‘In 2006, we commenced our upgrade and expansion programme, including a complete overhaul of inspection equipment and a refurbishment of our first furnace to comply with strict safety and production specifications,’ comments MD, Stoney Steenkamp. ‘This investment was boosted in 2010 with a R160- million high-tech on-site cullet processing and colour sorting plant. Utilising technology from Austrian glass sorting specialist, Binder+Co, the installation is big enough to handle current and future processing needs,’ he adds. ‘In 2012, shortly after acquiring 100% ownership, we completed the expansion and upgrade of our second furnace, in response to growing demand and changing market trends,’ Stoney continues. ‘We’re currently achieving operating efficiencies in line with the best figures benchmarked worldwide, providing a diverse range of award-winning products. Another R1-billion is currently being invested to build a third furnace to take the business to the next level in terms of systems, service and supply.’
Furnace three, scheduled for completion in 2014, will increase capacity by 50% and allow Nampak Glass to dilute production costs and provide brand owners with a much-needed competitive proposition across a broad range of bottle sizes and configurations.
‘Before commencing this project, we spent months liaising with local and international customers regarding emerging trends and requirements, laying down a blueprint for future production practices and continued sustainable growth,’ remarks Stoney. ‘As our customers’ businesses continue to expand and change, so we must adapt to their changing needs. As exceeding expectations is a cornerstone of our strategy, our focus remains on developing mutually¬beneficial relationships built on top-quality service and products, and absolute trust,’ he relates. ‘Employing state-of-the-art technology means we can produce bottles efficiently and competitively, creating an attractive proposition for brand owners.’
Until 2010, Nampak Glass predominantly manufactured beer bottles. Today, besides maintaining its position as a preferred supplier to leading breweries, new business is being developed in the wine, carbonated soft drinks, flavoured alcoholic beverages, spirits, and processed foods market. An array of returnable and non-returnable glass bottles
are manufactured, in standard and customer-specific designs from 1OOml to 1,5 litres, available in a variety of colours and closure finishing choices. Additional design options include embossing, etching and ACL screen-printing in up to five colours.
‘Our aim is to steadily expand our portfolio in support of customers’ growth, and we’re working hard at building new products and extending our service,’ states sales and marketing director, Paul Coombe. ‘We’ve been developing industry-leading lightweight glass bottles for several years and we continue to develop solutions that will ensure glass is recognised as the packaging medium of choice. For instance, together with Emhart Glass, we’ve installed and commissioned the first servo-electric BIS machine in the world, designed for shorter runs and rapid job changes. It’s at the heart of the glass container forming process and we’re proud that our customers will be the first in the world to experience the benefits of this technology,’ he remarks. ‘To complement glass production, we’ve introduced a Krones PSL labeller to assist existing small business owners with short-run labelling orders. Once again, we’ve gone the extra mile by investing in top-of-the-range equipment to ensure top-quality products.’
Besides its world-class factory, Nampak Glass operates a fully-equipped in-house design and testing operation, assisting brand owners with bottle inception and design, technical drawing, and trial mould testing.
‘Consistent execution is the single largest challenge to building strong brand integrity and we aim to grow our business based on solid design, manufacturing and workflow principles aligned to market needs,’ sums up Paul.
Nampak’s environmental policy commits all businesses in the group to pursuing green quality standards, primarily in the form of ISO 14001.
Nampak Glass is a founding member of The Glass Recycling Company that aims to promote and increase recovery rates. The Roodekop cullet plant is capable of processing up to 150 000 tons of waste glass alone. ‘Approximately 50% cullet is used in our manufacturing process, reducing demand for energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions,’ explains Stoney Steenkamp. ‘In terms of the Waste Management Act, our recycling target rate is 55%. I believe we’re on track to achieve and eventually exceed this goal.
‘As well as improving production efficiencies and minimising costs, Nampak Glass oversees a number of community collection projects, helping to provide jobs and improve employee living standards. ‘We have a strong sense of social responsibility and sustainability projects such as buy-back centres and collection programmes form a vital part of our total operation,’ he adds.
Nampak Glass is also setting the benchmark in lowering carbon emissions on its fleet of trucks that travel between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
‘We’re fully-compliant with Euro 5 emission standards, adapting our trucks with specially-fitted suspensions for long haul routes and emission-control systems. This initiative, at our own cost, is yet another example of our commitment to a better environment for all,’ states Stoney.
Now 100% Nampak-owned, Nampak Glass is in a perfect position to capitalise on fresh business opportunities.
‘We’ve enjoyed a successful business relationship with Wiegand Glas over the years, and this still exists today,’ states Stoney. ‘We continue to share business ideas and, through a technical agreement, get the very best service and advice on our operating systems. Additionally, our local ownership status gives us the flexibility to act quickly with regards to market developments and we have the full support of the Nampak Group.’
Stoney is also mindful of the enormous support received from loyal customers, large and small. ‘With the backing of each stakeholder we’ve been able to progress with the construction of the third furnace and continue with our massive expansion strategy. We’re forever grateful to our customers who have expressed their confidence and commitment to Nampak Glass and now we’re building for the future. Each Nampak Glass employee is 100% dedicated to pushing the boundaries in world-class production to ensure glass remains the preferred premium packaging choice,’ he concludes.
T +27 011 8650000