UFlex closes FY20-21 on high note with various ingenious products
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UFlex closes FY20-21 on high note with various ingenious products

The company achieves the highest ever production & sales volumes, revenue & profitability in the quarter as well as in FY2020-21

UFlex, India's largest multinational flexible packaging company and a global player in polymer sciences, recently declared its annual results for fiscal 2020-21 and quarter ending March 2021. With packaging taking center stage in pandemic affected last year, UFlex rose above the challenges to post exemplary performance and achieved the highest ever production and sales volumes, revenue, and profitability in the quarter and FY2020-21.

Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman, and managing director, UFlex, stated, "Our business network has weathered the disruption while also demonstrating resilience to cope with the ever-changing demands of the sector. We commissioned three of our projects in FY2020-21, a BOPET film line in Russia and Poland each, and a new BOPP film line in Egypt with 42,000 TPA capacity, thus gaining an even wider reach globally."

Continuing, he said, "The pandemic did not dampen our focus on ESG practices, and we continue to accentuate our efforts on this front. For example, after the success of post-consumer multi-layer mixed plastic waste and PET bottle waste recycling lines at Noida in India, we are in the process of replicating these at our overseas locations on an even larger scale. We are setting up a plant to upcycle post-consumer PET bottles waste into high recycled content polyester PCR films for flexible packaging applications and propose to set up facilities to recycle post-consumer multi-layer mixed plastic waste at our Mexico facility to make molded, injection molded. Extrusion molded components, both of which shall contribute to a circular plastic economy. In Poland, again, we are setting up a plant to recycle post-consumer multi-layered mixed plastic waste to make various molded components."

UFlex also displayed its commitment towards sustainability and innovation by developing a host of new cutting-edge offerings for a better future.

Flexible Packaging Business

New sustainable laminate structure with reduced plastic use - With sustainability and green packaging driving our innovations, the Flexible Packaging business made progress in introducing a new laminate structure with a reduced thickness of 3.0 gsm as compared to the current 10 gsm extrusion thickness, without compromising on its barrier and other functional properties. The new laminate claims to offer good machinability and increased laminate yield. In addition, the technology used has helped reduce the plastic content by over 10%. As a result, one of our patrons, earlier using 58 GSM three-ply packaging structure for snack packaging, has switched to the new structure, thus moving closer to their sustainability goals.

Improved packaging structure for Paper Boat Swing 150 ml juice range– Global supply chains have been disrupted ever since the outbreak of Covid-19, hurting various sectors. With uncertainty looming over the end of the pandemic phase, more and more companies are reducing their dependence on imports. Besides helping them de-risk their supply chain, this move also helps save costs. Realizing the need to be atmanirbhar, UFlex has developed a flexible packaging structure for Paper Boat Swing 150 ml artificial juice range by replacing BON, which had to be imported earlier, with ISOPET UFlex manufactures in-house. Overcoming uncertainties on supply chain operations, it enjoys a reduced turnaround time of 7 days against 110 days of the earlier process. This has helped the Paper Boat enjoy substantial cost benefits. Moreover, the revised structure stands at par with similar qualitative attributes that the pack's old structure offered.

Revamped structure for fast-food packaging – For little hunger and quick bites, noodles form the instant serving in many households worldwide. However, noodle brands still have a long way to improve their handling and shelf-appeal at the retail stores. Understanding the pain areas of the brand Ching's Secret for packaging of hakka noodles that faced issues like pack puncture, noodles poking from the pack, and dearth of instant connect with the consumer, UFlex developed a new polymer recipe with 15-micron TFP PET and special texture coating with register spot gloss and metal reflective shiny effect. The new structure is high dart puncture-resistant, and the pack's surface reflects a combination of sheen and an engrained noodle-like matte effect. This development has helped Ching's Secret present their packs more confidently on the retail shelves.

Spout packaging format for decoction coffee – Sealing the aroma of a perfectly brewed decoction coffee, the spout pouches developed by UFlex for packaging of filter coffee decoction by Araku Beverages is a move to make decoction coffee available as fresh and strongly flavored as made at home. According to the company, the stand-up spout pouch allows retaining the authentic flavor and aroma of decoction coffee for a longer time. Moreover, it lets easy dispensation at the consumer's end. In addition to this, the pack offers excellent shelf appeal and strengthens the brand image for Araku. This product, due to its packaging, is gaining huge interest in South India.

Aseptic Liquid Packaging Business

Radico collaborated with Asepto to launch blended whiskey in new aseptic packs- Radico Khaitan partnered with Asepto to launch its whisky brand ''Triple Eight'' in Karnataka in new-age aseptic packs imbibing iconic foil stamping feature, thus giving the packs a unique identity amongst its consumers.

Chemicals Business

High-quality UV LED Flexo ink series for narrow web printing– The chemicals business introduced FLEXGREEN NW series inks; high-quality UV LED curable Flexo inks, which have been developed specifically for the narrow web printing industry. These inks claim to deliver superb printability, outstanding ink transfer, and low foaming features for the most steady and smooth press performance. Designed to be used on a wide range of plastic and paper substrates, this series includes process colors, pantone bases, whites, and coatings. UFlex series of UV LED Flexo Inks offers enhanced scratch and scuff resistance properties, less maintenance on the press, faster make-readies, and overall superior print consistency. In addition, these inks are most compatible for use in packaging and labels.

FLEXMATT paper effect OP ink– Another new product launched was FLEXMATT paper effect OP Ink, toluene, and ketone free single component coating HRK10529 that gives an excellent paper or sand feel the effect on PET, BOPP, and PVC substrates. This coating that can be applied on the surface with gravure printing machines provides a striking and tactile, slightly edgy paper feel to product packaging. Customers wanting to up their game and make their products stand out will find the use of this ink beneficial.

