Specialty films for niche markets

Challenging convention well describes the approach Innovia Films takes to supplying customers with quality materials. Converter was invited to take a closer look

It’s all in the name and leading specialty films supplier Innovia is known for its innovation as it consistently delivers first class solutions that meet ever-increasing demands from customers in the flexible packaging market.

With a revenue of 390 billion Euros in films, its core business for the past 75 years has been the production of cellophane and in the past three decades OPP. With four manufacturing plants around the world, the company is well-placed to deliver not only a quality product portfolio but crucially a superior level of customer support.

In 2009 a new €10M cellulose production line opened at Innovia Films’ Wigton, UK site for the manufacture of Cellophane and NatureFlex films. At this impressive state-of-the-art facility Innovia produces 65% of its films and of this 90% are exported around the world. Its core markets are labels, packaging, tobacco industry and security (banknotes and legal documents).

Innovation in a bubble

“Innovation is what we are all about,” explains CEO David Beeby. “We were the only film producer to develop bubble produced biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) technology using a balanced shrink method which is proven to add value to the customer. This method produces film that is inherently, stronger, more flexible and durable. Innovia is the second largest coater of BOPP in the world. As such the film is an important carrier for tobacco products, labels and packaging and the key to its success lies in the quality of our coating technology; we produce around 500 variables to meet a diverse range of applications.”

A key driver into the development of PP has been an increasing demand from brand managers for a clean ‘no label’ look. Innovia produces around 7 million variations of colours, thickness and dimensions to feed this voracius appetite for ‘unique’ looks with high customer appeal.

Compostable films

A global leader in the markets for labels and security films, coated packaging, overwrap and compostable films from renewable resources, annual turnover is in excess of €400M and worldwide film production capacity is 120,000 tonnes. The Innovia brand portfolio includes Cellophane, NatureFlex, Propafilm, Rayoface and RayoForm. At the time of their launch in 2003 the compostable NatureFlex products were heralded as “the most fundamental development in cellulose films for 40 years”.

Ultra-transparent, they offer excellent O2 and H2O barriers, are print stable and heat resistant to 230 degrees Centigrade.

Moisture barrier properties

The key advantages of OPP film include high transparency, dimensional stability and medium stiffness and heat-resistance, good moisture barrier properties and excellent printability. Typical applications for this material are single web or PP/PP laminates; clear, white and metallised; general purpose primary packaging film; and high barrier via secondary coatings. Its oriented PET films offer similar properties finding application in pouches, vertical and flow-wrap packs; used as a replacement for foil; and flowwraps and lidding for oven use.

“Innovation is the responsibility of every individual working at Innovia,” concludes R&D director Andy Sweetman.

“We like to challenge convention in the way we approach customer’s individual requirements whether it is paper to film conversion; incorporating clarity, transparency, colour, smoothmess, texture and haptics properties; or employing a unique layer construction using optical methods for security applications.”

Innovia Films

T: +44 (0)16973 42281