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600 TPD: Sri Andal Paper is going to have the most common width of machine at the user end in the south east Asian countries

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Exclusive Interview of Mr. P. Subramaniam, Managing Director, Sri Andal Paper Mills Private Limited

600 TPD: Sri Andal Paper is going to have the most common width of machine at the user end in the south east Asian countries 

Aiming to reduce consumer dependence on the highly volatile import market for his packaging needs

Sri Andal Paper Mills (P) limited was started in the year2000 with a capacity 20 TPD saleable production in Kraft paper manufacturing business. The organization is professionally managed and well-maintained Industrial unit located in Erode district, Tamil operating successfully for the last 22 years. The mill has expanded its manufacturing capacity to 325 tpd over the years with the addition of two more paper machine with higher installed capacity. 

The Mill islocated near Sathyamangalam, Erode district, western part of Tamilnadu. City of Mysore in the neighboring state of Karnataka is about 2 hours by road from the mill location& Bangalore city can be reached within four hours by road.

Kraft Paper manufacturing process in the mill is based on the recycling of local wastepaper as well as OCC paper purchased from both domestic and imported markets. Purchased wood pulp is also used in manufacture of grades requiring high bursting strength and other strength characteristics of high-end packaging grades. Grades such as Test liner, Fluting & kraft Linerare manufactured on three paper machines of different capacities viz. 1. 70 TPD (2200 mm reel trim), 2. 75 TPD (2850 mm reel trim) and 3. 180 TPD (3100 mm reel trim). The mill has well equipped converting section for the conversion of jumbo rolls into customer specified width of reels.

The Pulp and Paper Times recently talks to Mr. P. Subramaniam, Managing Director, Sri Andal Paper Mills Private Limited over his new mega expansion of containerboard line. here is his full interview.

2nd March 2021 | The Pulp and Paper Times:  

How do you evaluate your journey in Paper Industry since your establishment?

It has been, in a sense a fantastic learning curve over the years for the promoters as well as the mill operating staff. Starting off with the most rudimentary equipment base, we did graduate to the level of manufacture of better quality & quantity of the product on machines having better efficiency, higher energy saving potential and lesser operator dependency in the manufacturing process by way of introduction of automation techniques. In the process we did encounter highly lean off take periods due to the large-scale use of plastic packaging material by the consumer industry in the country. We could overcome these periods due to the hard work put in by our dedicated employees who saw to it that the productivity levels were maintained at the requisite level without sacrificing the stringent quality requirement. We are proud to state that the mill never had to stop the production process for want of either material or product market but only for operational requirements.

Primarily, Sri Andal Paper mill is Kraft Paper manufacturer, how do you assess the current market situation under Corona shadow and export & Import restrictions?

COVID-19 scenario in the year2020 was indeed a big blow not only to the manufacturers of industrial grades but also to the manufacturers of cultural and high-end coated board & liquid packaging grade manufacturers & consumers. Fortunately for us, our domestic consumers did not stop their offtake due to the confidence they reposed in our product& manufacturing capabilities. The situation has started improving with the domestic markets opening-up and consumption of packaging grades of papers is found going up.

Recently, you have place order to Valmet to supply India’s largest containerboard line, what factors pampered you to choose this segment?

The major factors influencing our decision of opting for expansion of manufacturing capacity are namely: World is going to witness more stringent restrictions on use of plastic in general as well as for packaging by FMCG industry, Secondly, if the product quality required by the high-end user is readily available in the domestic market, consumer would try to reduce his dependence on the highly volatile import market for his packaging needs and finally there odes exist a huge potential for marketing the proposed grades apart from the southern region that we cater to at the moment. These were the main reasons for our decision to opt for a high-capacity manufacturing line.

Please share details of your expansion of containerboard, like Investment, GSM, Deckle, and deadline for commercial commencement of machine.

Our investment in the new project will be to the extent of INR(Unable to Dispense)million for sourcing of indigenous and imported components of the machinery.

