The business of manufacturing plastic bags, of course, is neither original nor rare. However, it still does not lose its popularity and brings considerable profit to entrepreneurs. Plastic bags are widely used. They can be found in almost any store or mall. Moreover, since their cost is low, they are often handed out to customers and buyers for free. Plastic bags can be an excellent and cheap advertising medium - they are marked with logos, information about the company, its services and contact details. The popularity of the plastic packaging business is due to several reasons. Firstly, as mentioned above, packages are used everywhere and are quite cheap. Their production does not require special knowledge, the use of sophisticated technologies and the search for qualified personnel. In order to engage in the production of polyethylene bags, you will need special equipment, a room of sufficient area and several workers.
If you plan to engage in such a business, you need to conduct at least minimal marketing research, having studied the situation with competitors in your region, their pricing and demand for packaging products, as well as prepare a business plan (it will come in handy even if you are not going to borrow money for starting a business). As practice shows, in one region from five to ten manufacturers of various products can work perfectly. Especially when you consider that only one of the ten enterprises can be called really large.
The rest are essentially mini-shops that produce the simplest and cheapest packages (for example, “T-shirts” or “packaging”). Both of them work only for their region (city and region), as other cities have their own local producers, which most likely will not be able to compete with (even if your price is lower, the price will “eat” the whole difference delivery). Large manufacturing enterprises are in the most advantageous position, since they often manufacture not only bags and plastic film, but also other products, including bottle caps, boxes, lids for cans, pipes, etc. On the other hand, the organization of a large plant from scratch it will take too much money, so experts advise entrepreneurs with a small starting capital to start with the production of the simplest packages and packaging film, and then gradually expand as income grows. assortment of products and to introduce new services (such as printing on packages). With proper business management, the profitability of the production of plastic bags alone can exceed 15%.
The simplest and cheapest option is to manufacture products from a film or sleeve from another manufacturer. In this case, you will simply stamp the packages from the "semi-finished product" using a cutting and soldering machine with a tray. The cost of such equipment is about 200-250 thousand rubles. You can find cheaper options: for example, a semi-automatic machine or used equipment. The disadvantage of this "production" is the rather high cost of the package. It is obvious that a company with full-cycle production can supply a lower price for its products than semi-artisan workshops that purchase film from the same company. Another drawback is the extremely limited range. Thus, it will be possible to produce only the simplest bags of thin polyethylene of the "Packing" type, in which products are packed, and garbage bags. But more complex orders (for example, packages of dense polyethylene with cut-through handles or even ordinary Mike packages) you cannot take.
Let us consider in more detail the entire production cycle of polyethylene packaging products. A polyethylene film, which in most cases is smooth and transparent, is produced during the extrusion process from high or low pressure polyethylene. Extrusion is the technology of manufacturing products by pushing molten material through an opening of a certain shape. This technology is mainly used in the manufacture of polymer products (for example, plastic products, rubber compounds and, of course, plastic bags). For the processing of polymers into finished products by extrusion, single-screw, multi-screw, disk and piston extruders are used. This is the name of special equipment that is intended for molding plastic materials. These materials are shaped when the mass is pushed through a profiling tool (extrusion head). Polyethylene granules are filled into the extruder in the form of balls, from which a plastic film or polyethylene sleeve is subsequently created.
In addition to the extruder, the automatic line for the production of plastic bags includes the aforementioned cutting and soldering machine, which cuts the film or sleeve obtained from the extruder in accordance with the specified parameters. Particularly noteworthy is the stage of cutting a film sleeve on a bag making machine, for which a double-sided knife is often used. During the transition from the manufacture of bags of one type to another, the hot knife turns 180 degrees. In plastic bags of the "Packing" type, the bottom of the bag is sealed with a weld seam using a hot knife, and then cut off with a guillotine. Then two side seams are sealed. If we are talking about the production of bags without handles or garbage bags, then the production ends. Ready-made packages are packed in a hundred pieces and sent to the warehouse. However, if the package assumes the presence of handles (for example, for packages like "Mike"), then this step will be a little longer. In this case, the product is sealed on one side (usually the bottom), then two welds from a hot knife are made on it, and then it is cut off using the guillotine in the very middle. Then a package sealed on both sides is placed on a hot needle in a pack of one hundred pieces. For cutting printed packages, a special photocell is required that captures the image. The openings for the handles or “throat” (for “Mike” packages) are cut using a punching press.
