Rigid boxes: where innovation is the key!

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Rigid boxes are increasingly being used in packaging of various products with e-commerce definitely giving a boost to it. Here, Varsha Verma brings an overview on this segment and more.

Packaging is the primary type of protection used to keep the products safe from any damage or other external factors. Rigid boxes are one of the crucial parts of the packaging industry and are extensively used for various applications such as fragile goods protection, storage, transportation, value addition, and others across diverse industries.

“Rigid boxes are non-flexible, weight-bearing, and hard packaging solutions made of different types of material as per the end use requirement such as paper, corrugated fiber boards, high-density polyethylene, aluminium, wood, fiber, and steel among others. Hence, increasing customer preference from flexible packaging towards rigid packaging, owing to their high impact resistance, better product protection, and durability is accelerating the sales of rigid boxes in the global market,” says a report by Future Market Insight (FMI).Increasing demand for rigid packaging solutions for fragile and delicate products from the rapidly expanding e-commerce and logistics sectors is creating growth prospects in the global market, it says.

According to this report by FMI, the global rigid boxes market is estimated to project growth at a CAGR of nearly 5% to 6% during the forecast period 2022-2032. With growing trend of premiumisation, luxury rigid boxes are increasingly being adopted across diverse industries. On account of this, the luxury rigid boxes segment is estimated to create an absolute dollar opportunity of more than US$ 5.5 Bn by the end of 2032, expanding at a CAGR of around 4% to 5% between 2022 and 2032.

Future Market Insights also reveals that Asia Pacific excluding Japan is estimated to account for a lion’s share in the global rigid boxes market from 2022 to 2032. A substantial rise in sales of consumer electronic and wearable devices is being witnessed across the countries such as China, India, South Korea, and Australia among others, owing to growing tech-savvy population in Asia Pacific, fueling the demand for rigid packaging solutions.

According to a study by the India Brand Equity Foundation, approximately 173 million units of smartphones were sold across India in 2021, exhibiting 14% growth as compared to the sales in 2020. As luxury rigid boxes are extensively used for packaging these expensive electronic devices, increasing sales of consumer electronics are projected to bolster the growth in the Asia Pacific excluding Japan market.

The recently held PrintPack India 2022 was abuzz with packaging solutions and rigid box-making machines were the major highlights. Not just tier 1 cities, but tier 2 & tier 3 cities are also witnessing rigid box manufacturing machinery installations. It has transformed the way people sell their products as customers look for good packaging as well.

Here, we bring information on few companies offering rigid box making machines:

Memory Repro Systems Pvt Ltd: offering ‘Made in India’ Rigid Box Making Plant (Semi-automatic & Automatic with Robotic Arm)

Memory Repro Systems Pvt Ltd is over a four decade old family run business with 3rd generation working presently and a leading manufacturer of pre-press & post-press equipment. The company is a leading manufacturer of rigid box making machines in India. According to Sanjeev Chadha, Managing Director, “We offer rigid box-making machines for all segments like: sweet boxes, electronic items packaging, fancy packaging, mobile boxes etc. Our machines have been installed across the country including Delhi/NCR, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab & UP with sweet box manufacturers.

We also have customers, who offers boxes for corporate gifting and fancy box all across the country.”

“We offer both semi-automatic as well as automatic robotic arm machines. So, we can cater to both the segments of customers – those who have high volumes and those who come up with exclusive short-run boxes. It basically depends on the cost justification. Their investment level defines their entry into the various application segments,” he shares.

“Infact, we are the first company to offer ‘Make in India’ robotic arm with gluing machine and conveyor,” he adds.

“Memory” Gluing Machine with Conveyor is designed for short & medium run jobs. The Gluing Machine consists of sturdy Aluminium / Mild steel powder coated profile structure with suction hold conveyor belt to ensure high quality boxes. Specially designed gluing system for top side gluing suitable for Hot melt & Cold glue application. While, their Board Grooving Machine is specially designed for notching V type groove with auto feeder (2 ups ) suitable for card board/Grey board/MDF etc.

