Japanese EP-PAK carton technology in India

Kunal Enterprise partners Toppan Printing

Toppan EP-PAK cartons. Photo PSA

Mumbai-based Kunal Enterprise is a leading distributor of a variety of hardware and software solutions for the graphic arts industry. The company is the sole distributor of products from Japan’s Sakurai Graphics Systems, UK’s Natgraph Equipment Solutions and Taiwan’s Kang Yuan Industrial Company. Kunal also distributes products from Italy’s Demark and Belgium’s Esko

Now the company has brought to India the latest technology from Japan in liquid packaging. Kunal has become the sole partner and distributor of Toppan Printing’s EP-PAK carton technology as well as Shikoku filling systems. “We have been meeting the demands of the industrial printing segment for many years now and wanted to diversify into the packaging segment as well. Liquid packaging is a rapidly growing segment in India and Toppan’s EP-PAK technology is the latest in that field,” said Ajay Gandhi, president of Kunal Enterprise.

The EP-PAK is a paper liquid container and offers long storage periods at ordinary temperatures for a range of contents by laminating barrier films on paper. By adopting the ‘Edge Protect’ structure, the paper end’s surface does not touch the contents, so it prevents from leaking the contents outside of the container.
According to Gandhi, EP-PAK uses Toppan’s GL barrier films which offer greater advantage than  aluminium films. Some of the striking advantages of GL film vis-à-vis aluminium film are longer shelf-life and total recyclability making it very environment-friendly. When the content is a beverage, EP-PAK can be recycled as a paper beverage carton. And its suitability for recycling enables it to be collected as used paper as well. EP-PAK is also microwavable (which is impossible for aluminium films). It can also be used for applications for which aluminium foil is not suitable (for example, chemicals). Another outstanding feature is its efficient shipping and storage. Less storage space is required than for bottles and cans, and weight is lighter as well, enabling reduced logistics costs and more efficient storage. Moreover, Toppan’s unique seal structure prevents leakage of highly permeable liquids.

EP-PAK containers can only be coupled with a filling machine from Shikoko of Japan which is also supplied by Kunal Enterprise. Standalone Shikoku filling machines will be available for customers who do not want EP-PAK. There are six different models of filling machines available for various applications such as cup filling, bottle filling, pouch filling, carton filling, aseptic package filling and noodle filling.

Good market feedback
EP-PAK and Shikoku filling machines were introduced to the Indian customers at Pamex 2015. Both these solutions got extremely good response at the event. “We have got close to 50 inquires since Pamex and 15 are very serious. Most of the inquiries are from brand owners who have shown openness to this new technology. Brand owners in the edible oil industry have been especially impressed with EP-PAK. The pack size ranges from 200 ml to 5.4 litres so EP-PAK makes a lot of sense for customers who offer pack size over 2 litres,” said Gandhi.

Gandhi expects some concrete deals to happen in the next six months. “This is a new technology and customers will take time to understand the benefits it offers. We are meeting a number of potential customers every day and hope to announce something very soon,” he concluded.

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