Now in a highly-impressive 20-metre installation (looking not unlike the transit at Heathrow’s T5, or even the Gautrain!), phase two includes the installation of BHS triplex pre-heaters, a duplex glue unit and a BHS DF-P double facer. This latter not only ensures efficient transportation of board from wet end to dry end, but also guarantees perfect bonding and drying. It’s capable of processing all board grades and qualities from micro-flute to heavy triple-wall board.
Taken together, these additions represent an investment of some R36-million for phase one and a further R16-million for phase two.
As far as Mpact’s operations manager at Epping, Roland Cook, is concerned, a prime benefit of this latest investment is considerably improved operating efficiency.
‘On double-face board, speeds have risen from 100 to 180m/min and for lightweight single-face board from 220 to 300m/min. Now our overall line speed is around 300m/min,’ Roland reports – a fact that’s borne out by a quick glance at the line’s control console that’s currently reading 305m/min.
Aside from improved speed, however, comes impeccable sheet quality and flatter and stronger board. This Roland ascribes to the excellent temperature control system on the new double facer. ‘No matter what its speed, it maintains a consistent paper temperature,’ he explains.
A technical team from BHS in Germany has been in Cape Town for several weeks to manage the commissioning of this latest phase and to train local staff. Thanks to this German expertise and precision, Roland confirms, the corrugator is running perfectly. He comments, too, on the excellent relationship that exists between BHS Corrugated in Germany and local agent, Howard Armour of Dennes Engineering.
Advanced printing and converting
As also mentioned in our previous article, the story didn’t end with a new corrugator. Yet more capex went to the purchase of a Bobst Martin (now Bobst Lyon – see sidebar) four-colour casemaker and automatic palletiser. At that time, the line had not yet been commissioned. Now, however, it’s fully on stream and operating flat out – from the prefeeder through the printing and converting unit, to a Mosca strapping unit and a Bobst palletiser.
This state-of-the-art converting machine achieves first-class flexographic printing, die-cutting and accurate folding all in one pass.
According to Roland, this 2 400mm wide line runs an average of 18 000 cartons/hour, with both infeed and delivery ends totally automated and the entire line controlled from a single control panel.
‘A significant feature is its dual-fold capability,’ he adds.