The latest technology, ideas, machinery, and eco-friendly solutions were on show at Plastivision 2023. Prajakta Chavan points to the deliberations and the outcomes that stood out in this edition.

State-of-the-art infrastructure, cutting-edge technology, robots, the latest plastic recycling technology, raw materials from across the globe, and many other innovations were on show at the 12th edition of ‘Plastivision India’s 2023 Exhibition. This formed the apt backdrop for deliberations and planning for the stakeholders at the Plastivision Global Conference organised by the All India Plastics Manufacturers Association (AIPMA). The global conglomeration for Plastic Industry held at Bombay Exhibition Center (BEC), Goregaon, Mumbai between  December 07-11 was a great success with over 2,34,090 visitors and 1,280 exhibitors—from 20 different countries, including China, Malaysia, South Korea, Germany, and Malaysia. Speaking about the glorious history of the event, Manish Dedhia, President-All India Plastics Manufacturers Association (AIPMA) said, “Since, last three decades Plastivision India continues to serve as the largest platform to bring together the industry stalwarts, entrepreneurs, customers, and enthusiasts alike. Thus, helping galvanise the growth opportunities both domestically and in international markets for the Indian plastics industry.”

Other than boosting the industry projects that could create over one lakh employment opportunities, the event enabled deals worth Rs.5000 crore. With 101 buyers from 26 countries, Plastivision India 2023 additionally proved an enabler for reverse buyer and seller interactions for the first time in its history. Leading Indian companies including Reliance, HPCL, IOCL, and JSW Group, among many others made their presence felt at  Plastivision India 2023. Dedhia added, “AIPMA has served as the catalyst with its unceasing support and has been at the forefront of mitigating challenges faced by the Indian plastics industry. Against this backdrop, it would only be fair to dedicate the success of Plastivision India 2023 to AIPMA’s members and the four million plus collaborator community.”

The grand spread

Sprawling over 1,25,000 sq. m., the exhibition area also provided a centre stage for Plastivision’s Global Conference themed “Plastic Industry – Moulding a Greener Tomorrow with Advanced Plastic Materials and Technologies”. With 364 delegates and 37 speakers from various sectors of the plastic industry, the event turned out to be a hub of ministerial leaders, industry veterans, entrepreneurs, merchants, industry professionals, and major importers; deeming it to be the country’s most influential plastics exhibition that will undoubtedly play a key role in facilitating industry growth as well in this ancillary segment.

Other than, providing a common platform to all the stakeholders for the exchange of thoughts, the conference also aimed to provide business and technology support to MSMEs, with emphasis on technology, process, and know-how in business management and marketing. It sought to help out MSMEs with the knowledge repository to develop high-quality products, case studies, expert discussions, and discussions on practical tools along with business networking and market opportunities. Arvind Mehta, Chairman, Governing Council, Plastivision India 2023 averred, “In addition to sporting 10 distinct exhibitor categories to facilitate greater business opportunities for participating members and businesses, Plastivision India-2023 through the reverse buyer-seller meet that saw international buyers interacting with prospective Indian firms including MSME’s for potential collaborations.” “The exhibition unlocked new business and networking possibilities for plastic processors, mould manufacturers, packaging companies, manufacturers, budding entrepreneurs, industry, and academic professionals alike,” Mehta added.


Recycling plastic

Plastic recycling is at the core of the Plastic industry and also the ecology. Thus, the technical and business session on plastics recycling as the first-panel discussion topic was on point. Chaired by Shailendra Singh, Founder of SustainMantra and Member of the Environment Cell. Panellist Pavee Raheja, Chief Strategy Officer at Ricron Panels addressed the delegates providing his views and the business opportunities for the Plastic industry in chemical and mechanical recycling. Dr. Jitendra Samdani, Chief Scientist at Ashaya was a part of this very informative session and shared the Technologies on how to recycle Multi Layered Plastics (MLP). Echoing a similar sentiment, Mehta said, “Today one of the prime movers of the plastic industry is recycling units. Therefore, it is certainly a key issue for all of us. Many recyclers were exhibiting different innovative technologies. Besides, now the industry is focusing on bio-plastics so we are now moving forward from recycling plastics to bio-plastics.”


Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

In addition, to technology and business growth, the panel discussions also referred to the new legalities and government regulations involving the growth of the plastic industry. The panel discussion on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for plastic packaging under implementation in Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 proved highly informative, and significant and was well-received by the audience.

Panellists Aditya Dalmia, Managing Director at Dalmia Polypro Industries, and Amit Patel, Head – Business Development at NEPRA Resource Management Ltd, had an elaborate discussion on challenges and opportunities in the implementation of EPR. “EPR can be transformative in addressing the environmental impact of plastic packaging. India is making significant strides with the introduction of EPR guidelines for e-waste and plastic packaging in waste reduction, recycling, and promoting a circular economy. “Implementing EPR in India was imperative due to the persistent rise in plastic waste generation over the years,” explained Dalmia.

Innovations and business opportunities

“Necessity is Mother of all Inventions” and with the advent of Artificial Intelligence, the sky seems to be the limit for the next generation. The second day of the conference centred around “Technological Innovations and Business Opportunities in the Plastic Industry.” Eminent speakers like Ravindra Gugale, Senior General Manager Purchase at Tata Auto Comp Systems Ltd., made detailed presentations on the evolving landscape of plastic usage in the next generation of automobiles. While, Dr. Babu Padmanabhan, M.D. and Chief Knowledge Officer at Steer World, shared valuable perspectives on performance enhancements through compounding plastics.

Senior leaders from the Plastic Industry working for various sectors delved into and discussed the realm of technological advancements the industry has to offer, Dr Asutosh Gor, Co-Chairman of Plastivision India expressed, “While the world veers towards promoting sustainable materials, entrepreneurs across the world are innovating new technologies and products that are upping the sustainability quotient in the plastics industry as a whole.” “In the Indian context, it is important that young technical talent and business minds alike, learn about the latest inventions and advances, leveraging frugal engineering concepts to produce world-class products with a better value proposition,” he opined.

The final session on ‘Exploring Business Opportunities in the Plastic Industry’, chaired by Deepak Ballani, Director General at AIPMA focused on the business opportunities, prospectus, and growth in the plastic Industry. Rajesh Ladhe, Deputy General Manager at Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., highlighted future opportunities for plastics in the automotive sector. “Plastics is one of the most important materials for the automotive industry. Lightweight plastic brings a lot of advantages with it for enhanced fuel efficiency and overall performance of the automobiles,” stated Ladhe. Speaking on the overall growth of the Plastic Industry, Harpal Singh, Chairman of Plastivision India elaborated, “The plastic industry is one of the leading sectors in our nation’s economy and has undoubtedly made substantial progress. Not only does it employ more than four million people in the country, but it also remains largely driven by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that account for nearly 90 per cent of the overall manufactured output.” “The Government of India has been supporting sustainable manufacturing through a slew of initiatives,” he cited. Explaining the growth in the domestic plastic market, Singh concluded, “Indian plastic manufacturing is expected to surpass Rs.10 lakh crore (USD 126 billion) before the end of the current decade. In this context, promoting innovative technologies and sustainable processes will be critical and Plastivision India remains committed to fostering growth and learning opportunities that will support the vision of making India the global plastic manufacturing hub in the future.”


Shibaura Machine on the expansion drive


Riding high on the ‘Make in India’ wave many international companies not only exhibited their existing capacity and innovation but also future expansion plans. Shibaura Machine Pvt. Ltd. is one of the leading high-end plastics injection moulding machines and auxiliary equipment manufacturers in India. SMI is a wholly owned company of Shibaura Machine Company of Japan. The international company is expecting exponential growth in the Indian plastic industry from all sectors be it in automobiles, transport, commercial or personal. Thereby, the company has decided to invest in a Rs.300 crore new plant in Chennai. “The automobile sector usually grows with the nation’s growth. We are seeing an increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Goods and Service Tax (GST) collection has also increased. This will certainly reflect in the automobile sector growth and we will be part of that growth. Thereby seeing this future need of demand we have decided to increase our capacity to manufacture the interjection machines,” revealed M Kumar, Managing Director at the company.


