One can conservatively say that more than 400 companies and 1000 participants took part in the 6th Annual Elite Packaging Conference in Mumbai. There was a healthy mix of economic and cultural insight fused with technology and marketing from the leading global players in the flexible film and packaging industry as well as some of the leading economists working in the private sector in the country. A good number of major brand owners also took part and some made insightful presentations on packaging innovation.
The overall excitement was reflected in the optimism about the economy and the flexible packaging industry by global technology players. As an example, Michelman India’s director and country manager Shailesh Nema in his presentation contrasted global flexible packaging annual growth of 3 to 4% with that of the Indian flexible packaging industry at what he said was 15%. Nema talked about Michelman India’s new investment in building an incubator facility in Central Mumbai for research, development and application testing. The coatings manufacturer plans to install a dual-station coating and lamination machine in the incubator facility for prototyping and testing film structures. This kind of incubator speaks volumes for Michelman’s pro-active investment and optimism for developing new and more sustainable packaging solutions.
Although more extensive coverage will appear in our November issue, one can point out that one of the key topics that arose at the event and was also partially addressed by some of the presentations was that of sustainability and specifically the Indian government order to be implemented in 2018 that requires the use of single polymers in packaging for easier recycling. While this is a huge, if not impossible, challenge especially for the high barrier food packaging films and laminates, several presentations provided hope on this front. On the whole, one can say that apart from technology the two main concerns or trends in the conference were of food packaging and sustainability.
DuPont Cyrel EASY gains traction in India – Getting it right the first time
We first met Anandkumar (Andy) Kannurpatti, global product and strategy manager – Flexo DuPont Advanced Printing at drupa 2016 last May, where the company first showcased its Cyrel EASY flexographic plates. A recent opportunity to meet him at the Elite Flexible Packaging Conference in Mumbai in mid-September yielded an update on the use of new flexographic plates in India.
Anandkumar (Andy) Kannurpatti, global product and strategy manager – Flexo DuPont Advanced Printing
In India where gravure primarily dominates flexible packaging, flexographic printing on films and packaging has generally been unfavorably compared with gravure on three counts—ease of use, reproduction quality of fine screens and fine dots, and the poor reproduction of solids. Other issues with flexographic plates have been the robustness of the fine dot itself and the tediousness of multiple-exposure and processing steps needed for making high-quality flexo plates. Continuous developments in plate-making workflows and digital imaging by DuPont, and in collaboration with Esko’s digital imagers, have addressed these issues to an extent that even Indian gravure converters are increasingly buying wide web CI flexo presses for flexible packaging. At the same time, label converters who have been leading the use of digital flexo imaging in the country have been able to improve reproduction quality to levels where they are encroaching on gravure territory for shrink and in-mold labels.
According to Andy Kannurpatti, “The ease of making high-quality flexo plates has been addressed by the newest version of the DuPont Cyrel FAST Processing system—the Cyrel 2000 TD. It works well with the Cyrel EASY plate portfolio.” The latest version of the Cyrel 2000 TD has a simpler and more ergonomic and compact design, simple user interface and can now handle a thermal version of the Cyrel EASY plate with built-in flat top dots, offering better cleanout uniformity across the plate for improved relief depths as well as excellent fine line and dot holding.
In addition, the newest processor has many mechanical improvements and has become even more sustainable with an inbuilt Catox unit for exhaust air cleaning. Cyrel EASY plates are based on a new polymer technology that produces higher ink transfer, color saturation and resolution. Flat top dots with a texture (also called engineered surfaces) have been considered an important innovation for carrying more ink in solid areas. The Cyrel EASY plates with built-in flat top dots can be exposed on any imager and, without involving any extra steps in the plate-making process, will yield flat top dots as desired (smooth or textured). This helps deliver excellent solid ink transfer leading to superior color saturation and very good fade-to-zero highlights that deliver smooth vignettes. Significantly higher solid-ink density has been demonstrated in extensive customer testing and everyday use without compromising highlights. Thus, the new plates help simplify the prepress process, improving the quality of reproduction and the productivity and consistency of flexo plates. The plates provide print quality consistency from run-to-run and consistent performance irrespective of the site or equipment used in making them.
Using these new plates in the plateroom improves productivity significantly and enables tradeshops to produce more plates in a given shift. In the pressroom, the plates come up to color quickly, use less ink and reduce downtime by running longer without stoppages for cleaning. The plates are available globally and were introduced in India in the beginning of 2017. Since July, they have been widely commercialized for both thermal and solvent processing and in engineered and smooth surfaces. Parikh Packaging and Shrinath Rotopack are among the wide web CI flexo converters that have been using them. ITW Signode-Wintek is among the early adopters in label converters. As Kannurpatti pointed out during our meeting at the Elite Conference, “The Cyrel EASY plates meet all the issues raised at the conference by several speakers, offering ease of use, sustainability, performance and getting it right the first time, every time.”– Naresh Khanna
Brilliant Polymers at ElitePlus 2017
Brilliant Polymers were platinum sponsors for the Specialty Films & Flexible Packaging Seminar 2017. Over a thousand visitors from the flexible packaging industry visited the 6th Specialty Films & Flexible Packaging Global Summit 2017 on 14 and 15 September 2017 at Grand Hyatt, Mumbai.
The company’s participation in ElitePlus 2017 was a great success where it received an overwhelming response from the visitors. According to company representatives, there were many queries received during the show and the seminar gave Brilliant Polymers a very good opportunity to interact with its existing clients and gain significant insight into the current market trends.
At the company stand were sales and technical service representatives from Brilliant Polymers who introduced customers to the new range of products from the company besides informing them of the developments in solvent-free adhesives, cold seal adhesives, water-based adhesives and primers.
One of the main innovations showcased at ElitePlus was the innovative solvent-free adhesive Brilliant S631/S310. Brilliant S631/S310 is a unique innovation in solvent-free adhesives for flexible packaging applications. Brilliant Polymers has been selling solvent-free adhesives that can be used for laminating both metalized films as well as polyethylene jobs and meet the unique requirements in a single product while maintaining line speeds.
Brilliant S631/S310 is the latest innovation from Brilliant Polymers and is an innovative solution featuring properties like long pot life, no misting, no odor, higher line speeds, negligible COF increase after lamination and US FDA and EU guideline compliance.
Basically, S631/S310 allows flexible packaging manufacturers to run almost all kinds of jobs with a single adhesive!
This year, the company commissioned a new 20-ton polyester reactor which has added to its manufacturing capacity. In addition, the company has also invested in a new state-of-the-art finished goods warehouse.