The high number of gravure press installations in India continues

Flexible packaging in the Indian Covid-19 lockdown

781
Pelican-Cerutti R982 ELS Rotogravure press Photo Pelican
Pelican-Cerutti R982 ELS Rotogravure press Photo Pelican

The talking points in Indian flexible packaging are gravure and flexo, sustainability and price, mixed polymer and single polymer recyclability, and big and small converters. Simultaneously, two of these parameters are seemingly about technology and the other two about costs and capital flows. The functional relationship or tension between all these parameters could make for a useful quadrant diagram.

There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing total lockdown on 23 March and its phased removal since the beginning of June have been a catalyst to packaging, particularly the country’s flexible packaging industry. Packaging as a no-touch, hygienic, sanitary, branded, trackable, and authentic concept for the distribution and sale of food and pharma has caught on. The most economical form of reasonably high-quality packaging has been flexible packaging.

When the lockdown began, some of the dominant packaging converters immediately received permission to open up, and even with fewer employees, were able to supply materials to the supply chain. Many smaller converters had difficulty getting approval and retaining as many employees in safe conditions to open their plants. The brand owners preferred the bigger and middle-level converters who were able to manufacture their films and laminates, and this segment of converters has produced high volumes at least till mid- or end-July. The smaller converters who produce, let’s say, just 50 metric tons a month of flexible packaging, have suffered in contrast.

In IppStar’s informal back of the envelope calculation, about twenty gravure presses have been installed in India and Bangladesh since the Indian un-lockdown began in June. While most of these are presses under 200 meters a minute, one can estimate that about 8 or 9 are 250 meters a minute and above. In this estimate, we are counting Indian manufacturers such as Kohli, Pelican, Uflex in the main, and the global manufacturer Bobst.

North Indian converters growing fastest

The converters who have installed the approximately eight Bobst gravure presses so far since April include Skypack, GLS, and Jupiter in the Delhi NCR, Aditya Flexipack in Kanpur and Aadinath in Indore, Arihant Flexi Pack in Delhi, and Prakash Flexibles in Chennai. Indian manufacturer Kohli Industries has installed a gravure press at Vidya Polymers in the Delhi NCR. Kohli has been particularly successful in exports over the past six months and has remotely installed four presses overseas.

Amongst the eight Pelican installations in India in the past four months are Taurus, Tri-seal, and MCJ Multipack, all in the Delhi NCR and ColorFlex in Bengaluru. Uflex has about five installations of its gravure presses in the past four months, including Osho in Haridwar, Savera in Amritsar, Som in Rajpura, Prakash in Kashipur, all in North India. We estimate that flexible packaging converters in India installed between two dozen and 30 gravure presses from April to mid-September. Another 30 will likely be installed by the end of the financial year in March 2021. In support of this growth, there are also a significant number of large film lines ordered that should arrive in 2021.

An exciting aspect of the installations is the high number in North India and particularly in the Delhi NCR, which includes the adjacent parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Also notable are the several machines installed in the Northern states of Uttarakhand and Punjab.

This article first appeared in the September print issue of Packaging South Asia. The web version has been slightly corrected on 3 October 2020.

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia.is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

In an admittedly fragmented and textured terrain, this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing support communication – in our impactful and highly targeted business platform. Tell us what you need. Speak and write to our editorial and advertising teams! For advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in , for editorial info@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now
Previous articleSoma focusses on Asia with DKSH partnership
Next articleMondi wins two awards for sustainable food packaging
Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here