BKG exhibits Tungsten Carbide corrugating rolls at IndiaCorr Expo

The corrugation industry boom due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Raghav Thapar, director, BKG Corrugating Rolls at the company's stand at IndiaCorr Expo 2021. Photo PSA

BKG Corrugating Rolls has been regularly showcasing its products at IndiaCorr Expo since 2014. According to Raghav Thapar, director, BKG Corrugating Rolls, “It is a very good platform as far as machinery manufacturers from the corrugated industry are concerned.”

After the pandemic, the IndiaCorr Expo, held from 23 – 25 October 2021 at India Expo Center in Greater Noida, was the first exhibition specifically aimed at the corrugation industry in India. The last edition of the exhibition took place in New Delhi in September 2019. After the global Coronavirus outbreak in January 2020, BKG’s management was very hesitant about this event even though it had booked its booth back in 2020. “The only apprehension we had was whether people would turn out in good numbers in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many people have visited our booth during this exhibition and they have outnumbered our expectations. I don’t know how good it is as far as the buying pattern is concerned, but prospectively it is good as we can generate inquiries,” adds Thapar.

BKG Corrugating Rolls specializes in new corrugating rolls as well as reworking older rolls. It manufactures custom-made rolls based on specifications provided by its customers. It also manufactures rolls with Tungsten Carbide coating and claims to be the only Indian company doing this. The firm has an in-house 6-axis German-made robot from Kuka programmed in such a manner that it can do the Tungsten Carbide coating or any other kind of coating which is fed into it, in any axis possible. Thapar goes on to say, “Though as of now, we are just focusing on the Tungsten Carbide coating for the corrugated industry, we have all the plans to expand our business for the other industries such as the windmills, sugar mills wherever there is friction.”

BKG displayed its rolls at IndiaCorr Expo 2021. Photo PSA

Based out of Bilaspur which is very close to Manesar in Gurgaon, the company has eight engineers who travel all across the country taking measurements for the rolls desired by its customers and addressing breakdowns. BKG displayed a corrugating roll of 2.5 meters in width with an outer diameter of 400 millimeters at the IndiaCorr Expo 2021. According to the company, such a large roller has not been manufactured in the country and till now these sizes were always imported from either China, Spain, or Germany. The other roller that BKG displayed was with 12 different kinds of corrugation profiles – A, B, C, D, F, G, and O with a variety of pitch and height.

With a pan India presence, the company has been supplying its rolls all over India in the past few years. Surprisingly, BKG has more customers in the southern parts of the country as compared to the north. It also exports rollers to many countries such as Dubai, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Riyadh, Russia, Australia, and Syria. Bangalore-based B&B Paperwork Containers, Noida-based Perfect Pack, Noida-based Reliable Packaging are customers that are employing BKG’s tailor-made corrugating rolls in their operations.

Indian corrugation industry in the last decade

The Indian paper production stands at 19 to 20 million tons per annum, and recycled corrugated liner (also sometimes called Kraft although that refers to the liner that includes virgin fiber) makes up the largest part with anywhere from 7 to 8 million tons produced annually, according to our sister company IPP Star (www.ippstar.org). In the past decade, there has been a remarkable improvement in the production of corrugated packaging in the Indian subcontinent. With the arrival of eCommerce giants like Amazon and CKD furniture producers like Ikea on the Indian shores and the health scare caused by the Covid-19 crisis in the last two years, the corrugation industry has seen a steady increase. Not only has the industry become quality conscious but many leading players have strategically upped their game with improved liner and adhesive inputs and the latest equipment that can decorate the box inline with die-cutting and gluing.

The recycled corrugated liner prices have practically doubled in recent years and the industry is facing many other manufacturing hiccups. Speaking with Packaging South Asia, Thapar vehemently opposed the rise in raw material prices for the corrugation industry but admitted that the corrugation industry is certainly getting its returns at the end of the day. He further shares that the remote model of working, which is more or less being followed by most of the companies in India following the Coronavirus outbreak, has certainly increased the demand for corrugated boxes.

Doubling capacity in the coming year

“Since the outbreak, the demand for the products for the FMCG and the medical segment have increased drastically. With the work-from-home pattern or the increased staying at home, we have been ordering all the products which we used to purchase locally, and due to the ordering of the products online, the packaging demand has grown manifold. Everything is being packed in corrugated boxes whether it is medicines, sanitizers, masks, books or household items, and cosmetic supplies. Every single thing is packed in corrugated boxes. So I think with Corona the corrugation industry has seen a boom.”

Thapar’s organization strictly complied with the Covid-19 guidelines and protocols issued by the central and state governments. It made sure that all the parameters related to sanitization, masks, and social distancing were followed at the factory in Bilaspur and the engineers in the field. He shares BKG’s expansion plans, “Currently we have two crude grinders and are very hopeful that next year we will increase these to five. So, we are more than doubling our production capacity in the upcoming year.”

Note –  this article this is from the Packaging South Asia January 2022 issue to be posted to subscribers on 4 January 2022.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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