They also offer Box Forming Machine (with auto-sizing),fitted with Schneider Servo Motors & Cam boxes for the movement of main shaft mould, wrapping, folding-in and pressing which ensures a quick and smooth mechanical process. Its Brush Roller ensures even wrap around of glue poster for all 4 sides while pneumatically controlled flap bending & final pressing ensures a bubble free pasting.

On asking about the after sales service & installation for these machines, Sanjeev replies, “We have trained electrical and mechanical engineers along with trained operator to offer installation & after sales service. Our USP is, we sell/offer an “Installed Machine” whether the customer has an operator or not. Additionally, we also offer operator training programme if required. We also offer service on video conferencing to save time.

The company also exports its machines to countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Gulf countries, Egypt and Russia. “Exports constitute 15-20% of our sales,” he adds.

“Post-Covid, people have started investing in expansion and growth programmes and we see a lot of potential. At PrintPack India 2022, we were happy with the business generated & kind of queries we got at the show,” he adds. “Right now, I see a lot of potential in sweet box manufacturing units in small/remote towns. Earlier, they used to buy readymade boxes from neighbouring big cities but now convertors and finishers are expanding to offer rigid boxes in-house. This trend will continue for next 2 years and then maybe some new trend will come,” concludes Sanjeev.

Ample Graphics: offering customised rigid-box making solution

Ample Graphics was started in 2015, with the association of Rajeev Jagga & Sachin Kala. Rajeev is a veteran of nearly 30 Years of experience in the industry as a distributor for Technova with an experience of equipment sales which extended over a decade at the time. While, Sachin is a Printing Technologist who started his career in production at a packing unit in Jaipur before venturing into marketing, first with Technova and thereafter with equipment sales companies including the likes of Autoprint, wherein he fostered ties and relations with leading printers in North and Western India.

In these years of existence, the company has forged associations with many Chinese packaging equipment manufacturers. “We feel that new-age Chinese companies who have long-term exposure to the high end European markets and have fine-tuned their products to stand out are ideally suited for the Indian market,” says Rajeev.

“Our maximum sales are in western parts of India like Vadodara, Vapi, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, etc. We have sold around 350 machines upto 31st March 2022. We have around 120 customers and most of them are repeat customers who go in for more than one installation. Our machines have been installed in South India as well. We even have a sales & service office in Coimbatore office. More recently, we even got inquiries from Kolkata, Bihar, Ranchi, etc. We have 17 people in service across the country to handle after sales service,” tells Sachin.

The company offers a complete solution for rigid box-making from Lishunyuan Intelligent Machine Co Ltd. Guangzhou, China, which include fully automatic rigid box making machines (LY-412CCD), LX-485 multipurpose visual positing system, LX-1632 JH fully automatic wine box making machine, Intelligent automatic rigid box making machine LY1200CM.

They also offer rigid round box making machines which include round box paper turn in machine, round box wrapping machine, round box bottom pressing machine, and rigid board curling machine.

“We also offer special box forming machines which include polygonal side box wrapping machine, neck turn-in & pressing machine, slipcase making machine, pallet making machine, and hinge box making machine,” adds Rajeev.

In the semi-automatic rigid box making line, the company offers board cutter, spine board cutter, grooving machine, manual taping machine, 4 corner taping machine, gluing machine, smart box forming machine, bubble pressing machine, automatic case making machine, visual positioning unit, add-on visual positioning machine, book assembly machine, iron sheet pasting machine, hole digging machine, magnet pasting machine.

“Our machines are used for various applications like mobile phones (fully-automatic machine with robotic arm), sweet boxes (semi-automatic or automatic machines) and specialty boxes where volume is less and variety is more. Sweet boxes and cosmetics are a big market for India and this trend will continue to grow for some years as people are looking for products which are beautifully packed,” tells Sachin.

On asking about the USP of their machines, Sachin says, “We offer customised solution and that is our USP. Besides, we have application experts who guide our customers and suggest how to make a particular box. So, we offer a complete solution to our customers.”

