Made in India: High-shrink PET films from Garware Hi-Tech Films

The monoaxially oriented, co-polyester PET film can be used for outer sleeve wrapping and label applications of various types of glass and plastic containers, CJ Pathak, wholetime director, Garware Hi-Tech Films, tells Rahul Kumar

21 Jul 2021 | By Rahul Kumar

Garware's high-shrink PET film is not a regular marketplace commodity, but rather a specialty film

Garware Hi-Tech Films has four manufacturing plants for polyester films, and manufactures films ranging in thickness from 10 to 350-micron. The company possesses patented technology for dyed polyester films in India and USA.

Additionally, it is one of the few companies in India to manufacture its own raw material, polyester chips, to manufacture polyester films for a wide variety of end applications, such as sun control films, coloured polyester films, paint protection films, shrink films and more.

One of the company’s key products is the high shrink film with a range of nine variants. The company holds more than 90% market share in shrink film manufacturing and is one of the largest manufacturers of high-shrink films in the Indian subcontinent.

Promoted by the late Dr BD Garware, the journey of Garware Plastics began in 1933 as Garware Motors. After venturing into several other spaces, such as motors and engineering, as well as polyester film manufacturing, the company is now known as Garware Hi-Tech Films.

High-shrink PET film
Garware’s high-shrink PET film is a monoaxially oriented, co-polyester PET film with a shrinkage of more than 75% in the transverse direction. While both sides of the film are receptive to a variety of inks and solvents, the non-coated side is recommended for printing over the coated side, which has a slip effect. This high-shrink PET film can be used for outer sleeve wrapping and label applications of various types of glass and plastic containers.

Aimed at large and small manufacturers of shrink labels, the product was initially launched in 2011. However, with consistent R&D and innovation, the company today manufactures total nine variants of the high-shrink film.

CJ Pathak, wholetime director, Garware Hi-Tech Films, says, “As the name suggests, the film shrinks when it is exposed to, and comes in contact with heat. However, the shrinkage is dependent on the temperature and the time of exposure to heat.”

One of the greatest upsides of PET shrink films is that they are recyclable and does not release harmful vapours during the heat-sealing process, like what PVC shrink does. Shrink films are also durable and its durability allows you to protect and preserve the contents of the packaging.

“The shrink film can add a glossy shine to improve the visual appeal of the product packaging, and you can print high-quality graphics to gain that much-desired retail visibility. By taking advantage of shrink film's strength and durability, many brands have been able to remove corrugated packaging from their multi-pack products altogether. Heavy products can be securely wrapped in shrink without the need for a corrugated tray,” he adds.

The market
Pathak says Garware Hi-Tech Films has built a reputation as a global brand with high quality products. “We focus on quality for highest consumer satisfaction. Our high-shrink PET film is not a regular marketplace commodity, but rather a specialty film, which requires a complex mix of the capabilities of technology, machinery and quality raw material. These superior factors are what create high barriers for other suppliers in the market. Our product is highly reliable and ensures enhanced quality and volume of business returns for our customers,” he explains.

The company’s primary customer base is scattered across the globe, including Europe, Africa as well as the Middle East, besides the Indian market. The key areas of use for the product are in the industries dealing with food and beverages, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

Pathak says there are various factors that come into play when a customer places an order for such products. “Generally, the demand for them is in high numbers. Thus, a customer must carefully consider in-time availability; cost-effectiveness; consistent quality; customer support and sustainable/ environment-friendly range and other factors before starting to use the product,” he adds.

The product is typically used for full-body sleeve labels. “There is also a niche area of application done by our customers which is the use of sleeve labels with anti-counterfeiting properties,” Pathak says.

According to Pathak, the product excels on various counts. They have excellent printability which is a must for many of our customers. “Another USP that we offer is the ease of application across high-contour and innovative shapes, as well as enabling tamper and pilferage-proof product protection,” he adds. “Our high-shrink PET film offers more than 75% shrinkage. We also offer PCR, that is, post-consumer recycled variants for the same.”

Shrink films typically consists of PETG film, enhanced with glycol modifiers. Meanwhile, PVC or poly vinyl chloride and OPS, that is oriented polystyrene, are the available alternatives for high-shrink PET films.
“There are multiple factors that set high-shrink PET film a level apart from its alternatives. The product has great printability, high levels of machinability with improved yield, excellent stiffness, good clarity, with no emission of hazardous chemicals. Moreover, it is also easy to handle, making it quite user-friendly,” he says.

The productivity
Pathak says through the company’s constant efforts towards increasing product efficiency and consistently rising demand for PET shrink, the productivity of shrink films is growing day by day. “The film is designed so that care needs to be ensured while handling the material, for instance, it needs to be stored in a controlled atmosphere,” he says.

The company offers training regarding the handling and usage of the film. “To ensure high levels of quality on both product and service fronts, our customer support service is always up and running for our customers,” he adds.

On the recent trends in the packaging printing industry, Pathak says that the industry is constantly evolving with a view to adopting sustainability as well as providing the best and user-friendly customer and experience.

According to him, some of the recent trends include sustainability and environmentally friendly packaging materials; sophisticated and minimalistic packaging and evolution of eCommerce packaging.

Looking ahead, Garware’s vision is to increase the share of business of the range of products in its portfolio in 2021-22. “We aim to do so by adhering to a few standards we have set for ourselves, such as ensuring availability of quality, specialty-range products, as well as continuing to provide our customers with actionable customised solutions,” Pathak concludes.

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