Executive Director Siddharth Kejriwal who heads Parksons marketing efforts adds, \””We will also have access to CARTONDRUCK\’s outstanding marketing expertise and personnel as well as their product development operations which will add to our own initiatives and existing portfolio.\””

CARTONDRUCK\’s owners Steffen and Marc Schnizer have every reason to welcome the venture as well. Parksons high quality operation in India will allow them to service their clients in Asia quickly and economically.

CARTONDRUCK Member of Board Steffen Schnizer commenting on the alliance says, \””Parksons offers all the printing and finishing techniques demanded by the international market. More and more of our customers are demanding a global supplier network. They increasingly want consistent and high quality supplies for their global sites without having to deal with a large number of individual suppliers. The alliance with Parksons is an important step towards achieving this.

100 million SEK investment in new cartonboard from Frövi White
Korsnäs, one of the largest manufacturers of paper sacks in the world will launch a new white cartonboard that will have has a coated reverse-side that can be printed upon. The product is to be launch in the first quarter 2007. Korsnas has invested SEK 100 million in a new reverse-side coater. Luxury brands demand white cartonboard with a smooth printing surface, that can be easily designed, with a reverse side that can be printed upon.

“We have invested in the future with our reverse-side coater,” says Ola Karlsson, Frövi White’s project manager. “The reverse-side coater is dimensioned to run the cartonboard machine much faster than is currently the case. Our development efforts are focused on gradually increasing the speed of the machine, meaning that bottlenecks must be handled through new investments. The cartonboard machine at Frövi is currently one of the largest and most modern in the world, and by purchasing it, Korsnäs is demonstrating its intention to stay at the forefront in the future as well.

“The printing surface is noticeably improved and smoother than Frövi Bright. The aim is for whiteness to increase by about 40%,” says Tommy Andersson, research and development specialist. Frövi White will be the only product with a coated reverse-side in the Korsnäs product range. The new coating-unit will be used to treat our other grades to improve reverse-side smoothness.

“We achieved this by using bleached long-fibre pulp in the middle layer as well as bulky chemi-thermomechanical pulp,” says Magnus Gyllenrapp who is responsible for basic cartonboard development of Frövi White.

“This is an enormous investment and we have created a niche for ourselves between fully bleached pulp and GC1 (reverse-side coated fully bleached board). An investment of this magnitude must be well substantiated. Market analysis has clearly indicated what customers want.,” says Ola Karlsson.

Avery Dennison and Vue Technology form RFID alliance
Avery Dennison Retail Information Services (RIS) and Vue Technology announced a marketing alliance that will deliver item-level RFID solutions to apparel, footwear and consumer goods retailers. Under the agreement, Avery Dennison RIS will jointly market its broad line of item-level RFID tags and labels, label printers and printing software with Vue Technology’s industry-leading RFID infrastructure, networking and software products.

Through the alliance, Avery Dennison RIS and Vue will provide retail customers with complete item-level solutions tailored to the unique needs of a particular retailer, with the flexibility to deliver item-level benefits and ROI within pilot projects or full-scale deployments. This help will equip retailers with multi-component item-level RFID solutions that are designed specifically to provide both front and back room store execution benefits, including reduced out of stocks, increased efficiencies, and decreased labour costs and product shrink.

‘Vue’s TrueVUE RFID Platform provides the world’s first unified RFID infrastructure that allows retailers to manage dock doors, portals, mobile devices, smart surfaces and smart shelves,’ said Sharon Dalton, worldwide manager of alliances at Avery Dennison Retail Information Services. ‘This enables retailers to achieve RFID visibility down to the item-level. When combined with our tags, labels, printers and software, we are now uniquely positioned to provide extraordinarily effective solutions to retailers.’

The combined product offering makes RFID solutions affordable for companies that may have previously found them cost-prohibitive.  For example, Vue Technology’s patented RF networking technology dramatically reduces conventional infrastructure costs by allowing standard RFID readers to network across thousands of antennas.

‘Working together, Avery Dennison RIS and Vue will combine our core competencies to offer a seamlessly integrated item-level RFID solution,’ said Tim von Kaenel, senior vice president of product management and business development for Vue Technology. ‘The solution provides unprecedented inventory visibility at a price point that will be attractive to today’s retailers. By reducing infrastructure costs and delivering a unified solution, retailers can quickly realize the benefits associated with item-level RFID in a manner that maximizes their ROI.