Zhongke India: building technology for a cleaner, greener tomorrow

Zhongke India is set to redefine the standards for retail packaging products and solutions. A joint venture with Zhongke China, company is among the global leaders in the industry for packaging machines.

“Packaging is growing tremendously and with packaging’s ability to boost a product’s value and cost competitiveness, the industry can look forward to a continued growth,” says Rohit Rajpal, Director,Zhongke India, who feels that as consumers are now paying attention to the packaging materials’ carbon footprint, re-usability and recyclability, thrust will be on innovative & sustainable packaging. “Innovative upgrades will fuel technological advancements, which in turn will lead to a shift away from mass production and more towards functional and specialized brand packaging. While, we all recognize our classic cardboard boxes, bags and bottles, future may be reshaping these classics we’ve all grown up with,” he adds.

Talking about the rigid box making segment in particular, he adds, “Increasing consumer inclination towards buying on-line is triggering demand for packaging solutions especially rigid & corrugated box formats as these can safely ship goods through the more complex distribution channels. The global luxury rigid boxes market is estimated to value at US$ 4.0 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach US$ 5.4 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 3.9%.The packaging market share growth in India by the rigid packaging segment will be significant during next 10 years. With growth of the consumer electronics industry, especially smart phones there is a huge surge in the demand for rigid packaging. Plus sweets & food packaging also has a significant share.”

“The growth is driven by key factors such as rising population, increase in income levels and changing lifestyles. Increasing media penetration through the means of the Internet and television are fuelling the demand for packaged products in rural India as well,” he adds

On asking about their product line, Rohit shares, “We have specialized machines for production of boxes, which are made from paper board/corrugated sheets as sustainable packaging options,” tells Rohit.

ZK-3525D is with double head-forming machine for higher volumes especially mobile boxes, while ZK-320 is configured for small sized boxes such as jewellery boxes. While, ZK-660FBS is suitable for wallet box & drawer type box production. ZK-660FCS is widely used for chocolate & sweet box production and ZK-900CS for large sized boxes. “Our new launch ZK-6421 is equipped to do irregular shaped boxes also which is a new innovation in the field,” he adds.

Zhongke also has range of box forming machine for corrugated boxes & paper board. These machines are used for packaging for food & confectionery, apparels & games, crayons & educational kits, crockery & household products, candles & handicrafts and many more.

On asking about the USP of these machines, Rohit replies, “Zhongke machines are the most stable machines with excellent finish & production speed. With flexibility to choose from over 10 models, one can opt for machine most suitable for the job profile. The metallurgy & world-class components coupled with state of art technology and a very strong after sales service, makes Zhongke a global leader in rigid box sector,” he shares.

“Our newly launched machine is inspired by ‘Box on Demand’ is equipped to run short as well as large volumes with shortest of make ready time. PAN India, we have done over 100 installations. NCR itself has around 28 machines in production,” he adds.

The rigid boxes have a huge scope & used in vast range of Industry i.e. mobile & electronics, chocolate & sweets, educational kits & game boxes, food & liquor boxes, perfumes and cosmetics, consumers goods & garments, watches & wallets, glassware & tableware, and other luxury packaging. “These are also preferred packaging for e-commerce due to its sturdiness, which negates breakage & damage in transit,” he adds.

Zhongke India primarily handles sales for India and neighboring countries. “Though we have successful projects running in Nepal, Bangladesh & UAE, the global sales is however handled by the HQ in China,” he shares.

“With rapid growth of exports, there is demand for superior packaging standards. With this, the need for adopting better packaging methods, materials and machinery to ensure quality has become very important for the industry. All our machines are preset enabled to achieve optimum production & quality and can handle variety of materials. We strive toward bringing the latest technology for the future by consciously upgrading our machinery in tune with the ever-changing global requirements. We, at Zhongke India are building our technology for a cleaner and greener tomorrow. An initiative towards sustainability, all our machines have been upgraded to ensure low power consumption – for smaller carbon foot prints, preset enabled – for minimal wastage and high speed – for efficient production processes,” concludes Rohit.

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