|Innovative projects in the plastics industry draw an increasing number of entrepreneurs. Plastics brings about a flexibility for entrepreneurs to produce a wide range of products with an increased product mix, such as high density polyethylene (HDPE) agrishade nets for preventing sunlight from entering homes. Product innovations are the ones which arise from imagination, and enduse innovations are the ones which include new enduses for existing products. Innovations have been possible due to the characteristic of this versatile plastic.
The term �agrishade net� is used for a net which prevents excess sunlight from entering into the plants and help retain moisture levels in the soil for proper growth of these plants leading to an increase in productivity (yield) of the plants. Agrishade Nets are the best way to protect your crops against the ravages of nature : solar radiation, frost, wind & birds
• Agrishade Nets can be used as Bird protection net, Insect protection net, Mulch mat (weed control mat), Scaffolding net
Advantages of HDPE Shade Net include:
• Light Control : Enhances photosynthesis by manipulating the amount and quality of light by means of various densities of netting
• Temperature Control: Improves productivity by moderating extremes of temperatures. Prevents sun burn and frost damage. The special knitted construction �breathes�, allowing hot air to escape.
• Saves water upto 60%
• Saves on fertilizer costs
• Reduces wind, hail, bird and insect damage to crops
• High density polyethylene does not decay or absorb moisture
• Ultra-violet ray stabilization prevents degradation by sunlight
• Air movement is restricted, thus reducing wind damage to the crop and evaporation of soil moisture
• Air beneath the shade cloth stays humid which is of further benefit to the plant
• Shade cloth provides a physical barrier against hail and heavy rain and keeps many birds and insects off the crop
Vegetables where HDPE Agrishade Nets could be used include tomato, maize, lady finger, and sorrel amongst the leafy vegetables. A new end use innovation of High Density Polyethylene agrishade nets is to lower consumption of airconditioning. HDPE Agrishade Nets as a shade on the top of the terrace of the building for lowering airconditioning bills
Product Specifications & Selling Price of High Density Polyethylene Agrishade Nets
HDPE Agrishade Nets - 4.5 mts wide fabric, 2 mm tape width, 400 gsm, 2000 Denier � Rs 155 /kg (incl ED)
• Heat reduces by 5 Degrees during 9 am to 4 pm
• Air Conditioning Bill would be reduced by 10-15%
Payback for Enduser
• Spending on Air conditioner of 1 Ton power � Rs 50/day for 8 hours
• By Use of HDPE Agrishade Nets � Rs 7.5/day (15% Saving of Rs 50/day)
• Assuming 200 days in a year = 200 days * 7.5 = Rs 1500/year for 8 hours
• For 4 years this Saving would equal to Rs 6000
• Assuming Cost of HDPE Agrishade Net = Rs 1000 for 1000 sq ft terrace: This cost = Rs 1000 for 4 years considering life of HDPE Agrishade Nets for 4 years
• Net Saving = Rs 5000 per Air Conditioner for 4 years for an A/C of 1 ton
• 1 hour = Rs 6-8 per KW per hour � 1 KW per hour � 1 ton air conditioner
(Source: Civil Engineer from a Building & Construction Company, Mumbai)
Plastic processing machinery, a link between polymer and plastic product brings in versatile machinery capable of producing more than a single product on the same machinery. One such machinery is a tape extruder which can produce both agrishade nets and woven sacks from the versatile polymer high density polyethylene. With an additional investment in knitting machines, existing high density polyethylene woven sack manufacturers can manufacture high density polyethylene agrishade nets and high density polyethylene raschel bags.
Fruits such as raw mangoes get collected in plastic nets, fruits and vegetables grow under these plastic nets. A load upto 5 kg weight can be collected in HDPE Agrishade nets for this new enduse of raw mangoes. HDPE Raschel bags which are of a similar construction of HDPE Agrishade Nets i.e. a knitted fabric is used for packaging of vegetables and fruits upto a load of 5 kgs. About 65% of India�s population depends on agriculture for their livelihood and agriculture contributes about 18% of country�s GDP and 11% of total export; provide employment to 58% of the country�s work force. A 4.1% growth implies a Rs 150,000 crore increase In Agriculture GDP
(Source : http://dtf.in/archives/8055)
(Source : Reserve Bank of India, Planning Commission Targets)
The process used to manufacture HDPE Agrishade Nets is via the tape extrusion process or the monofilament extrusion process. The tapes are knitted into a agrishade net via the knitting machines.
