“Aimed at driving innovations in flexible packaging to suit the local requirements of the converters and the brand owners, the incubator comprises of application laboratory, formulation laboratory and a sophisticated dual coater-laminator,” said Nema.
The dual coater-laminator manufactured by Kroenert, which forms the cornerstone of the incubator, is currently being commissioned at Michelman India’s new facility at Tex Centre, Chandivli in Mumbai.
“With over 15% growth, India is the fastest growing flexible packaging market and that’s the reason behind Michelman’s ambitious investments here. When the industry is growing at a such a breakneck speed there are limited resources available to support innovation or development work. Often, the primary converting machines are running at maximum capacity and operation teams do not welcome an interruption in the form of a new product trial or packaging structure trial. Michelman’s innovation centre will facilitate such trials that drive innovation on behalf of converters.”
Michelman India’s new facility at Tex Centre, Chandivli in Mumbai
“This is a unique investment wherein we will collaborate with various partners such as brand owners, film manufacturers and converters,” added Nema. “The idea is to be equipped in such a way that brand owners can walk into our premises with their challenges and be confident to find a solution with us. For example, someone wants to reduce a five-ply laminate to a three-ply structure, we can tweak formulations for specific needs and then run trials on the dual coater-laminator and also conduct final tests in the application lab. Here, we are building an integrated innovation centre.”
Speaking about the trends in flexible packaging, Nema focused on the high demand for oxygen and moisture barriers, oil and grease resistance, heat seal, specialty primers, recyclability and greener chemistry with food contact compliance. “In the near future mono-structure flexible laminates will be the name of the game. And Michelman will play a significant role in this change and we have accepted this challenge,” concluded Nema.