GILL LOUBSER revisits Morgan Paper Coaters in Pinetown, Durban, to find that some significant staff changes have occurred in the last few months, along with a renewed focus on lifting the company’s profile. The first and most noteworthy change at Morgan Paper Coaters in Pinetown, Durban, is the appearance of three new faces on the management team. All three – Ian Murray, Roland Puckering and Lea-Anne Piskolich – are ex UPM Raflatac South Africa, and they boast solid management and sales skills to complement the technical skills of the company’s original owners, the father-and-son team of Mike and Richard Morgan. 

Until last October, Ian Murray was general manager of UPM Raflatac South Africa and he joined Morgan Paper Coaters in February this year, offering the company the benefit of his 17 years’ experience in the pressure-sensitive labelling sector.

Roland Puckering (previously company secretary at UPM Raflatac) and Lea-Anne Piskolich (formerly key accounts manager) joined the team at the beginning of July.

Commenting on these strategic appointments, Ian Murray says: ‘Roland will facilitate the expansion of our team of key personnel. In a competitively-mature market, the difference often hinges on the professionalism, capacity and willingness of staff to service the market better than their competitors. Roland will greatly enhance our ability to select, train, motivate and retain the right staff. We have worked together closely in the past and I have every faith that he’s exactly the person we need to help Morgan Paper Coaters grow to the next level. His experience of the labelstock market will be invaluable in enhancing our company’s technical depth.

‘Lea-Anne is ideal for our Durban sales function,’ Ian continues. ‘Her ability to interface customers’ needs to all relevant people in the organisation allows us to anticipate the market’s logistical and technical requirements. Her depth of product and market knowledge will be invaluable and we look forward to her becoming an entrenched member of our team.’

So with this impressive new staff line-up in place, what exactly is for sale?

Just to recap briefly on the company’s history, Mike Morgan founded Morgan Technical Services way back in 1984. A couple of decades later he was joined in the business by his son Richard and together they employed their special talents to apply coatings to paper-based substrates – with particular emphasis on water-based barrier coatings for the packaging industry.

Until 2008, Mike’s original business manufactured the hardware – ie the actual coating and laminating equipment – while Morgan Paper Coaters provided a toll application service for specialised coatings (PPM Oct 07, p11).

But last year things changed. With his incomparable technical skill, Mike converted the coating equipment to run pressure-sensitive adhesive to produce labelstock and the company moved into the supply of pressure-sensitive labelstock under the trade name MorganCoat (PPM Oct 08, p58).

Move to hotmelt

The result of these developments is that Morgan Paper Coaters is a successful coating laminating company, supplying a range of speciality coated products and pressure-sensitive labelstock products to the national market. Also on offer are barrier coatings, fire retardant, rust inhibiting, anti-slip and siliconised products, as well as a contract slitting operation.

‘Our successful and growing pressure-sensitive business is now greatly enhanced by the addition of hotmelt coating capacity,’ Ian reveals.‘The labelstock market requires both acrylic and hotmelt alternatives to meet the needs of different segments, offering optimum performance at the most cost-effective pricing, in order for labels to adhere to today’s challenging range of substrates.’

In Ian’s opinion, there are many applications for which hotmelt adhesives are the only real solution. ‘The cost pressures resulting from the recent economic downturn are impacting on packaging quality generally, resulting in greater demands on adhesive performance. In many cases, hotmelt has become the most economically efficient solution to this problem,’ he explains.

MorganCoat’s hotmelt production capability, due to come on stream later this month, utilises the latest in-house technology provided by MTS to produce an expanded range of pressure-sensitive laminates and other speciality products.

The hotmelt adhesive is sourced from a leading international supplier.

‘We see no need to reinvent the wheel. Our customers will benefit from the knowledge that their labelstock has been produced utilising one of the most consistent hotmelt products available in South Africa,’ Ian adds.

‘Although coated papers and pressure-sensitive labelstock are destined for two different end markets, we are essentially selling to packaging printers, so there’s a great deal of synergy. So far as MorganCoat is concerned, our initial sales efforts will target the KZN market, before we move our sales team out to the rest of the country,’ Ian explains. ‘We are busy with some rebranding for the company in order to lift its profile in the market.’

Morgan Paper Coaters; T +27 0860 PSA PSA

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