“Growing packaging sector is good for machine makers like us”

With plastics being banned from use globally in some verticals, equipment manufacturers have a challenge to adapt to the changing economy.
“Growing packaging sector is good for machine makers like us”
With plastics being banned from use globally in some verticals, equipment manufacturers have a challenge to adapt to the changing economy. Though plastic being banned from regular use, high-end industrial applications will continue. Nikunj Shah, Director, Micro Machineries Pvt Ltd looks at what future does equipment manufacturers hold to.
Can you tell us about how have you served the industry? 
Micro Machineries established with manufacturing its products in plastic world of extrusion blow moulding machinery. We are growing with our brand value, as we have largest infrastructure and widest range from 200ml-5000l. Most of our machines are customised while we do have some standard machinery for MSMEs. We have exported our blow moulding machines in different capacities & complete projects across the world in 43 different countries in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Europe. We are among first Indian companies to export our solutions to Europe and Korea. 
How is today’s business environment? 
Making your organisation’s operations lean, as your target, would really help. It is better to invest in technical team rather spending on building flamboyant shed. As we manufacture operator driven machinery, it should be easy to operate. Plastic films are growing as they have applications in almost all industries. Packaging demand for such films has been high in last five years. There is a good demand for plastic processors. Our demands have grown by 8 per cent in the last five years for plastic extrusion. 
Why is recycling crucial in the plastics industry?
Recycling makes reuse of plastic, which is waste, thus saves environment as no new plastic is manufactured. Plastic industry is not keen on investing on recycling machines as getting plastic waste is a challenging task. There are various industrial clusters like chemical, steel and so on, but not a dedicated cluster for plastics. If we see such a cluster, the supply chain for recycling can be streamlined to ensure regular supply of plastic waste. We have around five offerings in plastic recycling in our portfolio. 
How have you managed to penetrate into rural industries?
We changed our marketing strategy almost 10 years back. Back then we decided to ‘Go Rural’ as there is a huge pool of engineers in India. We train these engineers through our Go Rural programme and help them to have their own small plastic manufacturing business with some other rural representatives. We undertake such initiatives with the help of Skill India programme. Today, our efforts have paid off well.
What are the current trends in the plastic machinery industry?
According to the PlastIndia Foundation, around 141,000 plastic machines were installed till Mar 2017. The current plastic processing capacity is 41.2 mmt. The sector generates employment of 1.2 million which includes direct and indirect. The overall growth in plastic machinery accounts to CAGR of 11.1 per cent onwards 2017-18 onwards.There is a growth in masterbatches like cling, anti-bacterial, anti-static, anti-fog, foaming agents, etc, due to its specific applications. 10 years back these masterbatches were only used in the aviation and shipping industry for manufacturing films. The new technology advances have paved way for their economical use in sectors like packaging, infrastructure, raffia, plasticulture, automotive and appliances. Today only large players in the industry are manufacturing them. PlastIndia Foundation estimates that the manufacturing in packaging sector will increase by 4 per cent which is a positive indicator for machine manufacturers like us. 
What drives demand for plastic processing machinery?
Today plastic finished product manufacturers are interested in having a full line of manufacturing from processing the raw material and using it as per their need for different product lines. Thus some new machinery demands are for plastic recycling machinery, measurement, testing and inspection machinery. There is a rise in adoption of the state-of-the-art technologies which are at par with the global level. Such machines use raw materials as per prescribed standards like REACH, ISO and other such globally accepted standards.
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