This Leading Plastics Industry Company is Driving Growth Through Innovation
Plastics is the third largest manufacturing industry in the country. Through the economic ups and downs of the last few decades, the plastics market is one of the few that has been able to maintain growth and optimism. Experts believe this industry will be worth well over $650 billion by 2020.
Surprisingly, countries like China and Mexico rely on the U.S. plastics industry to produce. In May 2017 alone, the U.S. production of major plastic resins totaled 6.8 billion pounds, which is an increase of 0.7 percent compared to May of 2016.
The plastics industry is integral to the economy in the U.S., just like Jindal Films is integral to the success of the plastics industry.
Jindal Films’ history is an interesting one, having started in India and only taking root in the U.S. in 2013. It’s a family business, which began manufacturing steel pipes. Through diversification from steel pipes to plastic pipes, the company moved into the plastics industry. The owner, Mr. S.S. Jindal, then went out on his own from the family and expanded into polyester yarn, which eventually evolved into a presence into this materials’ market.
The company’s foray into the American plastics industry came when Jindal decided to acquire Exxonmobil's film business in the U.S. and Europe—his first expansion outside of India.
With this expansion, he and his company shifted focus from the slow-moving business of public oil to a smaller, fast-paced entrepreneurial business.
“The last few years have been focused on learning,” said Marcelo Passos, Executive Vice President and CEO of Jindal Films Americas. “We’re learning how to do business with a different mindset, at a different pace, and with new objectives.”
After taking the time to learn its new market and what is necessary to grow and lead the way for the plastics industry in the U.S., Jindal films is entering into a new phase of growth—one almost entirely focused on innovation.
“Our new leadership is aligned with the company ownership,” Passos said. “The opportunities we’re creating mean there are great things ahead for us.”
Transparent Metallizing Film Technology
There are several innovative products that serve as integral components of Jindal Films’ growth plan. As one example, the company is pursuing new technology in an already established niche part of the market: metallized films.
Companies have been producing metallized films—the best example of which is the inside of your favorite potato chip bag—for quite some time. It acts as both a moisture and air barrier, keeping the product inside fresh and delicious for consumption.
Both to aid in the growth of the company in its new phase and to set the industry’s course and stay ahead of the competition, Jindal Films has installed a new modern metallizer in its facility.
“Our new metallizing chamber will allow us to continue to ramp up our research and development as well as improve our product yield and competitiveness,” Passos said.
While the new metallizing chamber has the capacity to produce traditional metallized film, its new capability will change the packaging game with Jindal Films’ transparent metallized film.
“In today’s consumer environment, the consumer wants to see what they are buying. In most packing industries today, packaging is overly marketed and has an industrialized look. But buyers want to know whether the product inside the packaging—specifically food—looks natural or artificial.”
Expect to see this innovation very soon on your grocery shelves.
BOPP for More Options
BOPP—or biaxially oriented polypropylene for those who aren’t familiar with the industry lingo—is a film that is stretched in two perpendicular directions.
This dual orientation allows changes in the film, such as lower elongation, higher tensile strength for a given thickness, greater stiffness, improved optical properties, and improved barrier to water/gases.
Before Jindal bought the film company from Exxonmobil four years ago, BOPP technology and machinery were not looked at as a place to invest, and the company was not actively pursuing further development of the technology.
“When Mr. S.S. Jindal took over, it was clear that in order to compete in the packaging industry, and to beat out the continuous price pressure, we had to invest in modern assets,” said Passos.
“The decision to take up this technology was not about bringing added capacity to our lines, but rather a matter of replacing old and less flexible and less efficient assets.”
Jindal Films already offers polyester film, but it’s currently imported from manufacturing facilities outside the U.S. This often translates to longer lead times, and also makes it hard to change an order. That is definitely reason enough to have a more regional footprint.
Passos is approaching the company’s plan for a new polyester plant very strategically: namely, Jindal Films doesn’t want to fight for the market share, which would lead to driving down the price and hinder reaching volume targets. Instead, similar to other growth projects in their new phases, Jindal Films is focusing on how innovation can act as the cornerstone of growth.
Not sure how polyester plays into the plastics industry? It’s surprisingly common: a combination of different types of polyesters make up a slew of generic packaging materials in the flexible packaging arena. The best example would be your typical supermarket plastic bag for groceries.
By establishing a polyester film footprint in the U.S., Jindal Films will not only be able to offer products that give them an advantage over the rest of the market, but also help its customers save money.
Innovation and Quality
When asked how Jindal Films does it better, Passos shared that the difference that sets them apart from competitors in the industry is that the company has the vision to put the resources in the right place, the right people in the right roles, and invest heavily on R&D.
“Anyone can buy the equipment like we have done. Anyone can build the facilities like we have done. What makes the difference with Jindal Films is the vision set in place and the relentless determination of the team of people following that plan.
“We also know that if you want to be a supplier to the companies that move big volumes, you have to provide quality,” Passos stated. “Quality in today’s business world is a requirement of doing business with the leading companies.
“When you add innovation to that formula, you have a winning model.”
Jindal Films is a global leader in the development and manufacture of high performance biaxially oriented films. The Jindal Films product range includes multi-layer clear, white opaque and metalized films along with water-based coated films. While Jindal Films products are deployed in various end-use applications, the main market segments for our products are flexible packaging and labeling.
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Website - www.jindalfilms.com