Engineering Business

Three new applications established in multi-track machines for sachet market – To match pace with the growth of single-serve sachet market, also known as the ''coin market'', the Engineering business has adapted its Multi-track machines to establish three new applications in one machine, which allows packing two solids (sugar and noodle seasoning) and one liquid product (ketchup). The advanced Multi-track machine, which has already bagged a few commercial orders, meets the parameters of secured packing, product flow, accurate filling of weight, and cost-effective packaging, thus delivering enhanced performance in sachet packing.

Solvent-less Laminator with registered lamination - The new Solvent-less Laminator is designed to meet the requirement of registered lamination of window metalized film that finds its use in giving customers a choice of a see-through window without compromising on the barrier properties of the pack. Like the ''show window'' for the pouch, this unique feature allows brands to promote their premium products and consumers to see the product content inside. As a result, the machine is drawing interest from converters around the globe leading to fast commercialization.

Non-stop turret-based slitting machine for BOPP pancake - The engineering business also developed Toroslit 2250, a non-stop turret-based slitting machine. The machine efficiently slits large quantities of BOPP film pancakes at a speed of 700 meters per minute.

Packaging Films Business

Ultra-high barrier transparent AlOx BOPP film B-ULX for dry food packaging - B-ULX, a transparent ultra-high barrier transparent Alox BOPP film, offers Alox protection on one side and heat seal-ability on its reverse. This film delivers an excellent barrier (<1.0 gm or cc/m²/day) against gas, oxygen, moisture; offers good resistance to mineral oil, and arrests the aroma. In addition to its strong barrier properties, the film renders excellent optics that help with product visibility, clear vacuum coating, and good seal functionality. This film has high application for packaging dry edible food items like nuts, trails, beverage powder, cookies, chips, crackers, and cookies that need to be protected. Making the film chlorine-free throws a unique opportunity for brands to position itself as sustainable.

Sustainable, transparent high heat resistance BOPP film with exceptional oxygen blocking - With many brands focusing on easily recyclable packaging structures as part of their sustainability mission, UFlex developed high barrier BOPP B-THB with a mono-material structure is a successful replacement to conventional BOPET film. B-THB has a functionally modified treated layer on one side and a heat resistance surface with excellent oxygen barrier properties. In addition, the film exhibits strong jaw release property (to strengthen end seals), good optics and machinability, strong seal finish in stand-up pouches & 3D bags, and arrests the challenge of inside gusseted film sticking to itself. Beyond these virtues, the film is fully recyclable and helps brands and converters meet their sustainability goals. This film is best used for packaging formats like 3D pouches and stand-up pouches to pack snacks & confectionery items.

Outstanding barrier metalized BOPP film B-UHB-M suited for aluminum foil replacement - B-UHB-M is an outstanding barrier metalized BOPP film with properties of ultra-high surface energy on one side and heat seal-ability on the other. With exceptional barrier properties (<0.1 gm or cc/m²/day) that prevent the packed contents from oxygen, moisture, aroma and mineral oils, the film has efficaciously replaced aluminum foil, is recyclable and uses a chlorine-free solution, thus enhancing its sustainability levels. It also offers excellent metal adhesion (doesn't suffer from delamination issues), flex-cracking resistance (doesn't form cracks on rough handling) and can be dispensed at high speed (without breakages). Thus, B-UHB-M is of great use to Converters in packaging dry fruits, beverages, snacks like chips, crackers, cookies and confectionery packaging.

Direct embossable polyester film F-EMB to boost aesthetics - F-EMB is a specialty BOPET film with an embossable layer having specialty polymer on one side. This emboss-able layer feature of F-EMB eliminates the process of additional polymer coating before embossing and its high clarity complements well with holography jobs through soft embossing route. In addition, the film possesses good mechanical, surface and thermal properties and ensures excellent processing with chemical resistance. All these attributes lead to high-quality output with deep, sharp and clear impressions during embossing. It serves as a base film for Converters in holography jobs, direct embossing and metalizing and is used a lot more to manufacture decorative packaging, glitters, hot stamping, cosmetic packs, book cover laminations & corrugated box lamination.

UFlex is India's largest multinational Flexible Packaging materials and solutions company and a leading global player in Polymer Sciences. Since its inception back in 1985, UFlex has grown from strength to strength to evolve as a truly Indian Multinational with consumers spread across the world. UFlex today has state-of-the-art packaging facilities at multiple locations in India with an installed capacity of around 1,35,000 TPA and has packaging film manufacturing facilities in India, UAE, Mexico Egypt, Poland, Russia, and USA with a cumulative capacity of 4,23,600 TPA.

Integrated within its core business of Flexible Packaging & Packaging Films are allied businesses like Aseptic Liquid Packaging, Engineering, Cylinders, Holography and Chemicals, which further gives UFlex a superior edge over the competition. All UFlex plants are accredited with ISO 9001, 14001, HACCP & BRC certifications. UFlex caters to markets spanning across the globe in over 140 countries like USA, Canada, South American countries, UK and other European Countries, Russia, South Africa, CIS, Asian and African nations. Some of UFlex' clients on the global turf include P&G, Nestle, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Mars Wrigley, Tata Global Beverages, Mondelez L'Oreal, Britannia, Haldiram's, Amul, Kimberly Clark, Ferrero Rocher, Perfetti, GSK, Agrotech Foods, Johnson & Johnson amongst others.

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