OMG Auto Mould hailed the call for localisation

Welcoming the Union Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and call for localisation, Vasai-based mould manufacturer OMG Auto Mould Pvt. Ltd. lauded the scheme as it is giving a boost to domestic manufacturers. With over four manufacturing plants OMG is spread over 80,000 sq. ft. catering to two-wheelers, four-wheelers, commercial vehicles, and electrical vehicle segments as well. The company has recently bagged major manufacturing orders from Mahindra and Mahindra for the EV segment. “Earlier mostly all Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) namely TATA, Mahindra, and Mahindra or other auto makers used to import the spare parts mainly from China, but now demand in India has also increased. The OEMs are prioritising ‘Make in India’ and ‘Made in India’ products. The trend is increasing and with a boost for electrical vehicles we expect good sales,” said Nandakumar P, Director of OMG Auto Mould Pvt. Ltd. The trend of procuring spare parts from Indian mould manufacturers is increasing both in India and globally. “Now we are at par with China in terms of capacity, time taken in delivery and rather in quality we are better than China. Even OEMs are acknowledging this fact and are going for durable and quality spare parts,” added Nandakumar.


MSMEs turning to innovation in order to bag bigger orders

SMEs are not behind in the race. With innovations and technologies, the spare part vendors are ready to offer variety to the OEMs in the automobile industry. Vasai-based seat belt manufacturer Rudra Immpex has customised and personalised seat belts in different colours. “Seat Belt is mandatory today but people see it as compulsion. If we can customise it by writing names on it or by printing something colourful, people would wear them willingly. We have designed and customised seat belts for water parks and theme parks. If given an opportunity we can offer the same to OEMs,” said Nilesh Gada, founder of Rudra Immpex. The company provides seat belts to water parks and resorts for roller coaster rides and in the aftersales market. “We are a supplier in the aftersales segment but would be able to provide customise or regular belts to OEMs as well,” stressed Gada.


Low-Carbon and power-saving solutions to lower manufacturing cost

Even as various companies were offering different solutions to speed up the production, or innovative designs, some addressed the power-saving methods to cut down the cost. Prevision World India Pvt. Ltd. offered a fully electric Injection Moulding Machine which is claimed to  reduce the electric bill through lower power consumption by ~70 per cent. “We are offering an Injection Moulding Machine with very little carbon emission. Besides, the biggest advantage of an all-electric Injection Moulding machine is power saving and consistency in the product you manufacture.” For example, if the electricity bill per hybrid or hydraulic machine is Rs.10,000 per machine., one can save up to 70 per cent which is Rs.7000 per machine which will in turn lower the manufacturing cost. At the same time, consistency in the product ensures no wastage of raw material,” explained Vijay Mudgal, Managing Director of the company.


Pick and place robots

Like any other sector, even the Plastic Industry too is undergoing end-to-end automation, where human intervention is getting minimal. While, efficient, power-saving, and advanced Injection Moulding machines provide speed and precision in production. The reliable pick-and-place robots attached to these Injection Moulding machines pick and place the spare parts, thus reducing the repetitive cumbersome job for highly valued human resources. “Three-axis AC servo traverse robot attached to horizontal injection moulding machine range. All servo robots provide high precision, easy operation, smooth running, faster speed, stronger structure and longer working life. It is mainly used for medium-sized products, like air conditioner parts, and automobile spare parts,” demonstrated Ravi Dutt Gautam, Founder of Helios Automation, the company formed in 2018 for Robotic solutions to various industries.


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