Uflex’s sachets pack a big punch at FPA and AIMCAL Awards 2018

Uflex introduced the concept of sachets in the mid-1980s, thus revolutionising the FMCG market in India in products as diverse as ketchups, shampoos, and mouth fresheners. Years later, the company remains in the forefront of packing a big punch in manufacturing small packaging, as evident by a series of awards the company received for its sachets.

09 Apr 2018 | By Rahul Kumar

Recently, the Shudh Plus Ultra sparkling tactile sachet with 3D embossing, manufactured by Uflex, won a gold in technical innovation category and a silver in printing and shelf impact category in the 2018 edition of the Awards organised by the Flexible Packaging Association.

The same product also received the 2018 Product Excellence Award and the 2018 Technical Excellence Award conferred by the Association of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL).

Meanwhile, its Nescafe Sunrise non-foil instant coffee sachet won a silver for sustainability in the Flexible Packaging Association Awards.

This year, the Flexible Packaging Association received 66 package entries with a total of 164 entries (some packages were entered into multiple categories). Twenty packages were honoured in 31 achievement awards.

Shudh Plus Ultra highlights technical innovation due to its tactile printing. This printing innovation of depositing high strength solids onto flexible packaging substrates provides aesthetically superior packaging options. Also, this packaging development opens the world of new possibilities in creating packs which could be offered for the visually-impaired market with Braille printing through tactile functionalities.

The mouth freshener market is inundated with several me-too brands and the point-of-sale impact infused through packaging re-production and design elements drive the impulsive purchasing behaviour.

The Shudh Plus Ultra mouth freshener artwork was handed over to Uflex with the objective of creating a never seen before design. The team at Uflex brainstormed about the design elements and came up with print reproduction having a combination of tactile effect; glitter effect; embossing effect on the brand and provide a combination of gold and silver anti-counterfeiting 3D embossed effect bearing the logo of the client. All these critical parameters have been achieved with a combination of rotogravure, flexography, and electron beam coating using a surface printed registered application on paper and also entailing hot foil stamping.

Surface printing of the base design was done on coated paper using a combination of rotogravure and flexographic print transfer technologies. A special laser engraved cylinder with specially developed engraving cell configuration was used to transfer the higher solid content and glitter pigment on the surface. The printed substrate was processed through electron beam coating line in register to create the embossed effect on the brand name.

The final processing entailed the transfer of 3D embossed effect of the logo using a special purpose machine, utilising hot foil stamping. The speciality of this job was to provide one side gold and another side silver embossed effect to deter counterfeits as this is the first of its kind job where a combination of different metal reproductions have been done simultaneously.

The uniqueness of design is that the printing has been done using high solid content ink imparting the superior tactile effect with a combination of glitter enhancing the shelf impact catching the attention of the customer.

The Nescafe Sunrise non-foil instant coffee sachet is a portion controlled unit pack of a unique blend of coffee chicory mixture. Instant coffee chicory mixture is extremely hygroscopic and has always been packed in flexible packaging where aluminium foil provides the functional barrier.

In order to eliminate the use of aluminium foil, engineers at Uflex worked on high barrier metallised polyester film which could effectively replace aluminium foil. The new packaging development for replacement of aluminium foil has been extensively tested with similar shelf life of 12 months (as offered by the erstwhile packaging) for this new packaging. Consumers are able to get the same product delivery with less packaging material and are able to simply tear, dispense and consume the product. The new packaging consists of 10 micron polyester (reverse printed) and is laminated with 12 micron high barrier metallised polyester and 20 micron polyethylene using a tandem extrusion lamination process.

The development has resulted in a 45% weight reduction in replacement of aluminium foil with metallised polyester. This significantly reduces carbon footprint (emission of GHG) through all the three critical phases of the packaging product, such as, manufacturing, transportation and disposal.

Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman and managing director, Uflex, said, “On behalf of my entire team, I am thankful to the jury of Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards 2018 and that of AIMCAL Awards 2018 for honouring the technological, aesthetic and sustainability quotient of Uflex. These pocket sized powerhouses have indeed packed a big punch in the global flexible packaging industry.”