Polyart ramps up efforts to harness India’s IML potential

Gerald Iannone, director of sales - Asia Pacific, Arjobex Synthetic Papers talks about in-mould labels, explains the sustainability aspects of Polyart’s PE-based IML substrates and the company’s plan to tap the growing IML demand in India

20 Nov 2017 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

What’s new at Arjobex?
The focus is on three different segments –wine labels with the iridescent coating, which allows embossing and provides water resistance and superior performance even when bottles are placed in ice buckets; self-adhesive label segment with tamper evidence features; and in-mould labels (IML). Besides this, we also have a couple of fix-a-form and booklet label applications.
How do you see IML picking up in India?
When we have been visiting moulders and printers in India, IML is definitely of interest. But the adoption rate was dismal until a couple of years ago. The main issue has been the lack of robotic arm capabilities with the blow moulding companies. Since last 24 months, things have changed. We are working closely with several moulders who have installed robotic arms. We now have big end-users showing interest in IML primarily for two reasons – anti-counterfeiting function of IML and elimination of label application at the end-user’s end.
Secondly, having only one vendor to support any technology restricts the end-users from adopting it. The fact that Polyart and Arjobex through Srinivas Papers, Polyart’s representative in India, are pushing the product in the Indian market, there’s a possibility for the end-users to have more than one option to buy from and this will help to expand the market.
Even in China, it took a bit of time for end-users to adopt IML technology. But suddenly, when a couple of big companies made a switch from self-adhesive to IML for different reasons like anti-counterfeiting, resistance to humidity and profitability, we saw an exponential growth in the consumption. I believe India also has immense potential for IML. It’s just a matter of time.
What are your plans for the Indian market?
We started looking at the Indian market a couple of years ago and the market is picking up. We have decided to ramp up our activities in India. We have appointed Ruchit Vora of Srinivas Papers as our sales manager in India, who has helped us set up an office for Arjobex in Mumbai. India is an important market and it’s a strategic focus not only for IML but also for self-adhesive tamper evident label application. 
You say Polyart’s IML substrates are based on polyethylene, how are these different from the polypropylene-based IML labels?
Arjobex with its Polyart range has been a pioneer in IML segment. When you apply PE-based substrate on an HDPE container, both the components are made of similar material. This has many advantages. One is that it simplifies the recycling process. Secondly, PE label on an HDPE bottle reinforces the bottle. When you use a PP IML label on HDPE bottle, the bottle wall is weakened and there are chances of bottle failing in the drop test. To avoid this, the moulders will have to use more HDPE in the bottle to make it stronger. Therefore, with Polyart’s PE-based IML there’s a potential for weight optimisation of bottles. 
What are the decoration options with Polyart IML?
Our product can be printed by flexography, letterpress, and gravure. We are experts in extrusion as well as in coating. Hence, we also have products that can be printed digitally on HP Indigo. We are working on a possibility to do hot foil, cold foil and textured effects thanks to the conformability of PE as a substrate. Another interesting project that we are working on is IML 360. It’s the capability to have nearly 360 degrees coverage of bottle with IML. This kind of application is possible only when you are using PE substrate.
For the customers in India, what are the lead times for Polyart products?
We maintain stocks of most of our products in India at our partner’s warehouse in Mumbai. So the lead times are pretty short. It’s just the time required for slitting and transportation, which can probably be one or two days.