Manufacutring Process : In this process, the polymer melt from the extruder is passed through a flat die with a slit. The film emerging from the die is then quenched in a water tank. This film is then passed through a slitter. Here the film is slit into tapes of specific width according to the end use requirement. The slit tapes are then oriented, by drawing through a hot air oven or by passing them over a hot plate. The stretching of the tapes is done by passing them over two sets of rollers, called goddet rollers, placed on either side of the hot air oven/hot plate, operating at different speeds. The drawn tapes are annealed immediately after stretching operation, so as to minimize the tape shrinkage. Annealing is done by heating (mp between 100-110 degree C) the stretched tapes while they are passing over from second set of goddet rollers to third goddet rollers which are maintained at a slightly lower speed (5% less). The tapes emerging from third goddet rollers are wound individually on bobbins with the help of winders. The tapes are then knitted into fabrics of different textures on a Raschel knitting system. This is the most capable and efficient way for producing large variety of fabrics from fine laces to fishnets. They can create very high quality fabrics of different texture and do so with high rate of uniformity throughout the fabric.
Alternative Method: In this process, the polymer is processed from the extruder and converted to film rolls. This is fed in the slitter machine and these rolls get cut into tapes. The slitting and the knitting is done together. After slitting the tapes come to the knitting machine and it gets knitted into fabric of different textures on a High Speed Raschel Knitting system. This is the most capable and efficient method for producing large variety of fabrics from fine laces to fishnets to agrishade nets of different shading norms. They can create very high quality fabrics of different types.
HDPE Agrishade Net Project
Apportioning high percentage of Selling & Distribution Expense i.e. 10% of Sales would lead to a faster market penetration. Shelving out high commission to commission agents would also lead to a faster market penetration but should not affect the desired payback period much. More number of knitting machines with an installed capacity of 4 KT and a minimum of 24 Nos knitting machines would lead to low payback period. Proper and intense Marketing of HDPE Agrishade nets all over the country would lead to a faster market penetration.
• 5 Nos commission agents from APMC�s etc in 5 regions where use of HDPE agrishade nets is maximum
• Shelving out good commissions to these commission agents by apportioning high selling & distribution expenses in the project
• Involve persons qualified in the field of agriculture who would be able to communicate the advantages of use of high density polyethylene agrishade nets to each commission agent who would be able to communicate to each farmer
• Initiate this exercise with one place/city/region and replicate the same in other places/cities/regions
Development of new markets as well as existing markets with a well established distribution pattern with more and more number of commission agents broadening this distribution pattern with a higher number of persons involved in marketing would lead to a higher growth with a well defined distribution pattern making it possible for the entrepreneurs in achieving a higher net profitability. Another way in which the products would lead to a higher net profitability improving the horizon of this distribution pattern would be through products being marketed at places where other products related to agriculture exists.
Strategy for achieving a higher market penetration of HDPE Agrishade Nets
Achieve higher market penetration parallely via
1. Commission Agents
2. Qualified persons from field of Agriculture
3. Dealers of plastic products related to agriculture
• Commission agents who know the local language would communicate more effectively with farmers
• Farmers would have more faith and believe local persons from their village
• Qualified persons from field of Agriculture would be able to brief the farmers on higher productivity(yield) and benefits of HDPE Agrishade Nets
• Dealers who display the plastic products related to agriculture such as pipes, mulch film to add one more product in their shops
• Promote HDPE Agrishade Nets amongst existing woven sack manufacturers
• Distribution pattern � Commission Agents, Marketing persons qualified in field of Agriculture, Dealers of plastic products related to agriculture leading in achieving a higher market penetration
• Business leading to :
- Net profitability to the farmers
- Net profitability to the entrepreneurs
• Tieups between the two bringing in more business leading to an economic growth of our country
• One farmer, a leader uses these plastic products, followers too would use these products
• Initiate the business with one farmer, one village would result in achieving a higher market penetration
Plastic processing machinery is versatile machinery capable of producing more than a single product on the same unit. One such machinery is a tape extruder which can produce both agrishade nets and woven sacks from the versatile polymer, high density polyethylene. With an additional investment in knitting machines, existing HDPE woven sack manufacturers can manufacture high density polyethylene agrishade nets and high density polyethylene raschel bags. High Density Polyethylene Agrishade Nets by laying on terraces would lower airconditioning bills and also lower the heat in summer for both urban & rural population.
(Source Courtsey: Ms Poorvi C. Desai, Sr. Manager, Business Development � Polymers, Reliance Industries Ltd. References : Validation of this new enduse & inputs on lower airconditioning bills by Kamlesh Bhatia, Rishi Techtex)