Borkar Packaging installs Bang Sung converting machine
Bang Sung Machinery, the Korean manufacturer of rotary intermittent letterpress, flat bed label printing and die-cutting/hot foil stamping machines, has commissioned its rejuvenated twin station off-line flat bed label-converting machine at Borkar Packaging’s Daman facilities. Borkar Packaging is a thirty year-old company with plants in Goa, Daman and Himachal Pradesh. Its modern plant at Daman has complete in-house facilities including printing, die-cutting, embossing, pasting, hot foiling for carton and label production.

Bang Sung’s “slope” flat bed die-cutting uses the latest bottom to top stroking system, which gives even die-cutting and increases the life span of cutting dies. The servo driven twin station 320 mm width converting machine includes the web unwinder, scanning sensor for second pass jobs, hot foil stamping, lamination, die cutting, waste matrix rewinder and is equipped with sheeter as well as rewinder for roll-to-roll or roll-to-sheet applications.

“It’s a fairly simple and efficient machine which is fulfilling our label converting needs,” reveals Nikhil Borkar, Director, Borkar Packaging Pvt. Ltd. According to Naalin Sharma of Global Graphics, the agent for Bang Sung machines in India, “this model is finding place with prominent flexo label printers. After Syndicate Printers in New Delhi, now it is Borkar Packaging at Daman. With its repass scanning facilities, the machine provides printers twin offline functions of flat bed hot foil stamping and die-cutting in single pass besides offering other optional features like lamination or sprocket punching.”

Kraft Foods and Square Test New GWG Packaging Specifications
“Consumer product companies are very frustrated by the supply chain. Designers believe that they have prepared production-ready files, but the prepress companies complain that the designers often don’t know how to build a file. Then printers complain that the prepress houses frequently don’t know how to construct plate-ready, imposed files. The consumer companies say: ‘Just work out the details.’ The way to do this is to agree on a common file format with agreed-upon specifications.” — Steve Carter, Southern Graphic Systems, & Christian Blaise, Enfocus Ghent PDF Workgroup. It took the Packaging Subcommittee Co-Chairpersons 2+ years of major international collaborative effort to yield a packaging specification proven to reduce time-to-market — downloadable free at www.gwg.org.

On January 3, 2007, the Ghent PDF Workgroup (GWG), the fast growing international association making it easy to produce and exchange reliable digital documents for use throughout the publishing workflow, announced the availability of new GWG Packaging Specifications offering best practices for PDF file exchange in packaging applications. The specifications developed by the GWG’s packaging experts were tested in North America by Kraft Foods Inc., and in Europe by France’s Square. The new specifications are downloadable for free at www.gwg.org.

GWG specifications reduce time-to-market
According to GWG packaging subcommittee co-chairs, Steve Carter, Director of Technology, St. Louis Division of Southern Graphics Systems, and Christian Blaise, International Sales Account Manager for Enfocus, the main goal in packaging production is to reduce both time-to-market and cost by finding the way to get the job done correctly the first time.

“The GWG Packaging Specification Subcommittee has worked extremely hard over the past two years to develop packaging specifications in order to meet the very specific needs of this segment,\”” explains Blaise.
The GWG specifications were tested using real production files in real-world environments, by leading organizations in North America and in Europe. It was a collaborative effort that has resulted in a set of best practice specifications for packaging that are designed to help ensure more reliable and consistent PDF file exchange for all the stakeholders involved in packaging.

The packaging subcommittee — representing more than 30 companies all over Europe and the USA, from prepress/printing/converter/repro organizations; to associations, brand owners, vendors, consultants, and educational institutions — worked together and evaluated the best practice implementation of end- to-end PDF workflows in the packaging industry around the world.

The committee worked on the definition of “best practices” to include settings, rules, guidelines, workflows and a framework to define PDF as the ultimate exchangeable file format for the packaging industry, based on industry standards and market requirements.

The guidelines and settings are “generic” for the packaging industry and suitable for the entire process from Design through Output, and covering all printing.

Available GWG Packaging Specifications:

Upstream Specification:-
– Packaging Design LR (low res)
– Packaging Design HR (high res)

Downstream Specifications:-
– Packaging Offset
– Packaging Gravure
– Packaging Flexo

FDA authorisation for superabsorbents in packaging with indirect food contact
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorised the use of BASF superabsorbents in indirect food contact packaging. This superabsorbent is manufactured and sold worldwide by BASF under the brand name Luquasorb FP 800. The authorisation covers packaging for poultry, meat, fish as well as fruit and vegetables. Superabsorbents absorb leaking liquids such as traces of blood or watery juices and bind them. This makes the food, some of which is very delicate, stay fresh longer and look more attractive.

