India's Rising Star

Positive Packaging's reputation for quality is backed by a stable of Cerutti gravure presses.

Headquartered in Mumbai (Bombay), India's commercial hub, Positive Packaging Industries ($25 million) is among the top four flex-pack converters in India and is No. 1 in quality. Well entrenched in the domestic market and having expanded rapidly in the African market, the company now is embarking on a major marketing thrust with the emphasis on both the US and European markets.

The company, which already has a customer list that includes a veritable “who's who” of multinationals — Procter and Gamble, Nestlé, Heinz, Bayer, Unilever, and others — ”adheres only to the highest standards of quality and professional excellence,” noted director Krishnamurthy (Krish) Ramachandra during an exclusive PFFC visit.

Positive Packaging is an integral part of the Enpee Group ($110 million). With plants in India and Nigeria, Enpee is involved in metal cans, chemicals, and textiles, as well as flexible packaging, metallizing, and gravure cylinder production. Positive's flexible packaging plant in India is located in the countryside (Khopoli) about 95 km from Central Mumbai, with easy roads from its downtown headquarters. Both its metallizing and gravure cylinder plants are within minutes of the main converting facility. This PFFC visit, which was spread over two days and included all the plants, provided a superb view of the dynamic Indian flex-pack market.

Multinational Suppliers
Positive Packaging's flex-pack converting plant houses state-of-the-art equipment from many of the internationally recognized manufacturers. There is a cylinder inspection room equipped with proofing presses from J.M. Heaford. Presently, printing is accomplished with three Cerutti multi-color rotogravure presses. The fourth Cerutti ten-color printing press will be in operation by year-end. These presses are equipped with PressTech registration, video, and strobes. The printing lines have an independent drive in the last printing station to facilitate cold seal and various other coating applications. Lamination is done by two solventless duplex laminators from Schiavi and Nordmeccanica. Complementing the duplex laminators is Nordmeccanica's solvent-based triplex laminator, hot melt coating equipment, and an extrusion coating line.

The company also extrudes polyethylene (PE) in-house on its three-layer blown film line from Nextrom. Finishing equipment includes slitters from Kampf and Bimec and pouching machines with capabilities of producing three-side seal, center seal, side, and bottom gusseted pouches with zipper attachments as well. A full complement of rewinders and inspection machines completes the gamut. Krish explained, “We are currently planning on integrating flexo printing equipment.” Plans also are afoot, he added, to acquire a fifth gravure printing line.

Metallized film is provided by an in-house operation, Sai Metaplast in Taloja, 50 km from Mumbai. Sai Metaplast utilizes a Valmet General metallizer. Additional metallizing equipment from the same company has been firmed up and is expected to be in place shortly. This division is semi-independent from Positive and sells metallized product to other converters.

Lab facilities in the Khopoli plant are extensive, with a full range of testing equipment from bursting strength to dart impact. A gas chromatograph has been ordered to complement the lab.

During the PFFC visit, Kouassi Cesar of Nestlé, Ivory Coast, was present doing color proofing of printed stock. Such customer visits are welcomed by Positive Packaging so it can satisfy all customer requirements. Cesar reported, “We are satisfied with the quality produced by Positive and look forward to a long business relationship.”

Acuprint Systems is the cylinder and prepress operation. This division, also located at Taloja, is a fully equipped facility. There is comprehensive software, enabling the system to scan, color separate, and do animation and image manipulation. Electronically engraved gravure cylinder preparation is comprehensive, including preparation tanks for electrolytic degreasing, dechroming, and nickel plating. Copper plating is done using Galvostar tanks from Max Daetwyler, as is both the polishing and finishing equipment. According to Y.V. Rao, director on the board of both Positive and Acuprint, “Our equipment is fully state-of-the art, and we are a major supplier of gravure cylinders to the Indian flex-pack industry.”

Multinational Customers
Positive Packaging concentrates its main activity in five basic markets — health, drinks, toiletries, snack foods, bakery and confectionery, and beverage concentrates. In addition to the domestic market, the firm supplies to nearly 20 countries spread over Asia, Africa, and Europe. The majority of its customers are multinational and blue chip corporations such as Nestlé, Unilever, L'Oreal, Heinz, and Best Foods. Domestic customers include Tata Tetley, Frito Lay — India, Hindustan Lever, and Britannia Industries (Danone Group) to name a few.

Positive Packaging sources its raw material supplies from both domestic and international manufacturers. Films come from ExxonMobil, Garware, and Dubai Poly Films. Inks come from Coates, Henkel, Hindustan Inks, and Sakata. Additional suppliers include Rohm and Haas, Dow Chemicals, Cosmo Films, and DuPont.

