In an interview with Labels & Labeling in 2017, Ajay Mehta, managing director at SMI Coated Products, said: ‘Focused business strategy along with implementing lean management systems builds efficiency in the system.’
Touring his factory in Ambernath, close to Mumbai, one realizes how Mehta has led the industry by example and translated his vision to reality.
Mehta, along with his son and corporate director, Rohit Mehta, invited the Indian label converters for the first time in 25 years to show the state-of-the-art infrastructure that the company utilizes to manufacture more than 100 million sqm of labelstock every year.
On February 2, the duo led several groups, each of about 20 professionals, from the label industry on the production floor while navigating their way through the raw material warehouse, slitting division and quality as well as research and development centers.
This ISO 9001:2000 certified factory features a smart warehouse where each roll of raw material is code marked for easy and accurate access to its team. Clamp trucks handle rolls in another warehouse that are transported to the production floor, by any one of the designated team members, on the recently placed tracks that facilitate easy and almost effortless movement of material. It is then coated on one of the seven coating machines. This includes a 60m long in-line silicone and coating machine installed in 2019. Six of the seven coating machines on SMI Coated factory floor have been made in India according to the company’s requirements.
Coated material is checked for quality on more than 30 parameters. Every approved roll is finally coded before it is despatched to the customer. Any roll that does not meet all quality parameters is kept in a separate space in the factory premise, designated for faulty raw material or coated material.
This highly automated system is enabled by an ERP at the back-end that uses data to seamlessly connect all departments starting from receiving raw material to despatch.
Further, SMI Coated Products is strengthening its commitment to the industry by opening an LMAI training center at its premises in Ambernath. To be run by the association, this center is expected to train operators on a flexographic press and churn out skilled workforce for Indian label converters. The LMAI is also going to impart training on quality parameters of the labelstock materials as well as inks.
Read a detailed report in Labels & Labeling issue 2, 2019.