Since its inception in Cape Town in 1984, Dennes Engineering has blossomed. Today the company offers full engineering services to South Africa’s printing and packaging sectors as well as representing a number of blue-chip international companies.

DENNES ENGINEERING has its roots in a family-owned business of general engineers, started in the mid-1950s by the Oldridge family in Bulawayo in the former Rhodesia. During the 1970s, additional family members became involved in the enterprise,  including Don Nash who married Lynn Oldridge and joined the business in 1973, starting his career as a fitter and turner. Then, in 1984, the decision was made to leave Zimbabwe and Don Nash moved to Cape Town to start Dennes Engineering.

Caption: Celebrating 25 years in business in Cape Town are some members of the Dennes Engineering team – JC van Schoor, Martin Willemse, Howard Armour, Harley Nash and Don Nash; and in front Fazlin Bohardien.

In the intervening 25 years, the business has blossomed, and today offers full engineering services to South Africa’s printing and packaging sectors as well as representing a number of blue-chip international companies.

In the early days, Don Nash was assisted by his brothers as well as other family members who also became shareholders. As time progressed, however, the shareholders retired and the business is now 100% owned by Don Nash.

The company started out in rented premises in Maitland and in 1990 moved to its own premises in Oude Molen (near Pinelands, Cape Town), where it remains to this day.

Today, Dennes Engineering, which has level 6 BEE certification, has 35 staff members, many of whom have been with the company for more than 20 years.

According to Don Nash, his management style favours individual autonomy in each employee’s area expertise, and he’s proud of the fact that both technical and commercial in-house training courses have been implemented over the years.

Using in-house software, sophisticated control systems have been designed and implemented by John Kennedy, the company’s financial guru, in conjunction with Graham Sterne and Don Nash. The admin/accounts department, which plays a crucial role in the ongoing success of this burgeoning business, is led by Fazlin Bohardien and Lynn Nash.

So much for administration. At the heart of the company is a fully-equipped workshop, complete with CAD/CAM, CNC machines, conventional machines, fabrication and welding facilities. Here Don Nash is ably assisted by Farrell Tempers and Harley Nash, while workshop manager JC van Schoor and his crew offer many years of hands-on practical experience in all types of engineering work.

Services offered include machine design and manufacture, as well as the production of gears, shafts, bushes, cams, spare parts, laser-cut components, and much more …

Serving the printing and packaging industries

A separate trading division within Dennes Engineering handles imported machinery, and represents overseas companies such as BHS Corrugated (Germany) and Dicar International (US), serving a number of industries including corrugated board manufacturing and paper milling, with names such as Nampak, Mondipak, Sappi and Huhtamaki featuring among its impressive list of customers.

Howard Armour is the sales manager for this division, dealing primarily with the packaging industry. He’s assisted by Martin Willemse who handles imports and in-house sales.

Recent articles in PACKAGiNG & PRINT MEDIA have highlighted the important place held by BHS when it comes to leading-edge equipment for the production of corrugated board. BHS claims to be the world’s largest provider of solutions for the corrugated industry with a market share above 40% in the field of corrugators, corrugating rolls and services. The company’s main characteristics include competence, innovation and a passionate commitment to excellence, making it a strong and reliable industry partner.

Caption: Proud to pose with the new corrugator are the teams from Mondipak Kuils River, BHS Corrugated in Germany and local agent Dennes Engineering. In front are Peter Smith, Monipak Kuils River general Manager; Michel Visser, BHS Trainer; Sascha Polese, commissioning engineer from BHS Corrugated; Jurgen Honing, project manager from BHS Corrugated; and Howard Armour, sales manager of Dennes Engineering. Behind are Martin Haegler and Ebubekir Ay, the BHS installation technicians.

In South Africa recent BHS installations and upgrades have taken place at Mondipak’s and Nampak’s corrugated plants.

Die-cutting excellence

Some people call them anvil covers. Others call them ‘blankets’, ‘mats’ or ‘jackets’. But around the world most people call for the Dicar brand.

Dicar’s one-piece anvil cover is a popular cover for soft-cut rotary die-cutting. The company offers multiple mounting versions and produces literally hundreds of different sizes to fit virtually all makes and models of rotary die-cutters.

Dicar’s high-quality covers are precision ground to exacting tolerances to ensure an exact fit, giving converters the greatest possible cutting accuracy, while a specially-formulated urethane ensures extra long life.

Dicar’s positive locking system ensures that blankets won’t open in use, while simultaneously allowing quick, easy removal and rotation or replacement with minimum downtime.

Caption: At Mondipak’s Pinetown plant are Andy Johnson, production manager, and Neil Waterer, general manager, at the controls of the new BHS corrugator … just one of the recent BHS installations undertaken by Dennes Engineering in this country.

Pumps for Africa

A recently-formed pump department at Dennes Engineering offers a wide range of pumps and spare parts. Here Dennes Engineering has the agency for Mono pumps, also offers food grade pumps – including KSB, Flyght and Tsuruma pumps to name a few.

Playing a pivotal role in this department is Peter Kirk, who sells this wide range of new pumps, arranges maintenance contacts, and oversees repairs of pumps in the company’s workshop.

‘We also manufacture a wide range of difficult-to-find spare parts for pumps,’ comments Don Nash, ‘and we’ve been making our own patterns for casting a range of standard impellers. We also consult on pump installations, enter into maintenance contracts and provide a 24/7 callout service for emergency repairs.’

Editor’s note: In our forthcoming Festive Issue we report on the latest BHS installation at Mondipak in Brakpan.

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