High-performance superabsorbent granules can be incorporated as a filler in the manufacture of soaker pads used in packaging. Its ability to absorb large volumes of liquid means that only small amounts of superabsorbent is necessary. This helps to make the packaging economical. Even thin pads can reliably absorb liquids from foods. Disposal is not a problem as the used pads can be disposed in the household garbage.

Superabsorbents are crosslinked polyacrylates that can absorb and bind huge amounts of liquid — up to 500 times their weight. Their main area of application is in the manufacture of hygiene products. These are also used in many industrial applications, such as for thickening or absorbing liquid waste or as water-blocking coatings for underwater cables.

Superabsorbents do not release absorbed liquids under pressure, on the other hand, plant roots can absorb the water stored in superabsorbents slowly, and evenly. This is one of the reasons why superabsorbents are increasingly being used for water storage purposes in the earth or in special plant soil.

Superfos Paintainer
Superfos, a significant supplier of high quality containers to leading paint manufacturers all over Europe and the producer of user-friendly plastic packaging, has introduced a new label solution with metallic look. This will enable the paint industry and end-users with preference for metal containers to benefit from all the advantages offered by plastic packaging.

A new label with metallic look on Superfos’ classic Paintainer container provides paints with an opportunity to obtain a sharp classic metal look for market segments with traditional preference for metal. Introduction of the new label solution from Superfos has generated positive response from the market for speciality paints which prefer metal containers for premium brands.

Birthe Bebe Nielsen, product manager, Superfos says, “Eye-catching on-pack decoration not only displays image and brand, it is essential to catch consumers’ attention. On the paint market, we still experience a hardcore preference for metal packaging solutions in selected segments. This preference is, however, based mostly on image and perception and forces industry to compromise on performance versus looks or vice versa.”

“With our new option for labels with metallic look, paint manufacturers can now choose a sharp metal look for premium paint brands without having to compromise on performance. The new labels with metallic look are a purely visual feature. Moreover, the see-through transparent material makes it possible for consumers to see residue paint left or the colour of the paint in a container without opening it. The labels are produced in 100% PP material which means that all the supreme benefits of the plastic solution are maintained,” explains Nielsen.

Featuring a straight-sided design, the Paintainer was developed originally as an alternative to metal containers. Plastic packaging provides huge performance advantages compared to metal including increased flexibility, user-friendly open and closure-systems, better stacking ability, and no risk of dents or rust-contamination. Moreover, it handles temperatures down to -18° centigrade. All together, plastic packaging offers maximum ease, reduced risk for both industry and consumer, and can be an environmentally sound choice.

“With the new option for labels with metallic look, Paintainer is more than an alternative. It lifts the market standard for paint containers with a functional design and premium decoration for outstanding branding possibilities,” concluded Nielsen.

Rexam’s RFID enabled containers
Rexam Pharma, a renowned expert in packaging for prescription drugs, has a comprehensive range of pill jars and closures with tamper evident and child resistant features. Building on this expertise, Rexam Pharma has developed fully integrated radio frequency enabled plastic pharmaceutical bottles that allow compliance with FDA recommendations, fully traceable life cycle and counterfeiting prevention.

The new RFID enabled containers for the pharmaceutical industry will bring a robust and reliable solution according to the company release.

Supported by Rexam Pharma’s cGMP manufacturing and using a patented technology, these new bottles allow for greater robustness and reliability of RFID functions. The integration of the tag with the bottles enables traceability from the origin of the process. The pharmaceutical companies do not have to bother anymore with applying tags and checking them: Rexam does it all.

This solution is also flexible and can be adapted to different requirements such as frequencies. Full RFID implementation support and solutions is also being supplied by Rexam’s partner Traxxec.

Expert plant care benefits from Bespoke bottle
RPC Halfweg is supplying a custom-moulded bottle for liquid plant and flower foods from renowned Dutch manufacturer Pokon & Chrysal. Pokon & Chrysal is synonymous with the care of plants and cut flowers. The company required a container design for its range of food products, comprising varieties for both indoor and outdoor plants as well as special foods for orchids and bonsai, and worked together with RPC Halfweg to devise a suitable solution.

The bespoke design is blow moulded in HDPE, with an attractive curved shape and a distinctive raised band across the side of the container. It is available in four colours – red, light green, dark green and blue – and six sizes, ranging from 250ml to 1.5 L. The larger sizes also incorporate a handle.

