Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman and managing director, Uflex, said, “The year that went by brought its own set of challenges starting with slowdown in the economy to rising debate on plastic waste management and lastly the unexpected disruptions caused by Covid-19. As a focused group, these challenges have formed to be a flagpole to our innovation for tomorrow. Even during this crisis, we continued our operations such that supply chain of essential commodities like food and pharma wasn’t completely interrupted and these packaged goods reached public at large.”
Chaturvedi continued, “With a steadfast resolve to centre our future growth on sustainability, we commissioned India’s first post-consumer PET bottle and multi-layer plastic (MLP) waste washing and recycling lines in Noida. These lines will upcycle plastic waste to form chips and granules further used for endless applications, such as our green packaging film Asclepius and useful recycled plastic products like flower pot, dustbins, buckets, outdoor furniture and more thus pushing the plastic waste out of the environment and reinstating the recycled plastic back in the economy.”
Developments Uflex made in Q4 FY2019-20
Eco-friendly paper-based tubes with reduced plastic at source: The tubes business launched first-of-its-kind eco-friendly paper-based tubes for the cosmetic and food industry. Depending on application and pack size, these tubes help reduce plastic consumption at source by up to 65% by replacing it with paper. The virgin kraft paper used in tubes are laden with properties of high bursting force and very low moisture absorption properties; and lend the tubes an earthy and rusty look.
Fast-cure solvent-free adhesive SL 777A/999C: A fast-cure laminating adhesive for flexible packaging industry, it ensures no change in coefficient of friction (CoF) even after the process of lamination.
Innovations in cylinders: In order to add aesthetics, enhance quality and increase efficiency, the Cylinders Division at Uflex installed a new line and also launched speciality cylinders in the quarter.
The Cylinder Business of Uflex installed a new automated Chrome Plating Line for rotogravure cylinders that helps enhance efficiency and ensure consistency with improved print quality. It also launched water-based cylinders throwing up new opportunities for the business to tap into customers looking for green and cost-effective printing processes.
With the development of laser-engraving specialised cylinders that produces holographic and 2D effects, Uflex has achieved high depth tissue paper embossing and cotton handbag paper embossing, a feat never attempted before in the industry.
Water-based cylinder is a new innovation to achieve low ink gsm and low-volatile organic compound (VOC), thereby helping achieve low cost and further eco-friendliness.
Innovation by Engineering Business: The engineering business made significant machine developments that are set to give thrust to pharmaceutical and flexible packaging requirement.
The company developed a secondary slitter Accuslit-25 for efficient slitting of jumbo PET/BOPP and other films. Made for the first time in India, Accuslit-25 has proved to be a substitute for slitters imported so far for this use. The division also developed a special slitting machine with high re-winder diameter to fulfil high volumes of requirement for pharma packaging.
For optimum packing of edible oil, a machine with the ability to handle both virgin film as well as laminated films was built that has the capacity to pack one litre oil packs at a speed of 60 packs per minute.