Havells bets on sustainability and growth in festive season - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

Havells India has reduced direct CO2 emission by 6,886 MT and indirect CO2 emission by 69,275 MT in 2019-20. A packaging line like Stelda case sealing has helped Havells address product security and sustainability. A WhatPackaging? case study...

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04 Oct 2020 | By Noel D'Cunha

Innovation together with commitment underpins Havells India’s sustainability initiatives, and has played an important role in its success. A series of targeted efficiency measures span energy, material efficiency, transport and a move towards circular economy that is focused on resource optimisation and the ‘5Rs’ to contribute to the circular economy – reduce, reuse, recycle, recover and residual management.

Havells India has set two targets for the year 2020-21. One: Material sustainability target – increase usage of sustainable material (biodegradable or recyclable or recycled or material from renewable sources) by 15%. Two: Carbon footprint target – reduce inwards logistics/travel distance for packaging material into its IH plants by 25%.

Havells India is India’s leading manufacturer of cables and wires. It has nine facilities and the one in Alwar, Rajasthan has 30 manufacturing lines of making a wire spool of different thickness, length, weight and colour. Five dedicated packaging lines ensure that these wires are packed and put into boxes for shipping. The spool boxes or primary cartons are formed and sealed using hot melts using Nordson applicators.

One initiative of Havells India was the introduction of the Stelda case sealers in its packaging line, manufactured by Impel Services Bangalore, which has enabled the Havells team to tackle product security and sustainability.

Small kitchen appliances, fans, water heaters (geysers), water purifiers and residential pumps, sold under the eponymous Havells brand and through Standard and Reo sub-brands, account for a little less than one-third of the company’s total turnover. Large consumer durables (white goods) are a separate vertical that are now sold under the Lloyd brand. Havells has a turnover of around Rs 9500 crore.

The company has been witnessing green shoots since July. It is still too early to give an outlook, but a lot depends on the festival season sales. This is where a nimbler and more efficient TAT will help.

The Stelda factor
So how did the installation of Stelda help? To understand the process flow that was in place for its packaging needs.

The primary carton was manually formed and the wire spool was manually filled inside the mono carton. The NiCart carton sealing machine from Nordson applied Henkel Supra 100 hot melt glue, which sealed the flap, thereby creating a tamper evident primary packaging. The hologram was applied on the carton. Barcode, manufacture details were printed.

These mono cartons were filled into the master carton according to the orientation and quantity defined. Tape was applied at both the side top and bottom in one-go-using a case sealing machine.

The carton then moved onto the weighing machine and shrink wrapping tunnel. Each box was shrink wrapped as a means for tamper evidence. From there the master carton moved onto the strapping unit where 9mm straps were applied – two straps along the width and height and two straps along the length and height. The filled master cartons were stacked on pallets, which are lifted manually.

Additional strapping and shrink wrapping were to (a)prevent the tapes coming off in transit and (b) act as a deterrent to pilferage.

Nine persons were involved on the packaging line.

What Stelda case sealer does...
Stelda PS500 HM case sealer opens the flaps of a master carton, already filled with products and applies hot melt adhesives, before the flaps are folded back and pressed. It creates a clean sealing of the box, providing better protection against uneven/ unit loads and other transit challenges. The case sealing also provides tamper evidence as an attempt made to open the box will lead to tearing of flaps or layers of paper.

The Stelda PS 500 is a preset model of case sealer, where the machine needs to be set based on the box dimensions. The control system provides a facility to pick various patterns of gluing, based on box size and weight. The machine is built with stringent electrical and mechanical safety features. The machine has a speed of up to 20 master cartons per minute. It can be operated offline or can be easily connected to the existing packaging line. The machine comes with Nordson Problue 4 melter and multi orifice right angle guns. 

What Stelda did...
After the installations and trials on the first Stelda hot glue case sealing machine equipped with Nordson Problue melter and Mini blue guns, Havells got rid of shrink wrapping. An important reason is, the hot glue sealing provides tamper evidence. It reduced the number of straps from four to two. The company plans to further reduce the straps.

The overall power consumption came down as the shrink tunnel was removed, space was saved and the operational hours came done by two hours per shift.

The overall reduction of single use plastics achieved in this case, is an impressive 70% by weight.

Additional savings
The Impel-Stelda team says it insisted on very minimal headroom for case sealing with adhesive. The box was designed to accommodate variations in the height (creating a bulge) due to the uneven primary packaging.

Havells redesigned the boxes, thereby resulting in reduction of heights by 1-3cm, leading to further savings.

Macfarlane Packaging’s latest 'Unboxing' survey has highlighted how sustainability issues remained high on most agendas with the use of recyclable packaging rising by 12% to 63% over the past 12 months. Although, only 49% of packaging used by retailers was reported as being recyclable.

The focus in the survey suggests the rise in dynamic packaging sizing. More than 20% of those surveyed said that packages used were too large for purpose and 16% said too much packaging was used.

Despite the restrictions during lockdown, Havells has been making significant improvements in their packaging and this has been noticed by consumers.

Havells - At a glance

The Nodia-based company reported a turnover of about Rs 9,430 crore in FY20. Cables, consumer durables (under Havells and Lloyd brands) and switchgear are other major verticals.

As per a company statement, the consumer lighting business has potential and the company has been witnessing normalisation in smaller towns with a boost in queries.

Havells currently has a reach across 100,000 electrical outlets pan-India and 500-odd exclusive brand stores.

Offerings like decorative lighting and LEDs will be amongst the categories driving growth. Improved electrification is another factor for growth in this category.


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