CAPTION: Perched on the company bakkie are Brent Runnalls (senior technician), Russell Muller (sales manager), Sareltech’s founder, Sarel Oosthuizen, and Bennie Barnard (technician). Standing in front are Sarel’s wife, Nolene Oosthuizen (admin & finance manager), and Phaldie Berhardien (workshop manager).
Since 2003, the team has been steadily assembled. Recruitment started with Sarel’s wife Nolene, who meticulously runs the financial and administrative side of the business. Then came the technical team – workshop manager, Phaldie Berhardien, and three technicians, Brent Runnalls, Bennie Barnard and Ryno Oosthuizen.
Just one manifestation of Sareltech’s growth and success was the move in 2007 to the current 190m2 factory, where there’s a strong accent on teamwork. ‘We’ve grown steadily and relationships with our customers have gone from strength to strength over the past six years,’ Sarel confirms happily.
The key to this success, he states, is the supply of engineering solutions to allow better productivity. ‘All our projects are carried out under supervision and are completely documented,’ Sarel adds.
As a result of this meticulous attention to detail, Sareltech is now in the happy position of being a preferred supplier to a number of leading printing and packaging companies, providing engineering solutions and machinery upgrades. The list includes blue-chip names such as Paarl Print, Lithotech, Nampak Flexible, Colpak, Prac-Pak, Collotype and Paarl Labels.
Revitalised focus on sales
But however successful a company may be, there’s always more business to be gained, and underlining a revitalised focus on sales is a new addition to the team – Russell Muller, who joined the company in April this year as sales manager.
‘We’ve built up the technical side of the business, by concentrating on maintenance and service excellence. Now we need to enhance our marketing and sales efforts in order to expand our business even further,’ comments Sarel.
Sareltech’s impressive list of customers benefit from quality automation systems that allow increased production, increased quality, reliable repeatability and reduced wastage all backed up by local support.
‘Our team includes a dedicated workshop technician who work from our electronics workshop, and three experienced technicians. This staffing level enables us to provide customers with what we believe to be the best 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year technical backup service,’ Sarel claims.
Sareltech also represents a number of overseas equipment manufacturers – such as BST and Drello. Both Sarel and Russell have been to BST in Germany for a month’s training, and there are several BST demo units available at Sareltech’s factory. By cementing strong relationships with such suppliers, Sareltech is able to provide excellent sales and support for the South African market.
Main products on offer for the printing and packaging industries are web-guiding and web-vision systems, stroboscopes, UV and IR lamps and systems, register control and ink systems, packaging machinery, slitting and rewinding machines, guillotines, knives and machine rollers and static control systems.
For motion control, Sareltech offers AC and DC drives, servo drives, motors and gearboxes, tension control, brakes and clutches, load cells and amplifiers, and much more.
Earlier this year, Sareltech was awarded a R1-million project to upgrade a 50-year-old extruder laminator at Nampak Flexible in Ndabeni. Although the laminator dates back to the early1960s, it’s still in constant use, mainly for poly-coating substrates as a sealant ply, and laminating foil to paper where a high barrier is required (for example for soup powders and margarine/butter wrappers).
CAPTION: Now running at 100m/min, Nampak Flexible’s completely refurbished 50-year-old extruder is as good as new.
However, its operators were being challenged by increasingly frequent breakdowns.
As Justin Sparks, Nampak Flexible’s engineering manager, explains, a new machine would have cost in the region of R20-million, a figure that provided ample motivation for an upgrade of the old machine!
Since the laminator is an unusual combination, including a Cerutti rewinder, an internally-constructed oven, plus other technical frameworks, its upgrade was bound to be complex. It involved replacing most of the mechanical power train with AC motors and drives, as well as a digital DC drive and extruder barrel heating system.
Despite the project’s complexity, however, it was meticulously co-ordinated by Nampak’s engineers and Sareltech’s technical team, and was fast-tracked from its original eight-week timeline to just five weeks!
Justin reports that the extruder’s speed has increased from 80 to 100m/min and that this is expected to increase to 120m/min as the operators become increasingly comfortable with the upgraded machine. At the same time, screw speed fluctuations have dropped from 4,5 to 0,5 r/min, eliminating problematic surging.
Other major benefits include consistent tension to help eliminate creases and to reduce waste; a 25% increase in rewind tension to accommodate larger roll diameters; mechanical reliability; faster set-up times; and improved quality.
Sareltech also played a key role when another Cape-based flexible packaging converter – Prac-Pak – recently moved to brand-new premises (see story on page 97). Here Sareltech’s services were called upon to handle the electrical installations at the new factory.
Prac-Pak’s Russell Webb is happy to sing Sareltech’s praises. ‘The Sareltech team has excellent knowledge of electrics and electronics,’ he comments. ‘They did a great job.’
See Sareltech at Propak Africa
Underlining its commitment to its overseas principals and to expanding its business is the fact that Sareltech is an exhibitor at next month’s Propak Africa. As reported in PACKAGiNG & PRINT MEDIA’s show preview (see page 69), Sareltech is promoting BST and Drello products on stand 7G25.
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