The dynamo of metal packaging

As one of the leading metal packaging company in India shows no sign of slowing down Kaushal Vora, managing director of Massilly India Packaging and Genesis Packaging talks about streamlining its expansion to reach the top spot

17 Jul 2018 | By PrintWeek India

Can you take us through your journey in metal packaging…
We always had a long-standing relationship with Manipal. Back in 1970, my father was an alumnus of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT). We forayed into metal packaging three decades ago when we began manufacturing crown caps and printed sheets. In 2008 my father and my uncle Jitendra Vora established Genesis Packaging in Manipal to supply metal decorative cans for stationary/spices.

When did the joint venture with Massilly happen?
The joint venture with Massilly happened in 2011 to form Massilly India Packaging. It is a joint venture with the Massilly group which was established 106 years ago and is one of the largest family managed businesses in metal packaging worldwide. The group has its headquarters in France and factories worldwide including France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Russia, Peru, Canada and India.

Name some of your key clients.
Massilly India Packaging is mainly concerned with the food products and has customers like Unilever, ITC and also many companies in the gherkin industry. At Genesis Packaging we work on tin packaging for companies like Faber Castel, Kiwi Shoe Polish (SC Johnson) to name a few. Through our customers, we work with Dollar Store, Walmart, Indigo airlines and all other major retailers in the US and Europe. The famous tin storage box for Indigo airline is made by us. We also supply cans to our joint venture partner in France for biscuits.

Your products have acquired a significant space at major retail outlets…
We cater to many companies that export pickles and through the customers, our products are found on the shelves of many big retailers around the world such as REWE, ALDI, Dollar General, Nalleys, Walmart, American Garden to name a few.

Kaushal Vora of Massilly India Packaging

What is the present industry scenario according to you?
Metal packaging is definitely growing. We keep innovating with products which result in an increase of sales. But the competitive level has gone down because of the competitors being satisfied with what they have at present and lack of innovation. There is also an absence of knowledge as well as innovation and drive to excel in the industry which leads to customer opting for alternative packaging like Tetra Pak and plastics. Metal has a fantastic scope especially tinplate cans as they recycle forever and on a worldwide scale is one of the most preferred packaging for food.

What about the present situation at Massilly India Packaging?
With the right knowledge and support from our parent company, we are well positioned for growth. Because of this reason within four years, Massilly has grown from one million closures to more than100 million. When we started we were at number five in India and now we are the number one company in India for twist-off closures. Massilly Group invests each year into the expansion of the company resulting in rapid growth and progression of the business in India.

You are a provider to the metal packaging industry and you offer solutions for the decoration of two-and three-piece cans.  What is the percentage of two and three-piece cans in India?
Three-piece per capita consumption in India is very low when compared to say, for example, France. We are only 5% of the total volume when compared with major economic countries. Consumption of canned food is not in our culture and that is the reason for low per capita consumption. But the scenario is changing due to lifestyle changes and smaller families with both members working leading to more consumption of readymade/canned food. Hence food cans have the highest growth potential.

The two-piece aerosol cans are growing as well…
Especially the ones that are made from aluminium have recorded one of the biggest growths. It is for this reason that the world leader Ball Corporation has its presence in India. India can become the production house of the world with good investment in infrastructure and also technology. Tinplate aerosol is also showing good growth, lug caps will continue to grow. Decorative cans are also picking up in India.

Production facility 

Any hindrances for the metal packaging industry in India?
Currently, infrastructure within the country as well as power issues and an increase in minimum wage of 40% in Karnataka are big issues that can hamper growth.

Describe the production process in your unit.
Metal offset technology is used for printing and the machines are not as advanced as paper printing machines. Hence there are mainly one or two colour machines. There is only a single four-colour machine in India for metal packaging poster printing. Even though the process of pre-press is same, there are not many CTP machines for imaging. We are still using the conventional processing techniques.

Which ready-made system solutions and applications are your USP?
Currently, we use Excel and Tally. By 2019 – 2020 we will be preparing for M3 software which is like SAP, because M3 is more European based and technically more suited for our industry. We have an inline vision inspection system for metal closures. Systems used here have 100% traceability from raw material to closures and vice versa.

What are the challenges of creating on flat-sheet?
Challenges of creating on flat sheets are mainly shade variation. This is due to the environmental factors such as heat, moisture and temperature variations. Shade variation will also occur during drying because drying is not 100% constant all over the surface. Therefore 100% perfection can’t be expected while creating flat sheets. Then there are the challenges of wastage and scrap and another challenge of the supplier. Good consistency is required as the speed of production of caps increases and the volume of the flat sheets matter a lot. Caps produced here are 500 caps per minute so the consistency of the metal should be really good to ensure proper registration with such high speed.

Metal containers produced at Massilly

Inks are crucial to the process. What type are metal decorating inks and coatings do you deploy?
Usually, conventional inks are used for metal printing. UV inks are used by the joint venture partner in France. With UV inks the output can be obtained faster. But UV is not used at Massilly India Packaging because for drawn cans, and also for food cans, the UV coatings can’t be applied on the inside surface for food cans. All the coatings are Epoxy or polyester based and we also supply BPA-NI (bisphenol A – non-intent) closures to the European market. We use the same raw materials worldwide to ensure consistency in supply all across the globe.

What are the industry standards according to you?
Infeed systems should be robust to handle plate thickness of 0.14 to 0.30 mm. For lug caps, it is 0.14 to 0.17mm. Both conventional and UV inks are used in the industry. The printed sheets undergo external drying in the tunnel and then varnish is applied. For food cans, the coating should pass the food safety regulation.

What about training and R&D?
We do metal printing hence we need printers and technicians and we also require engineers to handle the technicality of the products. For this, it is essential to give them good training and we have sent many of our people abroad and also had young French engineers working for us in India for many years. We have a lab with chemists who do R&D. We have a well-equipped spare parts department and well-experienced service engineers.

Your plan for 2018?
We are building the country`s largest manufacturing facility for two-piece tinplate draw and re-draw (DRD) cans complete with sheetfed equipment as well as palletisers. Installation of new metal two-colour printing lines and coating machines from the UK and for lug caps we have doubled our capacity of its production to match our growth.

Three products that Massilly India is proud of:

1. Lug caps which Massilly India is producing (JV with French company). Here the raw material used is steel. So when it comes in contact with acid and salt, rusting occurs. It must be protected well with coatings to get a perfect cap and the jars are to be capped at 10,000 jars per hour. We managed to produce caps within one month of setting up the machine.

2. Shaped-candle can that was manufactured at Genesis Packaging. Similar to what China has mastered. We manufactured the die and tools and executed the project within three months.

3. Filli-Free cap that won the silver award at The Canmaker magazine Cans of the Year Awards at Scotland in the innovation category. The product innovation took place at Massilly India and it will help subtropical countries, similar to our country, to solve the issues of corrosion and to compete at the same level as other countries.

This feature was covered by students of Manipal Institute Technology. (l-r) Nagaprasad, Chirag KS, Tanishk Shivley, Pranjali Kanchi, Sagarika Shetty with Kaushal Vora (third from right).

Students of MIT with Kaushal Vora