02/03/2021 – Packaging / UFlex / Finance / Expansion / India
UFlex’s strong financial results fuel major capacity expansions in packaging films
The company’s expansion in India will see the establishment of a greenfield BOPET and CPP plant in Karnataka, with a new CPP line also to be set up in the UAE. Furthermore, UFlex’s commissioning this quarter of a BOPET Line in Poland makes it the largest BOPET manufacturer in EU today.
UFlex Ltd – India’s largest multinational flexible packaging company and a global player in polymer sciences – posted strong financial results for Q4 2020, while also announcing significant new domestic and international expansions for its Packaging Films business.
With packaging becoming a lifeline in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, the company has successfully supported customers and consumers with packaging solutions in the past quarters. The company witnessed a surge in demand for multiple lines of businesses while also adding newer clients. The company posted strong growth numbers with Consolidated Net Profit surging by 89 per cent YoY to INR 159.9 crore for the quarter ending December 2020.
Domestic and international expansions
UFlex announced domestic and international expansion for its Packaging Films business in the results. Speaking of the capacity expansion, Rajesh Bhatia, Group CFO at UFlex Ltd, said the firm would be commissioning a BOPET film line in Poland with a capacity of 45,000TPA. Meanwhile, the trial run for UFlex Ltd’s BOPP plant in Hungary and BOPET plant in Nigeria have already commenced and both the plants are expected to be commissioned soon, he told Food & Beverage Networker.
“In India, we have not expanded the capacity of Packaging Films in 16 years, and are now setting up greenfield BOPET and CPP lines in Karnataka to meet the growing demand,” Mr Bhatia revealed. “We are also expanding outside India with plans to set up a brownfield CPP film line at our UAE plant that will add a production capacity of 18,000TPA.”
Ashok Chaturvedi, UFlex Ltd’s Chairman and MD, said: “UFlex has played a pivotal role in providing packaged products to the end consumers during the pandemic. In line with our vision to serve the last mile with our best-in-class innovative and sustainable solutions, we are scaling up our international as well as domestic operations. Driven by a robust order book and consistent market growth, we are doubling the manufacturing capacity of our Aseptic Liquid Packaging plant in Sanand.”
The earlier capacity of the group’s Packaging Films plant in Poland was 30,000TPA, and with an additional 10.4-metre-wide BOPET line of 45,000TPA soon to be commissioned, FlexFilms will shortly become the largest BOPET manufacturer in the European Union.
In India, the current capacity of packaging films line with BOPET, BOPP and CPP combined is 92,000TPA. The new lines to be added in South India will have a cumulative production capacity of 63,000TPA. The UAE plant, which currently houses a BOPET line with capacity of 22,000TPA, will have an additional capacity of 18,000TPA once the CPP line is commissioned.
In Q3 FY 2020-21, UFlex also introduced a range of new products and solutions across various business verticals – Flexible Packaging, Engineering, Chemicals, Holography, and Cylinders.
Flexible Packaging business
In the Flexible Packaging vertical, the firm launched matt-finish 3D pouches, packed with value-added features. Used to pack coffee beans for Al-Fanoos Coffee in the Saudi Arabian and Gulf markets, the BOPP–PET–PE structure pouch holds myriad features such as 3D design for shelf impact, Hot Stamp to prevent from counterfeiting forces, Slider Zipper that promotes reusability at the point of consumption, a Breathing Valve that allows excess gas to exit from the pack such that packed contents remains fresh for a longer duration, a See-through Window on the side, and a Side Handle that allows easy carriage. With all these features packed in, this pouch is a perfect combination to add value and convenience to brands as well as consumers.
Jumbo Bags for Proamino-T Poultry Feed: The jumbo bags for packing poultry feed are one of only a few bulk bags available in non-woven format that feature high tensile strength and weather resistance. Developed for the Indian market, the bag offers durability and convenience of carriage with safety, despite its capacity to carry mass quantity.
Beyond such innovation, the Flexible Packaging vertical’s R&D team successfully commercialised many of its solutions – both bespoke solutions for specific brands and new innovations based on market research. With its extensive findings, numerous such innovations have been successfully commercialised, including easy-to-peel strength pouches for PS Kona WB Coffee (in which the peel strength has been customised with regulated opening force); Paper foil based laminated film (for packing seasoning mix for Kroger Ranch Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix); Replacing PET in EVoH based BOPP film structure to make it a recyclable Monopolymer laminate (for Purina Dog Chow PET Food); and Special PET + PET based retort pouches, replacing the previously used oriented nylon for packaging of pre-cooked rice for TJ Morris (with the replacement in structure resulting in a significant cost saving for the brand).
UFlex Ltd’s Engineering Business developed a new variant of secondary slitter – the ‘ACCU ECOSLIT 30’. Slitting 3,000 metres wide web, powered with a capacity for slitting into six ups with a speed of up to 800mpm, the new innovation makes Uflex Ltd the only Indian manufacturer to engineer equipment with such capabilities.
Another innovation in the Engineering vertical is a machine that seals the bag and addresses counterfeiting challenges. In some markets, pouches and bags are stitched after the filling of product, making it vulnerable to counterfeits (given that it is easy to unstitch, replace the product and stitch back the pouch for retailing). To address this issue, UFlex has developed a Bag-Sealing machine ‘WS 535’ that replaces stitching with sealing. Moreover, this all-in-one bag-sealing machine fits many applications, laminate structures and bag dimensions, and delivers clean seals and enhanced look and feel of the bag/pouch to the customers.
UFlex launched a water-based oxygen barrier coating ‘FLEXCOAT UF0008’ for food packaging – to achieve oxygen barrier properties on BOPP and CPP films. This coating provides extended shelf-life to food packed and is suitable for use in snack packaging segments like noodles, potato chips and cookies.
Finally in the Holography vertical comes a new film for ghee packaging. A daily staple in the majority of Indian households, ghee is highly prone to counterfeiting. In order to fight the menace of duplication, UFlex has developed a customised Holographic Film for outer carton packaging – replacing the use of plain metalised film laminated cartons for a prominent ghee brand, and thereby helping differentiate pure ghee from the fakes. Anti-counterfeiting features are engrained in this film’s design, such that it not only prevents counterfeiting but also offers a unique look to the carton, as well as adding shelf impact.
Award-winning leader in packaging
UFlex is India’s largest multinational Flexible Packaging materials and solutions company and a leading global player in Polymer Sciences. Since its inception back in 1985, UFlex has grown to encompass state-of-the-art packaging facilities at multiple locations in India, alongside packaging film manufacturing facilities in India, UAE, Mexico Egypt, Poland, Russia, and the USA.
All UFlex plants are accredited with ISO 9001, 14001, HACCP & BRC certifications. UFlex caters to markets spanning across the globe in over 140 countries.
UFlex’s clients include P&G, Nestle, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Mars Wrigley, Tata Global Beverages, Mondelez, Britannia, Haldiram’s, Amul, Ferrero Rocher, Agrotech Foods, Johnson & Johnson, amongst others.
UFlex is a winner of various prestigious national and international awards for its products, technology and process excellence – from renowned organisations like Dow, AIMCAL, FPA, WorldStar WPO, Packaging Europe Sustainability Awards, SIES, IFCA, PrintWeek and more.
UFlex became the ‘first company in the world to recycle mix plastic waste’, for which it earned recognition at Davos Recycle Forum in 1995.
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