If you are going to put any images on your packages, including company logos and other company symbols, then you will also need a flexographic machine. It can be used not only for working with polyethylene, but also with many other materials (for example, foil). Flexo printing differs from conventional printing in that it uses highly elastic liquid printing inks and forms. When printing, liquid and quick-drying inks are transferred to the material using soft polymer forms, which are fixed to the plate cylinders with double-sided adhesive tape or special “plums”. There are five main types of flexo-machines - sectional longline machines, built-in sections, planetary machines, foundry sectional machines and combined linear sectional machines (units).
The choice of equipment on the market is very large, but if you do not understand it, then when buying a line it is better to seek help from a specialist. It will help you save time and money, select the best option, depending on the planned range of products, its volumes and other factors. The simplest line in the basic configuration of domestic production or a used line of a Western company will cost from $ 60 thousand. If you are looking for high-quality powerful equipment, then the costs will be much higher - about $ 100 thousand. You can save on the purchase of flexographic equipment. The cheapest flexograph costs about $ 65 thousand. Therefore, at first you can do without it and give print orders to third-party companies and advertising agencies.
The room where the equipment is located should have high ceilings, since the height of the extrusion machine can be about six meters. The workshop should always maintain optimal temperature conditions (this is important to ensure the normal passage of the extrusion process), it should have a water supply and sewage system. To service each piece of equipment, you will need at least one worker. Most equipment suppliers offer training services for staff working with it for a small fee.
As for raw materials, the best option in terms of price and quality is considered South Korean and Russian granular polyethylene. Although often, even taking into account the cost of delivery, raw materials of Western production are cheaper than domestic. There are two grades of granulate - high pressure polyethylene (low density polyethylene) and low pressure polyethylene (high density polyethylene). Both raw materials are used to make bags. The best is considered raw materials in the form of granules of polyethylene with a size of 3-5 mm and a shape close to spherical. However, granules of cubic and cylindrical shape are no less popular. Polymeric products are often made from recycled polymer. It is cut into small pieces and turned into granulate. Although this method is more environmentally friendly, the quality of products from secondary polymers is significantly worse than the quality of products from primary raw materials. In addition, bags from the "secondary" can not be used for packaging food products, as this material is considered toxic. But recycled materials are perfect for making garbage bags. In addition to granular polyethylene, you may also need various dyes. The cost of one kilogram of dye can be 500-1000 rubles, depending on the color and manufacturer. The dye is consumed sparingly (usually it is not more than 3% by weight of the polymer to be coated). Please note: for the production of bags designed for food packaging, it is recommended to use high-quality polyethylene that meets all international environmental standards, so carefully consider the choice of a supplier of raw materials.
So, equipment for the production of plastic bags will cost in the amount of 250 thousand rubles. up to several million, depending on configuration, manufacturer and capacity. The average productivity of one line is about 25 thousand packages per one eight-hour shift (large enterprises operate in two shifts of 8 hours each). The production cost of one package is about 15-30 kopecks, the wholesale price for it starts from 60-70 kopecks per unit. The monthly revenue of the enterprise may amount to more than half a million rubles. It will be possible to recoup their expenses within 1-1.5 years.
The only minus of such a business is that plastic bags are considered the most non-environmentally friendly packaging that causes great harm to the environment. Unfortunately, while in our country environmental issues are not as acute as abroad, where polyethylene is gradually being superseded by other, safer types of packaging materials (for example, kraft paper or fabric). However, far-sighted entrepreneurs are confident that over the next few years Russia will observe the same trends as in Western countries, so they are already looking for alternative options for the production of environmentally friendly packaging.
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