Ahmedabad-based Knack Packaging is one of India’s biggest manufacturers and exporters of HDPE/PP woven bags and printed BOPP laminated PP woven bags. In an important development for the company, it has recently started manufacturing premium BOPP pinch lock bottom woven bags; becoming one of the very few companies in the country to do so.
“This a very innovative product for the Indian market. Not many companies in India can manufacture the kind of BOPP pinch lock bottom woven bags that we do. The manufacturing process started around the middle of March, and we have been able to acquire a number of customers in India as well as overseas,” says Alpesh Patel, director, Knack Packaging.
These BOPP pinch lock bottom woven bags are ideal for packaging bulk items such as dog food, fertilizers, seeds and rice, among others. Knack is already supplying these bags to basmati rice exporters in India as well as multiple customers overseas who manufacture dog food. “The BOPP pinch lock bottom woven bags are primarily meant for packaging items that need to retain moisture and not let humidity in. In the case conventional stitched bags, there is the problem of moisture leakage, which can affect the product inside,” explains Patel.
According to Patel, some of the other advantages of BOPP pinch lock bottom woven bags are that they can be easily recycled, are tear resistant, are suitable for automatic filling lines and can offer ideal shelf presentation. The pinch lock bottom woven bags that Knack manufactures can handle filling volumes of 2.5 kg to 50 kg.
With the successful launch of the product, the next step for Knack is to successfully market the product, especially in the Indian market, since this is a premium product.
“We have successfully launched this innovative product. Now our work is to convince the market about its advantages. I am sure brands will understand the kind of benefits it offers. We have already acquired a good number of customers both internationally and locally, but we will increase our marketing exercise further. We are very excited about this product,” Patel says.
Third phase of expansion complete
The launch of the BOPP pinch lock bottom woven bags is the result of the successful completion of Knack’s third investment and expansion phase that it wrapped up around the end of 2018. The company’s plant is located in Mehsana, about an hour’s drive from Ahmedabad city. The first expansion was initiated in 2013 while the second one took place two years later, in 2015.
In the third phase the company installed the pinch lock bottom converting machine from Austria-based Starlinger. Knack bought an extrusion lamination line as well, also from Starlinger. In the printing section it added its fourth Pelican, a 9-color rotogravure press, taking the number of presses to five, with the fifth one from C Trivedi.
In addition to the BOPP pinch lock bottom woven bags, the company manufactures various other types of woven bags to pack products like grain and pulses, foods and spices, animal food, fertilizers and powder, and granule 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.
A large proportion of Knack’s business is derived from exports. Close to 35% of the company’s sales happen in the overseas markets with developed markets, especially the US being a major area of operation.
Implementation of SAP ERP system
Not only has Knack invested in some quality machinery in its converting and printing departments, it has also paid a lot of attention on the daily running of the enterprise. The company has implemented a powerful Enterprise Resource Planning software, the SAP S/4HANA, supplied by SAP and fully put into operation by PWC in July last year.
“Our philosophy is that the systems that are in place to run the company are as important as the machinery we have. Keeping this in mind we opted for such a high value product like the SAP S/4HANA. For a small enterprise like ours, this is a major investment running into crores of rupees, as this type of ERP system is generally installed for large companies, but we are very happy to have it,” Patel says.
The SAP S/4HANA is SAP’s ERP software for large enterprises. It is the successor of SAP R/3 and SAP ERP and is optimized for SAP’s in-memory database SAP HANA. The software package is meant to cover all day-to-day processes of an enterprise and core capabilities.
According to Patel, the new ERP system has helped the company bring in much higher efficiencies and productivity. “Operational consistency has been achieved, working process has been streamlined, material procurement has become much easier and we have been analyzing a lot of data,” he shares.
Roadmap for next two years
Having wrapped up the latest investment phase and successfully launched a new product line, Knack will now be working on improving certain parts of the infrastructure. The company will set up a captive solar power plant and will work on getting the BRC packaging certification.
“At the moment only parts of our shop floor are BRC certified but we are now working on getting the full shop floor, spread over 400,000 square foot, BRC certified. We will also get the whole plant air-conditioned. We expect to get all this done by Diwali next year,” Patel concludes.