Vishakha Polyfab adds 25% flexible packaging capacity in two locations

Vishakha commissions new flexibles plant in Kolkata

Vishakha and Brampton Engineering teams commemorate the signing for the first AquaFrost line in India
Vishakha and Brampton Engineering teams commemorate the signing for the first AquaFrost line in India on 18 October 2019

Ahmedabad-headquartered Vishakha Polyfab has undergone significant expansion since the beginning of 2020. It has installed a 9-layer blown film line and a sophisticated gravure press and pouch making machines at a just-commissioned new plant in Kolkata. With the start-up of production in end-November, early December, the plant gives Vishakha enormous close-to-customer capacity, with plants in both Western and Eastern India.

Vishakha is one of the largest high-barrier coextruded flexible film manufacturers in India with its factory premises are spread over 99,000 square meters and a production capacity of over 27,000 metric tons. With its national and international accreditations, BRC & ISO certification, Vishakha’s clients number amongst the leading brand owners in India and across the world. It is an exporter of flexible packaging materials to customers in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

India’s first Brampton Aqua-Frost 7-layer film line

It has also expanded the Ahmedabad plant with the installation of the water-quenched Aqua-Frost new Brampton Engineering 7-layer blown film line signed at the last K exhibition in October 2019. The Ahmedabad plant has also added a new gravure press, a laminator, and pouch making machines.

BE’s AquaFrost line, which uses water-quenching technology in the extrusion process, is the system of choice for manufacturers seeking the advantages of cast and conventional blown films. It provides high barrier films with improved clarity and thermoformability, balance orientation, and increased flexibility while consuming less resin.

Leadership in high-barrier films

The commissioning of the new blown film and other investments have enhanced Vishakha’s leadership position in the high barrier packaging in India and abroad. Overall, Vishakha’s capacity has been increased by 25%, making it the largest manufacturer of high barrier films using nylon and EVOH in India.

BE and Vishakha Polyfab have been partners for almost 20 years, with Vishakha purchasing India’s first BE 7 and 9-layer multi-layer barrier blown film line not too long ago. “Our close and productive collaboration has enabled us to grow together in the region, and we are looking forward to Vishakha’s continued success in leading the multi-layer barrier blown film industry in the region.”

Significant confidence and in-house engineering expertise

Vishakha Polyfab was closed for only seven days after the Covid-19 pandemic hit India and the ensuing country-wide lockdown declared on 23 March 2020. Remarkably the company kept to its expansion plans, including setting up the new plant in Kolkata. As the government lifted the lockdown, the company’s engineers installed the new imported equipment.

The expansion has added two gravure presses, two blown film lines, a laminator, and five pouch making lines. Since overseas engineers couldn’t travel to India, the installation and commissioning of the new equipment have been performed by the company’s engineering teams with remote video and guidance from the manufacturers’ engineers.

Growth driven by India’s packaging sector has established the country as one of the most sought after barrier film manufacturing markets globally. The country is among the three largest global markets, and barrier film manufacturers have gravitated towards BE’s innovative technology. Known for its pioneering technology, the company has the distinction of being the first to deliver complete 8, 9, 10, and 11-layer blown film systems in air-blown and water-quenched lines. From die technology, water-quenched technology, 11-layer film, and more, BE’s patented cutting edge technology, and commitment to innovative solutions has enabled its partners in barrier packaging to produce a full range of high-performance blown films all over the world.

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.

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– Naresh Khanna

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