Uflex Aseptic Packaging Manufacturing Plant, Sanand, Gujarat, India


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India-based packaging company Uflex is building a new aseptic packaging manufacturing plant in the Indian city of Sanand, Gujarat.

The development was announced in November 2015 and is being built in phases, with the first phase involving an investment of Rs5.8bn ($85m).

Phase one will be dedicated to manufacturing aseptic packaging for liquid products and will have a capacity of seven billion packs, with potential for expansion in future. An estimated 90% of the plant's output will cater to the domestic market.

Uflex unveiled a new aseptic packaging line for liquid products known as ASEPTO™ in January, which is to be manufactured at the proposed Sanand plant.

The project's first phase is expected to commence in May and will provide employment for more than 250 people.

Overview of the Uflex aseptic packaging plant

Development is set to take place on 21 acres of a 72-acre site purchased by Uflex, and the company plans to use the remaining land for expansion of its current businesses, including aseptic packaging.

The site is expected to provide employment for more than 3,000 people once fully operational.

The new facility has been designed to include a number of sustainable features, such as zero discharge and solar panel installations. The plant will also be equipped with passive architecture-envelop insulation in order to preserve natural light and conserve electricity.

Civil works at the site have already been completed, and state-of-the-art machines were being installed as of November last year.

ASEPTO™: Uflex's new aseptic packaging line

Uflex is already a leader in providing packaging products for solids, semi solids, gels, viscous fluids, and granular materials. The new Sanand plant will enable the company to complete its product portfolio by offering its ASEPTO™ packaging line for liquid products such as milk, dairy products, and non-aerated drinks.

The new ASEPTO™ packaging is made by combining polyethylene with paperboard and aluminium foil.

Multiple layers of the package provide protection against bacteria and spoilage, while aluminium acts as a strong barrier for oxygen and light. The polyethylene layer then seals the liquid, and the outer paper board provides stiffness to the package.

Aseptic packaging such as ASEPTO™ enables products to be stored for long time without refrigeration, while preserving nutrients and ensuring longer shelf life. It is also lightweight, portable and easy to handle.

Manufacturing procedure at the new plant

Once the paper board is manufactured, printing, creasing and punching will be carried out using a printing machine. It will be followed by lamination with aluminium film and polyethylene on the extrusion machine.

The paper board will be converted into rolls of varying widths once laminated, as per the required size of packages, for instance 200ml, 100ml and 1,000ml.

Completed rolls will then be sent to the customer to be filled and packed with the desired products, including juices, milk, dairy and distillery products on their forming and filling lines.

Contractors involved

VMS Consultants was contracted to design the new facility.

"The new facility has been designed to include a number of sustainable features, such as zero discharge and solar panel installations."

Marketing commentary on the Indian aseptic packaging market

Uflex's investment in the new packaging plant is based on the projected growth of aseptic packaging in India by 2022. The Indian aseptic packaging market was valued at $21.35bn in 2014, and is projected to reach $81.32bn by 2022.

The rapid expansion of the market has been attributed to a number of factors, including growth in urban population, increased demand for convenience food, and technological advancements.

Demand for aseptic packaging for liquid products specifically has increased due to the growth of the beverage market and an increase in consumer awareness regarding use of preservatives.

India uses more than an eight billion aseptic packaging packs annually, and the market is growing at the rate of approximately 18% a year.

The market is projected to further expand two-fold over the next three to four years, to an estimated total of 20 billion packs a year.