Rajkot-based Rajoo Engineers, in alliance with Kohli Industries, showcased their technological prowess by unveiling Lamex series of extrusion coating and lamination lines in a power-packed open house attended by over 500 participants from around the globe.
The Rajoo Kohli Lamex open house streamed live from the customer site - Balaji Multiflex based at Rajkot (Gujarat) for its global audience - sought to demonstrate what the duo claimed it to be “appropriate technology” approach at its best. Rajoo having expertise in extrusion while Kohli in lamination together introduces the new series and further reinforces the duo’s dominant position in the flexible packaging segment.
Khushboo Doshi, Managing Director of Rajoo Engineers in her opening remarks highlighted the current trends and opportunities for the flexible packaging sector, besides dwelling on how the current Lamex line meets specific needs of converters and processors. According to Ms. Doshi the segment provides huge opportunity considering the ongoing growth and future potential in the packaging sector. “The size of the global plastic packaging market is estimated to be $348 billion in 2020 and would likely to reach $361 billion in 2021. The packaging market is expected to grow at CAGR 4.2% from 2021 to 2028 and would likely to reach $486 billion by 2028.”
Global studies and analysis show a high growth in a flexible packaging as changing consumer habits, population growth, increasing per capita consumption of packaged food drives demand. The sector is opening the door of a huge market for Raju and Kohli not only for the extrusion lamination and coating machine, but also into long film line printing, lamination and slitter winders.
Ease of operation and added flexibility
The Lamex series of extrusion coating and lamination lines are designed for absolute ease of operation and are available in a host of configurations to suit individual customer's requirements for width ranging from 300 – 4000 mm, with line speeds from 150-450 m/min and GSM range of 9 to 50 gsm for coating & lamination of various substrates like coating & lamination of various substrates like CPP/BOPET/BOPP/LDPE and sealant films with a range of polymers – PP, LLDPE, LDPE, EVA, EMA and other exotic polymers.
To meet the principal application of extrusion coating and lamination, single extruder is good enough. However, for flexibility to play with various polymers, co-extruders are more useful. Co-extruders save material cost and also play an important role in enhancing barrier properties of coated films. Tandem Extrusion system is also available for extrusion coating and laminating using more than one die in single run to save process time and wastage.
The extrusion coating & lamination process is an excellent method to combine a thin polymer layer, typically polyethylene with polyester, biaxial oriented polypropylene, paper based materials and aluminium foil. In an extrusion coating and lamination machine (ECL in short) a water-based lacquer is coated on a primary substrate through the gravure process followed by a deposit of a PE or PP based molten polymer from a T-die and then combined with yet another substrate to form a composite laminate. This technology is rapidly replacing many solvent-based and solvent-less adhesive laminating applications.
Extrusion coating and lamination line offers multiple benefits compared to the solvent-based or solvent-less adhesion such as it does not require curing period besides reducing the total cost of materials as melted polymer is cheaper than adhesive.
Lamex extrusion coating and lamination lines are offered with different configurations of Mono-Extrusion Coating, Lamination Coating, Co - Extrusion Coating, Tandem or multistage extrusion coating. The extrusion coating process is regarded as an excellent method to combine a thin polymer layer, typically polyethylene with polyester, biaxial oriented polypropylene, paper-based materials and aluminium foil.
Meeting specific customers’ needs
Rajoo Engineers and Kohli Industries joined hands to create an alliance in early 2019 to build and maintain advanced and versatile Extrusion Coating and Lamination machines. Rajoo has expertise on the extrusion side, while Kohli masters in converting. The Rajoo-Kohli co-branded Lamex Series of Extrusion Coating and Lamination lines, assembled at Rajoo facility at Rajkot for wide range of solutions to suit varied applications.
Kohli is regarded as leader in rotogravure printing and laminating machines for the flexible packaging industry with footprint in over 35 countries with about 1,600 installations. While Rajoo having more $60 million annual revenue, operates multiple technology venture and sold over 5,000 machines, has also introduced cross lamination for tarpaulin and emerge as the first company that offers complete solution for making tarpaulin.
Raju/Kohli raised the bar by organising the live demonstration of extrusion coating and laminating line at a customers’ production facility in order to raise expectations among its client-base spread over in the domestic and international market.
Pranav Bhalara, CEO of Balaji Multiflex Pvt. Ltd. and at whose site the Lamex – 360 was installed and operational, "During the decision-making process about going for another machine extrusion lamination, we were in dilemma, but after seeing Rajoo Kohli machine, we decided to go for it. And the line has been running at more than 350 mpm for the past three months.” Rajoo Kohli customises the Lamex line which further represents their strategy to offer appropriate technology tailored to meet the specific needs of customers like Balaji Multiflex Pvt. Ltd.
During live demonstration, the ramping up of the extrusion coating & lamination line operated smoothly at a high speed of 360mpm. The machine is equipped with winders suitable for reel diameters of 1000 mm and reel weights of 1000 kgs and specially designed for automatic splicing at maximum production speed of 350 mpm. Infeed web tension is precisely controlled by a servo motor. Gravure coating and the drying hoods are designed to ensure maximum efficiency with minimum energy consumption. Two extruders mounted on a platform are with 3 axis movement. The automatic die from Cloeren, USA working in synch with the beta thickness sensor established the low ‘grams per square m (gsm)’ of the laminate variation across the width, which ultimately controls the cost of packaging. Currently, Rajoo is offering manual dies, while automatic dies, are sourced from the best in the world.
Rajoo believes one of the major trends is to provide highly sustainable and efficient equipment as processors and convertors are demanding software and tools that can provide the real time data about the production speed to optimise the performance.
“The machine is embedded with ReLEX 4.0 technology, which provides real-time data on production speeds, output levels, productivity, set-up times, downtime for preventative maintenance and repairs with remote access,” explained Ms. Doshi. ReLEX 4.0 also provides insight on how to optimize the production efficiency and goes even further with analytics on job cost based on production time, wastage and energy consumption.
The series has T-type extrusion coating die with internal deckling, adjustable internal deckle blade system allows operators to save material cost by minimising, or in some cases, eliminating the trim waste. Simple clean-out of oxidized polymer build-up in the die and rapid removal of the entire deckle system allows easy cleaning.
Interestingly, Indian processors imports lots of extrusion lamination lines from countries like China, Taiwan and S Korea and Rajoo/Kohli new Lamex series looking at the opportunity to tap the import substitution market. The Lamex series is targeted for export market also with one line already shipped to the neighbouring Bangladesh with more queries are pouring in from the overseas market.
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