Ahmedabad-based Knack Packaging is one of India’s biggest manufacturers and exporters of HDPE/PP woven sacks and printed BOPP laminated PP woven sacks. With its plant located in Mehsana, about an hour’s drive from Ahmedabad city, the company is embarking on its third expansion phase which is expected to be complete by Diwali this year. The first expansion was initiated in 2013 while the second one took place two years later in 2015.
“In the current expansion phase, we are focusing on strengthening our converting department so that we can produce very high-end niche products. A new building will be coming up in the plant premises, which will house a variety of converting equipment. We plan to cater to our overseas customers and high-end Indian customers with these niche and premium products,” says Alpesh Patel, director, Knack Packaging. The company will be investing about Rs 25 crore in the infrastructure, which includes the new building and various converting equipment. Once this phase is complete, the total area of Knack’s shop floor will be about 400,000 square foot. The total area of the plant is about 700,000 square foot.
The company manufactures products like grain and pulses bags, foods and spices bags, animal food bags, fertilizers and chemical bags, cement and wall finish bags, powder and granule bags, mineral bags, detergent bags, mehndi bags and promotional shopping bags, among others. Knack’s Mehsana plant has a converting capacity of 1,500 tons per month. The bags range from 5 kg to 75 kg and the plant can produce an average of about 700,000 bags per day of various sizes.
The Knack Packaging plant is an impressive structure and houses a variety of machinery in the printing and converting sections. The plant houses two woven tape lines (extruders) from Lohia Group, three laminators and four rotogravure printing presses – three from Pelican and one from C Trivedi. The plant also has circular and flat woven looms, coating and lamination machines, back seam unit, gusseting machines, cutting and stitching machines, and bales pressing machines.
Knack Packaging has an extremely streamlined manufacturing process. PP resins are extruded into PP fibers that help in controlling the tensile strength of the fabrics. The extruded PP fibers are woven into body fabrics through the use of circular looms. The printing process is carried out using gravures reverse printing technology on BOPP films, which are then laminated on the PP woven fabrics in roll forms. The coating thickness is then calculated and delivered on the fabrics, which is cut to length as per the size of the bags defined by the clients. Then the stitching of bags happens, which are bound into bundles and sent for dispatch.
When asked what kind of equipment will be deployed in the new converting unit, Patel declined to provide details. “I do not want to comment on these details at this moment. But I can assure you these machines will be world class.”
Exports a major area
A large proportion of Knack’s business is derived from exports. Close to 35% of the company’s sales happens in the overseas markets with developed markets, especially the US being a major area of operation. The company continues to focus on exports and regularly participates in overseas exhibitions. Last year it participated in interpack for the first time.
“We regularly participate in focused exhibitions all over the world, mainly those related to food. Last year, we exhibited at interpack for the first time as we wanted to further expand our footprint in the European continent. It was a very good experience,” Patel shares.
This year, Knack will be present at Pack Expo International that will be held in Chicago in October.