TCPL — Steady and Full Speed Ahead!

Diversification to flexible packaging and doubling of carton plant in Goa

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TCPL
Saket Kanoria, managing director of TCPL. Photo PSA

TCPL Packaging, one of the few Indian packaging companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), has become a favorite with analysts and investors. The stock has rapidly appreciated in the past three years from Rs. 64 to its current price of Rs. 640. The Rs. 10 face value stock shot up to Rs. 767 as on 4 August 2016.

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The Bobst Rotomec RS4003 MP 9-color gravure press installed at TCPL’s Silvassa plant. Photo PSA

With the rising appreciation in the market, TCPL too has grown with a CAGR of 21% over the past ten years. With a 20% dividend policy that it has submitted to the BSE, the company is constantly investing in high technology equipment and maintaining an even-handed policy of loyalty to its suppliers. It continues to open new plants, expand its capacity and consolidate its earlier investments. In addition, TCPL has made a robust investment in human capital with a slew of professionals with considerable experience in its plants across the country.

In January 2015, TCPL opened a new monocarton plant in Guwahati with a single line, which it has decided to double by March 2017 to service brand owners there. Generally adding capacity at the rate of one multicolor offset press each year, in 2015 the company installed two presses along with ancillary equipment in its endeavor to accelerate its already strong growth pace.

TCPL Packaging’s managing director Saket Kanoria says, “TCPL’s new installations are accompanied by enhanced infrastructure. At the same time we are adding two new multicolor offset presses in FY 2016–17—a fourth line at Silvassa, which is a 7-color plus double coater for special effects including haptics such as soft-touch as well anti-counterfeiting 3D-effects.” In Goa, where the company already has a carton printing and converting plant, TCPL plans to build and commission a new greenfield site with a capacity of five production lines to serve the western and southern regions, and particularly the demand for pharmaceutical packaging.

Flexible packaging: A huge leap of faith

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One of the two Nordmeccanica Super Combi 3000 Laminators installed at Silvassa. Photo PSA

On 14 September 2016, TCPL Packaging inaugurated its new flexible packaging plant and its center-piece—the Rotomec 9-color gravure press—with a host, of industry friends and family. The plant speaks volumes of the company’s belief in world-class infrastructure and complete process integration with full attention to safety, health and environment in flexible packaging production. According to Saket Kanoria, the investment in the new flexible packaging plant in Silvassa is a leap of faith for TCPL Packaging, which he modestly describes as a “small and challenging step in primary flexible packaging which will ultimately lead to a larger fully integrated greenfield plant”.

Recently, TCPL took over an existing printing plant in Silvassa where it has three plants including a gravure carton printing plant, and completely renovated it before installing a top-of-the-line Bobst Rotomec RS4003 MP 9-color gravure press with several automation and special features that can run at 400 m a minute. The RS4003 MP is highly versatile with the ability to print on flexible film substrates as well as paper and board including special UV coatings and haptic effects.

All Mix Products Collage
A collage of carton samples printed at TCPL. Photo TCPL

The TCPL Rotomec is a user-friendly press featuring the latest technical solutions for minimizing both downtime and material waste on a trolley-type press. The press waste reduction performance is enhanced by the integration of Bobst Electronic Shaft with the Bobst Registron register control via the High-DynamicInterface system, which achieves five times faster correction than conventional systems during press speed variations. To further improve performance at makeready and changeover, the machines in the 4003 platform are equipped with the Total-Automatic-Pre-register-Setting (TAPS). TAPS enables minimum start-up waste since it is the first register presetting system based only on what is printed
on the web.

In addition, TCPL’s machine has a UV coater and curing system mounted on the superstructure that can be used to add some of the special effects that the company plans to offer to brand owners. Soft touch and haptic effects can be produced on flexible sleeves or pouches—there are carton coatings and finishes that the company plans to provide as value-added features that stem from its extensive knowledge of gravure and offset carton production.

For the finishing and converting steps, TCPL has installed two Nordmeccanica laminators and several other finishing machines, including a Goebel slitter and rewinder. The entire setup including the testing lab makes this a completely selfsufficient and modern gravure printing plant.

Although the new Silvassa flexible packaging plant is seen as a modest beginning, it is actually a bold step forward. For its brand owner customers in alcobev, tobacco and FMCG, TCPL is more of a one-stop supplier across cartons and flexible packaging. The Silvassa flexibles plant can easily accommodate two gravure lines and multiple laminators as well as other ancillary and finishing equipment. Again, for a company that believes in timely investment in high technology and quality infrastructure, there is always the prospect of a fully integrated greenfield flexible packaging plant in the next several years.

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The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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Naresh Khanna
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. Elected vice-president of the International Packaging Press Organization in May 2023.