Mumbai-based Papierus Packaging looking at corrugation

New Bobst folder gluer de-bottlenecks monocarton expansion

Papierus Packaging
Suraj Sharma of Bobst with Rikin Vakharia of Papierus Packaging with Ambition 76 A1 folder gluer (Image: PSA)

Based in Bhiwandi near Mumbai, Papierus Packaging specializes in printing and converting monocartons. The company moved to its current premises in September 2020 from its older unit in the northern Mumbai suburb of Vasai. The Bhiwandi unit is over 27,000 square feet and is almost three times the size of the Vasai unit. As the company is looking to set up a corrugation unit in the near future it plans to move to an even bigger unit.  

“When we moved to the Bhiwandi unit we not only got the shop floor but also printing and converting equipment. Earlier in Vasai, we could not handle all the jobs on our own so we needed to outsource work to other printers. At Bhiwandi with our expanded printing and converting capacity, we are now able to process all the cartons in-house. However, we are still growing and the packaging industry itself also grows every year and we will now need to move to a much bigger unit so that we are future ready,” said Rikin Vakharia of Papierus Packaging. 

The company currently operates three sheetfed Heidelberg offset presses – a 7-color, a 6-color, and a 2-color. In the converting section, it has two Bobst die cutters and three folder gluers, also from Bobst. One of the folder gluers, a brand-new Ambition 76 A1, was commissioned in August 2021. For prepress, it is a CtP output device and in the postpress and finishing section die punching, sheet pasting, cutting, and hot foil stamping machines. The company supplies cartons to customers in the sporting goods segment, industrial products, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, among others. It converts about 150-200 tons of board every month.  

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Papierus is looking to set up a corrugation line for F-flute cartons. According to Vakharia, the company is seeing a rising demand for corrugated cartons from its existing customers. “Setting up a corrugation line makes sense to us as many of our existing customers have requirements for corrugated boxes. At present they have to go to someone else for these. With an in-house corrugation line, we can provide complete carton services to our customers,” he said.

Productivity jump due to the Ambition folder gluer

Talking about the experience of working with a brand new Ambition folder gluer since September, Vakharia said that the commissioning of the machine was a milestone for the company as it was their first new Bobst machinery. “At Vasai, we were using locally made folder gluers which created a bottleneck at the converting stage due to their low productivity. Now with the Bobst in action, our productivity has almost doubled. We have also managed to increase and widen our client base,” Vakharia said. 

Bullish on Indian packaging

Vakharia says the company is extremely bullish about the prospects of the Indian packaging industry. 

“We expect the annual growth of the Indian packaging industry to average between 12% to 14% for the foreseeable future. This growth will be driven by a rise in disposable income and population. Gradual phasing out of single-use plastic will also give a boost to the demand for paper packaging,” he concluded. 

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.

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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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