Among last year’s news was the supply of an impressive 14-metre-long stand-up pouch-making machine at the Diep River premises of Supreme Packaging (PPM March 2014), a purpose-built machine for the production of speciality pouches. The 900mm-wide line copes with an output of 1 500 pouches/hour, with the option of single or double gusset, while its modular design allows insertion of various fitments such as taps and spouts.
But, in fact, Maverick Engineering’s impressive sales graph reflects a far larger percentage of its production going offshore, rather than to local converters – and an even more recent example of the company’s prowess is the sale of a massive 33-metre-long bag-maker for the production of 220-litre and 1 000-litre bags, destined for Bemis Specialty Packaging in the US – part of the multinational Bemis Company – a prime supplier of flexible packaging to leading consumer goods companies worldwide.
A recent visit to Maverick Engineering uncovered a four-man team from Bemis inspecting every aspect of the machine during commissioning trials prior to its being shipped to the US.
Asked why they would choose to buy such equipment in South Africa when the US has a surfeit of home-grown manufacturers, and whether their decision could be ascribed to South Africa’s ultra-weak currency, a Bemis spokesman was quick to reply.
‘It’s the quality of the engineering and Maverick’s great reputation for excellent service!’ were his unequivocal words.
Reflecting the global nature of the business, Maverick recently established a London-based sales and marketing office, known as Maverick Global UK, with Derek Fay and Adrian Jackson as directors, while Hilton Traviss takes on the MD’s position at the Maverick Engineering operation in Cape Town. Another recent appointment is that of Gordon Metter as the company’s dedicated sales consultant in the 1 000-litre and dunnage bag market.
Going back in history, Maverick has earned a fine reputation since 2002 when Derek and his team built their first-ever 1 000-litre bag-making machine for a Cape Town company (Stopak).
This focus on IBCs later moved to Canada where Maverick had an alliance with GN Packaging, a specialist in 1 000-litre bag lines, while Maverick’s attention turned to high-speed machines for bags from two to 220 litres.
Now, however, the focus returns to bag-making machinery for IBCs, and Maverick produces a full range of machines to produce bags in all the usual liquid packaging materials, and with any number of fitments (taps and glands).
Taking a closer look at the machine destined for Bemis Specialty Packaging, output when producing 1 000-litre bags in one lane is 480 bags/hour. However, the machine can also produce 220-litre bags in two lanes, at a rate of up to 1 500 bags/hour. It features six independent unwind stands for bags up to three layers (top) and three layers (bottom), with each reel independently driven with automatic web edge guide tracking. Each reel has a pneumatically-controlled dancer arm assembly to ensure constant web tension; and a static induction system minimises inter-ply air entrapment. There are four draw (pull) stations, with two independent nip sets per station, and an unwind station with four servo-driven nip sets for web length control – two for the top plies and two for the bottom plies. The web roller ‘turnaround’ assembly allows for insertion of fitments such as taps and glands into the bottom layer of the bag. Getting to the vital statistics, maximum web width is 2 450mm; and reel diameter 800mm.
There can be no doubt that Maverick Engineering has emerged as a market leader in an ever-expanding global market for bag- and pouch-making machinery, and that’s a real feather in the cap of this Cape Town-based company.