The range has recently been relaunched with a new cap and an induction heat seal supplied by Kornelis, for added consumer convenience. To ensure compatibility with the new cap, RPC Halfweg and Pokon & Chrysal have redesigned the neck of the bottle.

FKI Logistex advanced automated replenishment at ProMat 2007
FKI Logistex, a global leader in integrated material handling solutions, launched its new automated replenishment system for less-than-full-case picking, ideal for retail distribution and manufacturing. The new system uses FKI Logistex mini-load cranes to reduce the high manual labour cost of split-case picking by providing continuous, automated, demand-based replenishment to increase order fulfilment speed and accuracy.

“Manually replenishing SKUs for less-than-full case picking is expensive and time-consuming for large retail and manufacturing operations,” says Ken Matson, executive vice president, FKI Logistex North America. “The FKI Logistex automated replenishment system employs the efficiency of mini-load cranes to ensure that if inventory is in the building, it is available as soon as it needs to be picked.”

By ensuring that pick faces are continuously restocked the FKI Logistex system eliminates replenishment downtime that frequently occurs in manual systems. The use of dynamic slotting logic in the FKI Logistex system minimizes the number of flow lanes required to service orders. Fewer flow lanes mean lower costs and shorter pick paths for increased pick rates.

The ability of the mini-load crane to automatically reconfigure pick faces on-demand, as SKUs change makes the system ideal for handling short-run and seasonal products and for large retail distribution centres that have more SKUs than pick faces. All SKUs — high-velocity and low-velocity items — are handled with the same system and replenished and stored automatically.

How it works
When pallets are delivered in a typical FKI Logistex automated replenishment system, the trash, dunnage is removed, and the product is immediately sorted and placed directly into plastic totes. A tote-based system eliminates the buildup of trash through the picking process and provides consistency when compared with systems that transport SKUs in their original boxes, which can vary in size. A conveyor routes the totes to the rack system, where mini-load cranes move the totes to static rack locations for storage as general inventory.

At the beginning of each wave, the FKI Logistex control system reassigns pick faces based on immediate demand to support customer orders or replenish store inventory. The mini-load crane automatically retrieves totes from the rack and fills up the necessary slots. The logic built into the system maintains a balance of static locations — fast-moving SKUs that can be changed to follow seasonality — and dynamic locations, which can be reassigned wave after wave to present SKUs needed for the next round of orders.

A combination of FKI Logistex EASYpick GoKart, pick-to-light, and pick-to-voice order fulfilment systems are used for picking totes, which are placed on a takeaway conveyor for routing to shipping and sorting stations. Empty totes are placed back on the same conveyer and are diverted downstream for automatic stacking, staging, and routing to tote filling for new SKUs.

Mini-load crane
The FKI Logistex mini-load crane is a rail-running crane designed for automatic storage of non-palletized loads such as cartons, trays and totes at elevations up to 71 feet (21.7 meters). With up to 99.99% inventory accuracy achievable, the mini-load crane is used for automated storage and retrieval, automatic flow lane replenishment for order picking systems, load buffering between production cells, multi-elevation and multi-position load delivery, and fully dynamic load sortation and staging.

The top-guidance, all-electric mini-load crane offers curved-rail aisle changes and features direct AC-powered hoist and traction, a steel-cable-reinforced, toothed-belt hoist system, laser positioning, PLC control, and IR and RF communication. Available in single- or double-mast configurations with multiple load-handling devices, the crane can handle items up to 227 kilograms.

Order replenishment system
The automated replenishment system integrates a wide range of FKI Logistex technologies, including pick-to-light, EASYpick GoKart, RF devices, industry-leading Accuzone 24-volt conveyors, and the Warehouse Optimizer warehouse control system. A new FKI Logistex automated fulfilment system can be implemented in under a year and provides a high ROI by helping companies reduce square-footage expansion or greenfield construction costs.

FKI Logistex automated replenishment capabilities featuring an operational mini-load crane were displayed at the FKI Logistex ProMat 2007 booth in an integrated equipment loop displaying a number of FKI Logistex products and technologies. Also shown were the company’s next-generation sorters — the LS-4000CB cross-belt and the LS-4000E tilt-tray — as well as the new UniSort MXT software module — a patent-pending sortation subsystem that dramatically increases sorter throughput. ProMat 2007 was held from January 8 to 11 in Chicago at McCormick Place.