The line is a combination of machinery from two leading international suppliers, PackSys Global (PSG) in Switzerland and German-based Alfons Haar, that press flat-sheet aluminium into 30mm x 60mm shells, before rolling and wadding them.
The line is dubbed the ‘007 high-speed wine screw cap line’ for good reason. ‘It’s the fastest known line of its kind worldwide, and at full capacity produces up to 700 closures/minute. This will drastically increase our speed to market,’ Derek explains.
Derek and his team have been considering this investment for quite some time, carefully watching the market and the wine producers’ move from cork (natural and synthetic) to the internationally-accepted aluminium ROPP closures.
‘The time came about six months ago,’ Derek confirms, ‘when “Project 007” became a reality and reached implementation stage to better serve the local wine industry.’
‘The South African wine market is hugely competitive, and the swing from cork to screw caps is still in a growth phase. Speed to market in this competitive landscape is important to our customers and that’s a major benefit offered by our new line,’ adds Barry Erasmus, sales & marketing director, Nampak Closures Epping.
Barry explains that the market can be unpredictable as demand constantly changes and it’s difficult for customers to provide accurate forecasts early on. This leads to customers not always being able to order as early as they’d like, but still need short lead times with a fast turnaround. The new line enables Nampak Closures to provide its customers with a 17 to 20-day lead time. ‘It’s this responsiveness, speed and added capacity that we’re thrilled to offer our customers,’ Barry continues.
‘We certainly aim to be the preferred supplier in this industry. We’re customer driven – it’s our philosophy and we strive to continuously improve into the future. This latest investment makes this clear,’ he adds.
What’s more, the team at the Epping plant offers solid experience and expertise in the metal closures’ industry. Derek joined Nampak Closures (then Metal Box) in 1990, working his way up through the ranks to manufacturing director of this division.
Barry Erasmus also has a long history at Nampak, having joined Nampak Closures in 1986. Working in tandem, Barry is as passionate about customer focus as Derek is about manufacturing quality to meet the industry’s needs.
Nampak Closures’ customers produce many favourite wine brands for both local consumption and export. Those benefitting from the new line include leading players in the wine industry, such as Distell, DGB, Accolade SA, Edward Snell & Co, Robertson’s Winery, Neil Ellis, Home of Origin, Spier Wines and La Motte, to name but a few.
In Dr No, M asks James Bond: ‘It’s 3am. When do you sleep 007?’ To this Bond replies: ‘Never on the firm’s time sir.’ As more wine producers convert to aluminium ROPP closures, Derek and his team expect this, too, will be the case for the new 007 high-speed wine screw cap line as it reaches its full 24/7 production capabilities.
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