Tobacco Asia

Volume 18, Number 2

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50 tobaccoasia By Thomas Schmid It is commonly said that nowadays perhaps as much as 80-90% of all innovation in the tobacco product industry – primarily in the cigarette seg- ment – hails from filter products. There is not much innovative leeway left as to how tobacco leaves are processed or to what extent wrap paper or packages can possibly become more refined. Even the introduction of new blends, casings or flavor additives can hardly put a dent into the firm dominance held by filter technology. Consumer demand also drives the development of unique, often surprisingly complex filters, prompting manufacturers to increasingly veer off the time- honored, but at the same time rather outdated standard mono filter in favor of more sophisti- cated solutions. New Essentra facility opens in UAE A long-time player in the filter manufacturing arena, Singapore-based Essentra Filter Products, a division of Essentra Plc, recently opened a new state-of-the-art production facility in Dubai (UAE) to further meet the requirements of ciga- rette manufacturers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for innovative filter products and solutions. The brand-new plant, which kicked off production in November 2013, currently has the capacity to manufacture approximately 3 billion filter rods per year. "By opening our latest production facility we are now better placed than ever before to meet the strategic needs of customers in the MENA region. This significant move means we have extended our global footprint and manufacturing capacity, and it ensures that Essentra Filter Products has both a strong local presence and the capacity to supply cigarette manufacturers in the region with a highly efficient source of specialty filter products supported by Essentra's extensive technical exper- tise and experience," commented P.T. Sreekumar, managing director of Essentra Filter Products, on the plant's inauguration. Situated some 70 km west of Dubai City in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, one of the United Arab Emir- ates' largest free zones, the new facility currently covers a total area of 2,500 m², encompassing a 750 m² production area, a 650 m² warehouse and 500 m² of offices plus a testing laboratory and has the capacity to be expanded again to double its current size any time in the future. Headed by general manager Purushotham Gururaj, the fully air-conditioned plant is current- ly run by a dedicated team of 22 employees. Its layout has been designed to ensure optimal, thus cost-effective, machine and material storage and features both production and testing equipment. The factory is expected to receive triple certifica- tion of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 by the second half of 2014. Operated by the Essentra FZE group of com- panies, the facility, manufactures a broad range of standard cellulose acetate filters, slim, super slim, and flavoured filters using three KDF2/AF2 machines. For flavored product quality, the pro- Specialty Filter Products Put Premium Cigarette Brands at Market Forefront Insight™ filter (Icon range) Sensation™ filter (Sensory range) Smooth Core Recess™ filter (Advantage range)

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