A strategic point in the company’s history, some ten year ago, was the purchase of its current premises in Spartan, Johannesburg. This opened the door to a new era for MBSA, allowing ever-increasing capacity through significant machinery and staff expansion.
In line with the prescience of this action, neighbouring properties were acquired in time and today MBSA makes industrious use of an 18 000m2 facility with leading-edge technology to produce world-class products.
Ensuring food safety
MBSA produces masterbatch and pigments for highly-regulated industries, so production and testing procedures are always tightly monitored and recorded.
A strictly-controlled and constantly-updated Restrictive Substance List is implemented and masterbatch grades used in products destined for direct food contact adhere to European Commission and Food & Drug regulations, among others. MBSA is also the first and only South African masterbatch manufacturer to achieve ISO9001:2008; ISO14001:2004; ISO18001:2007 and ISO22000:2005 accreditations for quality, environmental, health and safety, and food safety management systems.
‘As many customers manufacture food packaging, the importance of traceability and food safety standards cannot be underestimated,’ remarks Anthony. ‘Without plastics packaging, a significant percentage of the world’s food supply would simply go to waste. Our aim is to counteract commonly-held negative perceptions of plastics by manufacturing products responsibly and sustainably that are safe to use, environmentally-friendly and effective in preserving food. We’re obsessive about critically living the full value proposition of a masterbatch, where the right colour is just the minimum requirement,’ he continues. ‘A constant path of self-regulation is maintained and our reputation, which is fundamentally built on respect and integrity, is the most important asset we possess. Providing the most comprehensive, premium-grade masterbatch and pigment ranges requires skill, knowledge and expertise, and each customer wants to be assured that what he’s getting is the perfect specification for his valuable brand. It all forms part of our service philosophy,’ states Anthony. ‘The ability to adapt quickly and maintain the integrity expected in such a strictly-regulated industry are our strengths. To quote Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”’
Nurturing and retaining the best qualified employees is also top priority for Anthony and his co-owners. ‘We’ve been fortunate to attract people at the top of their game in the fields of science and chemistry, engineering, process and quality control, information technology, finance, administration and sales,’ he reports. ‘We’re grateful for the total commitment of our staff who form a close-knit unit, providing support to one another and customers alike. It’s a customer-centric culture that’s constantly nurtured and filters through all levels of the organisation. Our ethos is that without customers MBSA would not be. This approach enables us to provide valuable before- and after-sales and technical support, and lead times significantly superior to the industry norm.’
As Anthony attests, knowledge is the only truly sustainable competitive edge a company can possess. Therefore, strong emphasis is placed on training and further education and, through its adult education programme, previously disadvantaged MBSA employees can complete their schooling or further their tertiary education. The on-site learning centre, employing a full-time dedicated tutor, provides additional job-related training as well as access to technology through computers and internet. Formal assessments are carried out to ascertain strengths and improvement areas and additional job-related training can be completed. ‘MBSA is a learning organisation at all levels and employees are actively encouraged to broaden their academic knowledge. Whether it’s completing matric or taking on an industry-related qualification, our support is 100%,’ explains Anthony. ‘Well-skilled and motivated staff are more likely to have a voice in the organisation and generate ideas and solutions that will benefit theirs and the company’s future growth. Education is empowerment.’
Blends for modern brands
Masterbatch is offered in two ways: polyolefin polymer specific, with formulations available in the most common thermoplastics, such as PP, HDPE, LDPE and LLDPE, as well as engineering polymer specific such as PET, PVC, acrylics, ABS and HIPS; or universal that’s compatible with a broad range of polymer bases,
Converters are advised on the most suitable masterbatch for the intended application and offered easy, reliable and cost-efficient ways of adding colour and/or performance enhancers such as anti-static, UV/light stabilisers, processing aids, anti-fog, antioxidants, flame retardant, anti-block and slip additives. Dry blends or pigments are also supplied. Pigments, in powdered form, go through the same processes of colour matching and mixing but are not put through MBSA’s extruders.
Understanding packaging manufacturers’ processes and daily challenges is imperative and MBSA’s qualified staff assist in improving operating efficiencies via the masterbatch formulations. They also advise on changes in industry regulations and product specifications.
Dedicated sales and distribution centres are located in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Stocks are also delivered via agencies in Port Elizabeth and East London, as well as throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
T +27 011 9750222