In the last quarter of 2021, Soparkar & Kothari Technologies (S&K) the independently owned and women-led company in Gujarat installed its first project for the hygiene film market realizing the global trend toward multilayered blown film lines and the growing demand for breathable films. After its own research, the company chose the best-in-class technology, the Varex II with MDO line for manufacturing breathable and non-breathable back sheet films.
S&K Technologies aims to provide hygiene product manufacturers with a comprehensive establishment catering to all their requirements of high-quality sustainable films under one roof. S&K is a turnkey solution provider producing – perforated top sheet, back sheet, and outer packaging in India. It is the first company in the health and hygiene industry established by woman entrepreneurs and backed by the all-women power trio of Deval Soparkar, Shraddha Soparkar, and Vidisha Kothari.
It is estimated that the global market volume of breathable films in personal care and hygiene end-uses should increase to almost 600,000 tons by 2026, at a CAGR of 7.0% during the forecast period of 2021-2026. Rapid urbanization, an increase in disposable income, in addition to increasing awareness of menstrual health and hygiene, are expected to accelerate the growth of the hygiene products market in India.
“In our market study, we saw that monolayer cast film lines have been dominating the Indian market for many years while the global trend is more towards multilayered blown film lines. India is also importing such films in huge quantities. We realized that there is a strong need for quality blown films. With this need identification in mind and with a mission to make the best technology available for the Indian market, we began our journey by searching for the best-blown film line suppliers in the world.
Not surprisingly though, with initial research only, we came to realize that W&H is the best and the most trusted name in the blown film line industry. With further discussion with the W&H team, we zeroed in on the Varex II with MDO line as it matched all the parameters that the market demands, confident to offer the highest quality backsheet films available today in our market,” says, Deval Soparkar, director S&K Technologies.
Blown film lines with MDO proven efficient for hygiene films
The use of the MDO is especially critical for producing hygiene films as the blown film is loaded with calcium carbonate particles and stretched in the MDO unit leading to the creation of the micropores needed to make it a breathable material.
By using a blown film manufacturing process for its daiper films, S&K is taking a step away from conventional cast film extrusion. This is because W&H blown film systems offer clear cost benefits while maintaining or even improving levels of quality. The Varex II with MDO offering is unique in comparison to any regular blown film line. It runs at high speed even at low thicknesses of 12 gsm with exceptional stability.
The Varex II + MDO offers more efficiency and flexibility in terms of faster changeovers with more flexibility with respect to multiple widths and thicknesses. The neck-in effect that film producers tend to get with cast film production of diaper film doesn’t occur with blown film thereby reducing trims up to 50%. By default, blown film has better mechanical properties than cast film in both MD and TD. This enables customers for these applications to down gauge by up to 25%.
“Globally we are witnessing a clear trend of companies moving to blown film extrusion technology for their backsheet films. As a high-performance blown film extrusion line, the Varex II + MDO offers significant efficiency that could prove the key to success here by making the whole process more cost-effective,” says Gerhard Schoone, Sales director, W&H.
With 100+ MDO installations globally, W&H has consistently delivered product quality that exceeds customer expectations. W&H’s MDO technology proven for high quality breathable film along with patented thickness measurement system helps save trim wastages to achieve the best film profile tolerances on the winder. Even at high speeds of more than 200 meters a minute the winders are well equipped to produce best quality finished rolls.