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Moisture and dust affect packaging product quality

Praveen Shinde

Great attention needs to be paid to the management of a packaging manufacturing facility, for the products to meet the specifications required by the market. Praveen Shinde, Founder & CEO, Pack8 (a sustainable packaging manufacturer) shares the housekeeping challenges at his factory, and how he works with service providers to overcome them.

Please give us an idea about the particulars of your manufacturing facility.

We have a single-unit factory in Navi Mumbai, spread across around 8,000 sq ft and employing 14-15 people. We manufacture volumes of around 100-150 tonnes per month.

What are the core operations that take place there?

We convert raw material into finished goods through single or double stage processes. Many of our processes are automated. We operate on a zero inventory model, and the finished material is dispatched to customers on a daily basis.

What are your waste management challenges?

Since raw material may sometimes come in odd sizes and dimensions, we have to deal with some amount of loss during the production process. Since scrap collectors do not visit our facility daily, we need to store this waste. Paper is a bulky material and we sometimes face space constraints, but we often end up having to store the waste for days at a stretch. Since paper is flammable, there is also a risk of fire and we need to keep a close watch on it.

Currently, we compress the paper waste as much as possible and store it within the factory premises itself.

Paper also tends to generate a lot of dust. How does this affect you?

Paper dust is a real challenge. It sticks to machine components and may cause some issues when we put the plant into maintenance and repair.

Do humidity levels affect your production process?

Moisture affects us more than any other factor; it impacts the quality of our raw material, which does not come properly protected against moisture.

The market will not accept finished products whose moisture levels are above 7.5-8%. We test our products before dispatch at the factory itself.

We rely on natural ventilation to regulate humidity levels, and wrap our products in stretch wrap to prevent interaction with moisture.

What are the housekeeping procedures followed at your facility?

We have outsourced housekeeping to an agency, which looks after day-to-day cleaning and sanitisation. After a shift is over, this team also makes sure that production tools and other objects are not left lying around, but are placed back in their correct position.

Once a month, we also avail of the service of an app-based on-demand cleaning service. Their team uses vacuums to suck dust from our machine components, and are guided by our engineers who are present on-site.

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