Despite expanding commercial interests, SKC’s focus has always remained on its film and chemistry businesses, where it produces leading optical films and solar cells. The group has fulfilled its middle- and long-term growth strategies by placing emphasis on R&D and improving products to benefit both converters and brand owners.
‘At SKC, there’s a strong focus on creating the lowest possible environmental impact in its manufacturing facilities and offices,’ adds Craig. ‘And in terms of products, its signature Skyrol Films, adopted by many leading international shrink sleeve converters, are recognised as some of the world’s highest quality, versatile materials.’
Added-value products and services
Following the establishment of large-scale plants in Suwon (South Korea) and Georgia (US), SKC has recently invested in and completed the construction of a new plant in Shenzhen (China), which will increase SKC’s total output to well over 300 000 tons/annum. ‘This bold move will raise the company’s profile as the global industry leader,’ Craig asserts.
For the time being, however, the South African market will continue to be supplied by the Suwon plant in South Korea.
Craig goes on to explain that thanks to the opening of the Shenzhen plant, there’s more capacity available in Suwon, which means decreased lead-times for local customers. ‘We have warehousing in all major centres in South Africa, providing substantial local stockholdings of shrink PET films,’ he adds. ‘At any time, there’s approximately 100 tons of various grades and thickness available in our temperature-controlled warehouse in Durban. It’s all about providing the best possible support and service to match market needs.’
Development work is ongoing – for instance, downgauging materials to improve yield, or stabilising reels to run at faster speeds.
‘As and when SKC offers commercially-available new products, they’re introduced to the local market,’ remarks Craig. ‘Latest releases include a high-shrink PET film, capable of printing with both UV- and solvent-based inks and without primer, as well as a whiter high-shrink polyester film. SKC also produces functional films for LCD, thanks to the development of reflective film and optical film for TFT-LCD backlight units, and is the first company in the world to mass produce environmentally-friendly, bio-compostable film,’ he continues. ‘At Bordic, our immediate objective is to ensure that SKC shrinkable polyester films remain the benchmark against which our competitors are measured, not only in South Africa but throughout Africa. While we’re providing these consistent, premium-quality films and professional local technical support, we’re also focused on building enduring business relationships with leading label converters.’