Mumbai’s Chemco adds Reifenhauser Evolution WP blown film line

Plastic packaging major diversifies into shrink films

Vaibhav Ram Saraogi, director, Chemco Group. Photo PSA

Chemco is one of India’s leading packaging solutions provider meeting the demands of some of the biggest brand owners in the country. It manufactures various packaging products such as PET preforms, jars, bottles, caps and closures at its facilities in Silvassa, Daman, Vadodara, Bahrain and UAE. In a move that takes the company into a new arena, Mumbai-based Chemco has ventured into manufacturing of shrink films and in April, it invested in a Reifenhauser Evolution WP blown film line. The line is running at its Vadodara plant, which is the company’s biggest in terms of production capacity with various Husky systems and the newly installed Evolution line.

“Today in terms of volume we are the biggest supplier to Coca Cola for PET preforms. It is because of this partnership our customer wanted us to diversify into a different segment of packaging where they required the same high level of service and quality. Shrink films, which are used mainly for secondary packaging, provide an economical, effective and aesthetically appealing alternative solution to corrugated boxes. We feel it has tremendous potential in India, especially in the multilayer options we bring. This is the reason we installed the Reifenhauser Evolution WP blown film line,” says Vaibhav Ram Saraogi, director at Chemco Group. He looks after the Group’s Indian operations. With the new Evolution line Chemco has successfully achieved lightweighting as well.

“Most companies are using close to 80 microns of film and we were able to bring this down to 60 microns without any compromise in quality or performance,” says Saraogi. With a huge production capacity, the group expects to not only service the requirements of Coca Cola but also of various other established customers. At the moment the line is fully dedicated to servicing Coca Cola.

Eyeing customers beyond the beverage segment

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The Evolution WP line. Photo PSA

Even though the beverage segment is the primary target due to proven performance, Chemco is also exploring customers outside this segment. “We would look to acquire customers in cosmetics, healthcare and other FMCG segments who are using traditional, increasingly expensive and ineffective methods,” Saraogi discloses. The company is already in talks with some big brand owners in the country.

Another blown film line in the offing

Saraogi believes the newly installed Reifenhauser Evolution line is the first of many more investments to come. In the near future a lot more named brands are expected to opt for shrink films instead of corrugated boxes for secondary packaging. Simply because of the advantages over the alternatives, demand for shrink packaging is expected to grow rapidly. In order to prepare for the future Chemco has already began contemplating about the next line. “The first movers are already experiencing tremendous savings and soon the others will follow. We expect the second line to be installed by the end of calendar year 2017 and become operational before the summer of 2018,” he says.

Apart from adding new systems at existing facilities, Chemco is also looking to set up three new production units across India and abroad. Sites for two units have already been identified. One is in West India and the other is in the northern part of the country. The third site is yet to be identified.

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Chemco’s Vadodra plant. Photo PSA

“We are growing at a brisk rate. Our aim is to take advantage of our expertise and track record to grow this company not only in India but also outside. Chemco wants to make packaging perfect and provide all its customers, local and international, with the tools to grow quicker. We grow with our customers and keeping that in mind we should have another three manufacturing locations within five years,” Saraogi says with a lot of confidence.

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