The proposed containerboard line will have the following new sections:

1. Steam generating boiler and a 15MW captive power generating facility.

2. Old Corrugating Container processing line with sophisticated Pulping, Cleaning, Screening and Fiber Fractionating sections.

3. State of the art three-layer Container Board Machine having modern dilution control head boxes, tandem shoe press, Film Press with connected all new auxiliaries of Approach flow section, Fiber Recovery, continuous Starch preparation plant, energy conserving hood and ventilation system, high speed winder and automatic wound reel handling system. We have also opted for automatic process and quality control system with the entire plant operating on Distributed Control System. The trim width of sheet on the pope reel of the machine is 4800 mm. The product range will be 90 to 300 GSM Test Liner, Fluting & Kraft paper grades with high strength properties and good printability.

4. For maintaining the ecological balance in the mill site, we are installing a modern waste-water treatment plant with the facility for 100% reuse of the treated waste-water in non-critical areas.

6) Containerboard is the most fragmented category, with the top 10 producers

representing only 35% of total capacity. What growth do you project in Containerboard market segment in coming years.

Shifting consumer preference towards eco-friendly products may develop demand for recycled product. Recycled material improves stacking strength, compression and burst limit properties of these boards as it is manufactured using high powered compressing machines which may propel industry growth.

There is a significant rise in the packaging industry due to its role in the agriculture, pharmaceutical & FMCG retail sector. There is a surge in the demand for containerboards as a feather-light packaging material which may assist in the growth by 2025. It is utilized by the FMCG sector due to its printability and graphical characteristics, which improve appearance of consumer durables thereby propelling containerboard market share in foreseeable timeframe.

The Indian containerboard market from agricultural application is projected to reach 3-billion sqmt. Container board is utilized in fruits and vegetables packaging which requires anti-microbial sterilized environment, thus shielding it from product spoilage which may propel containerboard market size in foreseeable timeframe.

Are you looking for the export market to absorb this high volume, what is your marketing strategy for selling the products?

We are looking at the export market also. Our products that are manufactured on the existing machines are already being exported to the Asian regional countries. For the proposed project, we have opted for the wound reel handling system to the reel width of 4800mm which we understand is going to be the most common width of machines at the user end in the south east Asian countries. As regards the marketing strategy, we already have strategic planning team working on this aspect. We have put in place marketing & sales personnel in the potential markets in south east Asian region for survey & feedback.

What new technology are you bringing in this new line to achieve high-quality paper?

New technology will be used in the following areas:

Need-based use of fractionated fiber in the product.

Uniform sheet basis weight in the cross-machine direction in the layer with highest basis weight by way of dilution control of feed to the head box

Preservation of sheet-bulk and achieving high dry content out if press section with the use of tandem shoe press.

Use of high-efficiency AC frequency-controlled drive for the machine.

High degree of plant automation to reduce operator dependency as well as to reduce variations in the quality of product.

How do you project overall paper Industry growth?

Per capita consumption stands at around 13kgs at present and is expected to rise to bout 17kgs in the next 5 years. According to a report published by IPMA in 2018, the demand growth is attributed to rise in education, literacy, rise in the sector of organized retail, ecommerce, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and FMCG markets, increment in demand for eco-friendly paper bags, ready to eat packaged food and printed stationery. As the industry moves towards sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing process, recycled fiber is going to be a major source of raw material for the industry rising to 73% usage from the existing level of 65%. The compounded average growth rate for the demand of packaging paper & board is going to be around 8.9%.


How do you think to sell paper products on E-Commerce and Online web? Is it suitable for the paper industry?

The eCommerce industry has simplified buying and selling of products at a single platform without any geographical constraints, which is likely to fuel product demand. Rapid expansion in the eCommerce industry may lead to a surge in product demand as it shields products from harsh environmental conditions. It is utilized for its robustness and mechanical stability which may propel industry growth.

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