Tuflex India Inaugurates Greenfield Converting Plant

Established in 1985, Tuflex India (a div. of Parry Enterprises India Ltd.) is part of the well-known Murugappa Group of companies and manufactures a wide range of polymer meshes, nets, and knitted fabrics. Today, the company has a strong presence in various sectors including mosquito proofing, agro-shading, garden products, geotechnical engineering (soil reinforcement and stabilization), net-based packaging, and various polymer-based products. Based in the city of Vadodara, in the state of Gujarat (approximately 400 km from Mumbai), the company is driven by an aggressive marketing strategy of growth through innovation.

Its specialized knowledge in the field of polymers and the strong desire to grow its business led the company recently to embrace a major diversification of its product portfolio into the flexible packaging arena. This particularly included the production of flexible printed laminates with the start up of its greenfield production facility in Palej, near Vadodara, in October 2008. The aim was to provide the highest quality laminated structures for flexible packaging in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, lubricants, and chemicals industries.

Gravure Press Chosen
The company decided to take the gravure printing route rather than flexography, based on Indian market requirements. After many months of careful market research and investigation, Tuflex had no hesitation in choosing Bobst Group as one of its preferred suppliers of converting equipment to kick-start its ambitious converting operations. It also was convinced the gravure printing technology available from the Bobst Group company Rotomec of Italy was by far the most satisfactory solution. Tuflex not only appreciated the print quality but, more importantly, the dramatically reduced levels of waste achievable by using the Rotomec RS 4003 gravure press platform.

The RS 4003 is one of Rotomec’s most successful product developments since it was launched in November 2005, with more than 80 machines now in operation worldwide. The press meets market demands for a compact, cost-effective, and highly productive machine for medium-to-long runs of high quality printed flexible packaging materials. The model now in production at Tuflex is printing a wide range of flexible substrates in standard web widths at high production speeds and was commissioned in August last year. The materials are mainly destined for food and non-food packaging applications including snack food, cereals (rice and wheat), detergents, shampoo, and pesticides.

“Rotomec is a world leader in gravure printing technology for flexible packaging materials and with our group’s unsurpassed reputation for quality and value-added solutions, we only wanted the very best equipment for our new greenfield project,” explained Shashwata Dutta, VP and business head of Tuflex India.

“We had been contemplating our entry into the flexible packaging industry for many years but only with the right equipment. The Rotomec press pays for itself through higher productivity, lower wastage, and higher quality printing. To add to that, the local service infrastructure is a great advantage,” he said.

Slitter/Rewinder Performs
In addition to the new Rotomec press, Tuflex India also decided to invest in a high performance slitting/rewinding solution from Bobst Group with the installation of a Titan SR8 twin shaft cantilever slitter to process its wide range of printed and laminated materials. The Titan SR8 has been a huge success for Titan, with more than 180 machines now sold since its launch. The machine is capable of running at speeds up to 700 mpm (2300 fpm), and the slit widths can be below 25 mm (1 in.).

“Titan is one of the best slitter/rewinders in the business, and we wanted the highest quality and best performance available,” said Dutta. “Bobst Group is a very customer-oriented company with a clear vision. Our entire project was managed very professionally. The service from Bobst India has been excellent and timely. For us, going with Rotomec and Titan was a very important decision as we needed a supplier who would support and assist us in achieving our objectives,” he explained.

There can be no doubt that Tuflex India is destined for success in the domestic flexible packaging market and intends to be one of the key players in this sector. The company’s quality systems already are certified under ISO 9001:2008 standards, and it is now working toward ISO 22000 (HACCP) certification. Tuflex India intends to install only best-in-class European converting equipment to be operated by well-trained personnel in a hygienic production environment. This is in line with the Murugappa Group philosophy of providing superior products and the highest level of customer service by setting new standards in the industry.

The new Tuflex India plant is a major step forward in the company’s business history and comprises blown film production, coextrusion coating, high quality gravure printing, laminating, precise flush-cut slitting/rewinding and versatile, international quality pouching. “With all these unmatched facilities, we are confident that we can offer our customers a ‘one-stop’ option for world-class flexible packaging laminates and pouches,” Dutta continued. “We are also highly focused on R&D, and innovation has always been a hallmark of our operations. We have been making significant investments in this area,” he confirmed.

Dutta has a good pedigree for this new business venture. He qualified as a mechanical engineer in 1985 at the renowned IIT in Kanpur, one of India’s leading institutes of technology. In 1991 he obtained a post-graduate diploma in business management from the Indian Inst. of Management in Ahmedabad, the most prestigious institution in its category. He has worked for power equipment company BHEL, and his first experience of the packaging sector came while he was working with ITW Signode India.

He joined Tuflex India in 1994 as senior marketing manager and took charge of the business in 2000. His passion and commitment to the business has ensured a strong foundation for the new venture, in which he has played a pivotal role. The Murugappa Group, with its headquarters in Chennai, was established more than 100 years ago as a small family business in indigenous financing. Today the Group incorporates 29 companies with sales of USD $2.4 billion and diversified interests in engineering, abrasives, polymer nets, knitted fabrics, farming and plantations, sugar, bio-products, fertilizers, chemicals, nutraceuticals, insurance, and financial services. The Murugappa Group has a presence in 12 Indian states, the UK, US, Australia, Canada, South Africa, the UAE, and other countries, with a workforce of more than 30,000 personnel. “The Indian consumer goods industry is poised for massive growth, and this is no secret. However, to achieve the growth in reality, the product offering has to match international standards and, if possible, improve on that,” he said.

“In today’s international scenario, the packaging is often as important as the product, which we all know. While we often have a very good product, the impact created by its packaging usually leaves a lot to be desired. This is where high quality flexible packaging from Tuflex India plays a vital role. Flexible packaging has a very bright future in India—and with our help, it is here to stay and grow,” he concluded.

Converter Information:
Tuflex India | 201/202, Regent Towers, Race Course Circle,
Vadodara - 390 007 India | +91 - 265 – 2312900 |

Supplier Information:
Bobst Group | www.bobstgroup.com

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