Micro-embossed Film Technology in Aprons Benefits Medical Works during Coronavirus

Flexible film manufacturers are utilizing the micro-embossed film technology to produce protective aprons amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. For instance, Skymark— a provider of flexible film packaging solutions, is increasing its focus in medical, hygiene, and food sectors to develop protective aprons containing the antimicrobial technology. This is evident since the U.S., India, Brazil, and France are under scrutiny for high prevalence of coronavirus cases. Since the global economy is witnessing a slowdown, companies in the embossed film market are diversifying their supply chains to generate revenue opportunities.

People have become increasingly conscious about infection-causing coronavirus pathogens. This has triggered the popularity of protective aprons, which are under evaluation by regulatory organizations. However, travel restrictions and volatile demand and supply for personal protective equipment (PPE) have added to the challenges of manufacturers in the embossed film market. Hence, manufacturers are relying on local production strategies to meet demand of end users.

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Polymer and Chemical Industries Trigger Demand for Embossed Polyethylene Films

Polyethylene films are expected to hold the highest share, in terms of volume among all material types, of the embossed film market. As such, the market is predicted to cross an output production of ~115,784 million units by 2028. This is evident since manufacturers are deploying innovations primarily in polyethylene films. For instance, Solvay— a multi-specialty chemical company is increasing its focus in diamond embossing for polyethylene films engineered for polymer and chemical industries. Manufacturers are boosting their production capacities in regions of Europe, Asia, and North America to capitalize on incremental opportunities.

Embossed polyethylene films are being used for routine applications, such as a release carrier for prepregs and adhesive films. Manufacturers in the embossed film market are unlocking business opportunities in vacuum table operations such as automated prepreg cutting equipment. Other applications of embossed polyethylene films involve its role as low temperature release films.

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Lack of Filmic Substrates for Labelling Applications Hinder Market Growth

The embossed film market is projected to reach a valuation of US$ 22.4 Mn by the end of 2028. However, there is a need for more options in filmic substrates that can embody intricate eye-catching designs for F&B (food & beverages) brands. Hence, manufacturers are increasing their production capabilities in premium-quality embossed films. For instance, Innovia Films— a producer of specialty biaxial-oriented polypropylene films for packaging and labels, launched the Rayoface™ mBoss, a long lasting embossed film that offers high conversion and labelling efficiencies to brands.

High performance embossed films are being used for enhancing shelf appeal, which ultimately results in increased product sales. Companies in the embossed film market are increasing the availability of films with long lasting premium embossing performance to incorporate eye-catching print capabilities that are similar to paper-like surfaces.

Embossed Holographic Films in Demand for Anti-counterfeit Applications

The demand for brand enhancement and aesthetic packaging is creating business avenues for manufacturers in the embossed film market. UFlex— a provider of anti-counterfeiting and brand protection solutions, is producing embossed holographic films that cater to brand enhancement and textile value addition. The growing need for anti-counterfeiting solutions is another key driver bolstering growth for the embossed film market, which is slated to clock a CAGR of 3.5% during the assessment period.

Manufacturers are innovating in holographic self-adhesive security labels with registered lens. They are increasing awareness about brand protection for goods and important documents. Manufacturers are producing embossed films with high-level of opacity and are compatible with a wide range of inks, foils, and textured varnishes. They are investing in state-of-the-art manufacturing plants in India to meet high quality standards of end-use clients.

Micro-embossed Finish Deliver More Comfortable Touch Compared to Traditional Embossed Films

Apart from automobile and construction applications, manufacturers in the embossed film market are tapping into revenue streams in medical and hygiene sectors. With the help of the cast film extrusion technology, manufacturers are innovating in embossed polyolefin films that offer consistent high quality to customers. Manufacturers are increasing efforts to deploy micro-embossed finish in films in order to deliver a more comfortable and natural touch compared to traditional embossed films.

Multiple layers of coextruded films with micro-embossed finish offer full barrier against bacteria and virus, which has become an important requirement for end users in F&B and medical sectors during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Mergers and acquisitions play an important role for market growth, where German manufacturer of plastic films, RKW Group, has decided to sell its production of embossed films and laminates to ACE, another competitor in embossed films and laminates.

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Eye-catching Prints and Foiling Capabilities in Films Critical For Enhanced Brand Experience

Companies in the embossed film market are increasing efforts to meet specialized needs of customers in the single-use hygiene and medical segments. Moreover, manufacturers are developing leading edge products for construction and automotive sectors. Embossed sheets have become customary in commodity distribution packing, office supplies, and sundry goods applications. Manufacturers in the embossed film market are participating in third-party trials to demonstrate robustness and longevity of embossed films.

