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“BOPP films are preferred for its lower cost, versatility and environmental friendliness”

S. Satish, global head – sales and marketing, Cosmo Films, talks to ME Printer about the global packaging trends driving demand for BOPP films and the Middle East export market

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How big is the Middle East export market for Cosmo Films? What are your best selling products in this region and for what applications?

The Middle East exports market is the 3rd largest market for us, after US and Europe. We sell a comprehensive range of speciality and commodity films for packaging, lamination and labelingapplications in this market. Our focus is to further grow our speciality films sales in this market though increased engagement with brands, flexible packaging converters and channel partners.

What are the future applications and growth markets for BOPP Films?

The packaging industry is constantly looking for solutions in the areas of enhanced shelf life of the product and sustainability. BOPP films have a huge potential to fulfill these unmet needs of the industry. Future growth for BOPP is expected to come as more and more brands replace heterogeneous laminate structures (mostly involving PET and PE), with a BOPP-BOPP homogeneous laminate structure for easy recyclability. Another major area of growth would be BOPP based high barrier films to replace Alu Foils and other complicated laminate structures.

With many brands upgrading to high speed machines in quest of improved productivity, high speed packaging applications also provides BOPP films an opportunity for growth. Similarly the transition from fin sealing to lap sealing also offers BOPP films a huge growth opportunity in some markets.

What are the global packaging trends driving demand for your products?

The packaging sector is in a constant state of flux as brands are engaging with customers like never before. Packaging is playing a pivotal role in helping brands differentiate their product offerings. Growth in packaged foods markets around the world will continue to be a key driver for future demand underpinned by population growth, urbanisation and rising incomes in developing markets. We would like to state that BOPP films are a preferred option owing to its lower cost, versatility as well as environmental friendliness.  Some of the trends driving the demands of our products are:

  • Need for enhanced shelf life requirements for food packaging
  • Need for high speed packaging for improved productivity
  • Need for light weight packaging to reduce cost and waste
  • Need for recyclable laminate structures due to concern for environment
  • Need for enhanced packaging finishes for differentiated shelf appeal
  • Need for better aesthetics and longevity in labelling applications
  • Shift from wet to thermal lamination for better results and concern for environment
  • Shift from paper to synthetic paper for longevity and also to protect the environment by reducing deforestation

What are your growth projections for synthetic paper?

Synthetic paper is an exciting and versatile product. It can be used as a substitute for paper in any application that requires durability, longevity, non-tearability, moisture resistance or chemical resistance. This includes areas such as commercial printing, tags & labels, retail & packaging, identification & credentials and outdoors.

Some of the applications under each of these segments are as follows:

Commercial printing: Maps, calendars, posters, recipe books, instruction manuals etc.

Tags & Labels: Chemical drum labels, airport transfer tags, track & trace labels etc.

Retail & Packaging Segment: POP graphics, carry bags etc.

Identification & credentials: visiting cards, land documents, certificates etc.

Outdoors: Tree tags, train station & airport signages& displays etc.

We have now upgraded our Synthetic Paper for universal printability (compatibility with any printing technology) because of which not only does it’s versatility further increase, but it also helps in reducing the inventory carrying cost for the printer

We are expecting exponential growth in Synthetic Paper in all the markets that we are present in.

Will you continue to be entirely invested in BOPP technology? How are you positioned to compete with other global manufacturers with regard to product innovation, distribution, and pricing?

We are among the Top 10 BOPP films manufacturers in the world and our vision is to become the most preferred global brand offering value added BOPP films. We keep pace with the market with regard to product innovation, distribution and pricing:

Product Innovation:We believe in leading through innovation. It starts from an unmet customer need. As step one, we try and understand customer’s unmet needs and then customize our innovation efforts to fulfil that need. This is how we create product differentiation and carve specialties for it in each segment.

Some of the innovations (which are nothing but simplified solutions to the next set of challenges that industry faces) in the speciality segment that we can think of are as follows:

  • The development of DTP (Direct Thermal Printable) films is an innovative step in the sense that it completely eliminates the need for the ink ribbon in thermal printing and also offers 100 percent moisture resistant alternative for information labeling requiring variable printing.
  • ‘Low Noise’ adhesive tape films which are specially designed to avoid the noise coming from peeling off the tape at the time of packing cartons etc
  • Ultra High Barrier films to replace Alu foils
  • High Hot Tack and Low SIT (as low as 75degC) barrier films to enable high speed packaging and enhanced shelf life of the product
  • BOPP films with heat sealing compatibility with PE for lap sealing applications
  • Universal printable Synthetic paper for replacing paper in applications requiring non tearability, moisture resistance and longevity such as maps, children books, id cards, certificates etc
  • Easy peel Lidding films which also offer good seal integrity
  • Black Velvet Lamination Films tooffer an intense black colour along with a velvet touch to the laminated paper/paperboard or package, for enhanced aesthetics

Distribution:We serve customers in more than  80 countries across the world from our 5 plants in India, Korea and US.  We have warehousing facilities in India, Korea, Japan, Europe, Canada and US.

While 60% of our sales comes from direct customers, we also have an extensive channel partner network in almost every major country across the world who stock our products regularly and service the local market.

The customers are supported by more than 60 salespersons working out of sales offices in India, China, Japan, Korea, Europe and US

Pricing: We are one of the largest manufactures of BOPP films in the world. This gives us the leverage to get the best prices for all types of raw materials. The significant difference between S Asia raw material price index as compared to other markets like Europe and US, and our ability to get the best freight rates through strategic carrier partners, enables us to be competitive in most of the markets that we serve.

The preferential trade agreements between the countries where we have manufacturing facilities and the destination country, also often offers us an edge in terms of pricing. We believe in value based pricing for our speciality range and have seldom faced any major pricing challenge for the same.

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