SRF buys a Bobst Expert K5 with AluBond for high-barrier BOPP

Metallizer to accompany new BOPP line in SRF’s Indore plant

Bobst Expert K5 vacuum metallizer
Bobst Expert K5 vacuum metallizer

SRF’s flexible packaging business, a significant part of the over 100 crore Indian rupees conglomerates with a global presence, has invested in a Bobst Expert K5 vacuum metallizer. The Expert K5 metallizer with a width of 3650 mm will further increase the company’s production of high-barrier BOPP films for both the domestic and global markets. 

The K5 Expert equipped with Bobst’s unique AluBond process will be installed at SRF’s Indore plant in early 2022. SRF opened its first flexible packaging plant in Manali, near Chennai, in 1974 and has grown into a leading, diversified chemicals and technical materials conglomerate. Its packaging films business offers innovative BOPP and BOPET film solutions for food and non-food packaging applications. 

The division follows a ‘Triple E’ approach to sustainability, comprising three pillars – Environment, Engagement, and Enterprise. Each of these pillars covers material issues important to SRF’s sustainability targets and goals.

Bobst Expert K5 with AluBond on BOPP

Bobst’s AluBond was initially developed to increase metal adhesion and dyne level on the most commonly used film substrates and is now becoming the standard metalizing process for polyolefin-based PP substrates due to its ability to increase barrier levels on these film types.

The unique process can achieve metal adhesion values of up to 5N/15mm and has been shown to significantly increase dyne level retention, which translates into improved ink wettability during printing. In addition, it may, in some cases, eliminate the need for an additional surface treatment boost, that is, corona refresh prior to converting.

When AluBond is applied to BOPP and CPP films, it enhances their oxygen (OTR) and water vapor (WVTR) barrier performance. Increasingly this process is also being used to produce high barrier metalized CPP and BOPP mono-material laminates in response to the market’s demands for sustainable or laterally recycled packaging films.

Hari K Singh – executive vice president, and head of Global Operations, Strategy for India, Thailand, and South Africa, and country head, SRF
Hari K Singh – executive vice president, and head of Global Operations, Strategy for India, Thailand, and South Africa, and country head, SRF

Commenting on the investment, Prashant Mehra, president, and CEO and Hari K Singh, executive vice president and head of Global Operations & Projects of SRF, said, “Due to growth in the BOPP market, we needed to expand our capacity. We have invested in a second BOPP line in India and needed a metallizer to help meet our customers’ requirements. The AluBond process will allow us to produce high-quality BOPP film with high adhesion and high barrier levels to meet the demands in the market both in India and Overseas. We look forward to our new  Bobst Expert K5 being installed early next year.”

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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