Eye-catching prints and foiling capabilities are critical in embossed films. In order to achieve this, manufacturers are adopting the advanced polymer technology to gain a competitive edge in the market landscape. They are maintaining steady supply chains with customers to enhance brand experience involving newly launched products. Manufacturers are increasing their production capabilities in label and security films.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

Agility and innovation are key to keep economies running during and post the COVID-19 pandemic. Polyethylene films are predicted to dictate the lion’s share among all material types of the embossed film market. However, paper materials in labelling solutions are posing a stiff competition to embossed films. Hence, manufacturers should engineer long-lasting premium embossing performance in films in order to gain a competitive edge in high conversion and labelling applications to mimic properties of paper materials. On the other hand, manufacturers should tap into incremental opportunities in India due to the high demand for embossed holographic films. They should invest in in-house manufacturing facilities to meet targets for large volume production.

Embossed Film Market: Overview

  • According to Transparency Market Research’s latest report on the global embossed film market for the forecast period of 2020-2028, the market is estimated to grow owing to the demand from automobile, building & construction, and personal care industries
  • The global embossed film market is expected to clock a CAGR of 3.5% during the forecast period. Embossed films have anti-slip properties and enhance the aesthetics of surfaces, which is likely to increase the sales of embossed films in the years to come.

Use of Embossed Films to Enhance Pallet Handling and Protection to Augment Market Growth

  • Embossed films can be used for anti-slip applications and therefore, they are widely used in industries to protect products or goods from shifting, while goods are in temporary contact with each other. The structure of the polythene film means that the embossed patterned surface provides anti-slip function, enabling products to retain their positions, while they are presented to manufacturing lines in the best way for superior operational efficiencies.
  • Embossed films can also be used as base sheets on stillages and pallets to prevent movement of products such as bags or sacks during shipment. Furthermore, they can prevent moisture seeping from wooden pallets into items, which will help to avoid water damage.

Embossed Film for Carpet & Flooring Protection to Boost Use in Building & Construction Industry

  • Embossed films can be used for smooth floors and carpets, as these films can be manufactured from tough polythene film with a low tack adhesive backing. Furthermore, these films provide better slip resistance. Moreover, they are great alternatives to dust sheets, as embossed films are easy to lay film and they also prevent tripping bunching or movement that might be caused due to conventional dust sheets.
  • Embossed films can be replaced or removed as per convenience and without any hassles, as they have low tack adhesive, which makes them easy to lift and dispose. These factors are anticipated to boost the demand for embossed films for flooring applications.

Embossed Film Market: Key Findings

  • Among materials, the polyethylene segment is estimated to account for more than half of the revenue share by the end of 2020 and is likely to create an incremental opportunity of more than US$ 35 Mn by the end of forecast period
  • Polyethylene terephthalate segment is forecast to witness a CAGR of 4.4%
  • Among various thicknesses of embossed films, the below 20 μm segment is expected to expand at a CAGR of 4.5%
  • Automobile end use segment is estimated to have a prominent market share of more than 2/5th market share by value by the end of the year 2028
  • In terms of market share, Asia Pacific is likely to emerge as the dominant region in the global embossed film market, owing to the increasing demand from the automobile industry

Embossed Film Market: Competition Landscape

  • TMR analyzed that the global embossed film market is highly competitive, owing to a large number of local players in the market. This competition among key players is carefully studied based on developments, strategies, and segmental revenue of companies.
  • TMR Group includes outlines of key players in the latest embossed film market study, which includes
    • RKW SE
    • Uflex Ltd
    • Cosmo Films Ltd
    • Napco National Company
    • Sigma Plastics Group
    • FSPG Hi-tech Co., Ltd
    • Charter NEX Films, Inc.
    • OHISHI SANGYO CO., LTD.
    • Oerlemans Plastics BV
    • ISOSPORT Verbundbauteile GmbH
    • Wiman Corporation
    • Aintree Plastics Ltd
    • C. E. Shepherd Company
    • Skymark Packaging International Limited
    • Hi-Tech Packaging (India) Private Limited
  • TMR distinguished these embossed film market players as per their segmental earnings into different tier slabs. Among these players, RKW SE, Sigma Plastics Group, and FSPG Hi-tech Co., Ltd are identified as Tier 1 companies. The Tier 2 players include Charter NEX Films, OHISHI SANGYO CO., LTD., Uflex Ltd, and Napco National Company.

Impact on COVID-19 on Embossed Film Market

  • Every industry, including packaging has witnessed the impact of the pandemic. From raw material supply delays to lockdown across various geographic locations. The industry faces several challenges of elevated costs, pressure on prices, labor issues, and operational challenges.
  • Plastic films associated with applications in pharmaceuticals and food & beverages industries have witnessed growth; however, industries associated with non-essential products might face resilience in the short term.
  • Major end uses of the embossed films market such as automobile, building & construction, and printing & stationery are likely to witness a slowdown as the pandemic has affected how and what the customers are buying
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has swift impact on automotive industry and building & construction industry, which has placed intense pressure on industries already coping with a downshift in global demand
    • Although the pandemic has had an impact on the building & construction industry, closures and lockdowns did not last long creating opportunities for the revival of the industry. Furthermore, with government support, manufacturing levels are expected to ramp up to reduce reliance on imports.

 

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