Positive Packaging has been an innovator in the Indian marketplace. The firm successfully integrated international technology with domestic requirements. Some of its most dynamic innovations include:

  • Semi-rigid cartons with holographic film laminated to board

  • Soap wrapper laminates with paper sandwiched between plastic layers

  • 100% transparent plastic laminate for soap wrappers

  • “Paper-like tear” achieved with PE as a sealant layer in plastic and foil-based laminates

  • Four-ply aluminum foil-based laminate for aggressive face creams/lotions;

  • Deep freeze PE sealant layer developed for seafood

  • Peelable poly for ease of pack opening.

It appears quite certain that with the adaptation of the very latest technology, Positive Packaging will penetrate many more international markets. The firm presently is making deeper inroads in the highly competitive U.K. market and is all set to make a positive start in the US and Canadian markets.

With a base of multinational users and a reputation for complete technical proficiency, Positive Packaging faces a truly bright and positive future.

CONVERTER INFO
Positive Packaging Industries

98 Jolly Maker Chambers No. 2
225 Nariman Point
Mumbai 400 021 India
+91 22-283-7206
positivepackaging.com


ABOUT INDIA: A FASCINATING MONTAGE
India will sideswipe you with its size, glamour, and diversity. Nothing in the country is ever quite what you expect; the only thing to expect is the unexpected, which comes in many forms.

India is a litmus test for many travelers, and some visitors are only too happy to get on an aircraft and fly away. But if you thrive on sensual overload and enjoy complicated societies, then India is one of the most intricate and rewarding dramas unfolding on earth.

Despite being a secular democracy, it is one of the few nations in the world in which the social and religious structures that define the society remain intact even after 4000 years of invasions, persecution, European colonialism, and political upheaval. Religion seeps into every facet of life. A rich melting pot of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists (born in India), Sikhs, Jains, Christians, and Jews, the nation is truly a blending of the human experience.


Stanley Sacharow has been in the flexible packaging industry for more than 35 years. His company, The Packaging Group, is an organizer of targeted conferences and a consultant to the international packaging/converting industry. Contact him at 732/636-0885; univpac@aol.com.


SUPPLIER INFO
Bimec Srl
, Milan, Italy; +39 (0) 331-307491; bimec.it

Cerutti Giovanni Officine Meccaniche, Casale Monferrato, Italy; +39 0142-459491; cerutti.it

Coates Lorilleux, Orpington, Kent, U.K.; +44 1689-827080; coates.com

Cosmo Films Ltd., New Delhi, India; +91-11-686-3968; cosmofilms.com

Dow Chemical Co., Midland, MI; 517/636-1000; dow.com

Dubai Poly Films LLC, Dubai, U.A.E.; +971-4-880-1100; dubaipolyfilm.com

DuPont, Wilmington, DE; 800/628-6208; dupont.com

ExxonMobil Chemical Co., Films Business, Luxembourg; +352+45+102-2211; oppfilms.com

Garware Polyester Ltd., Mumbai, India; +91-22-838-0701; garwarepoly.com

Henkel KGaA, Düsseldorf, Germany; +49-211-797-6191; henkeladhesives.com

Hindustan Inks and Resins Ltd., Vapi, Gujarat, India; +91-0260-462811; hindustaninks.com

J.M. Heaford Ltd., Altrincham, Cheshire, U.K.; +44 161-928-5679; jmheaford.co.uk

Kampf GmbH & Co., Wiehl Mühlen, Germany; +49 22 62-81-0; kampf.de

MDC Max Daetwyler AG, Bleienbach, Switzerland; +41 62-919-3737; daetwyler.com

Nextrom/Dolci Extrusion, Milano, Italy; +39 022529621; dolciextrusion.it

Nordmeccanica Spa, Piacenza, Italy; +39 (0) 523-596411; nordmeccanica.com

PressTech Controls Ltd., Hemel Hempstead, Herts., U.K.; +44 (0) 1442-236655; presstech.co.uk

Rohm and Haas, Philadelphia, PA; 215/592-3000; rohmhaas.com

Sakata Inx Corp, Osaka, Japan; +81-06-6447-5847; inx.co.jp

Schiavi SpA (a member of the Bobst Group of cos.), Piacenza, Italy; +39 (0) 523-493111; (in the US — Bobst Group Inc., Roseland, NJ; 888/226-8800); bobstgroup.com

Valmet General, Heywood, Lancs., U.K.; +44 1706-622-422; valmetconverting.com



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