Africa’s largest packaging company, Nampak, has chosen SIPA’s XFORM 500 preform production system to make juice and CSD bottle preforms for major beverages players on the South African market. The system was installed during 2013 and has exceeded Nampak’s expectations.
SIPA supplied a complete preform system that included the XFORM500 injection moulding machine equipped with a 72-cavity mold, together with two more 72-cavity cold halves, to produce preforms in various weights for production of bottles between 500 mL and 2 L in volume.
A pioneer in PET
When it comes to PET bottle packaging, Nampak knows what it is talking about: it was in fact the first packaging supplier in Africa and the second in the world to blow PET bottles . It began producing PET bottles for local and international brands during the 1970s, and since then it has built up a substantial collection of preform systems from several major suppliers. It is the owner of a huge quantity of legacy moulds. Now, Nampak can install each and every one of those legacy moulds on the XFORM 500, without restriction and without the need for any modifications.
“Nampak was looking for a reliable partner who, on top of being capable of supplying first class preform systems, understands packaging development,” says Giovanni De Rosa, SIPA’s Southern Africa Area Manager. “We have in-depth design and production expertise in systems and molds, and we know the market inside out. We have our own office in South Africa too, so we can stay on top of things here.”
Efficient production, full back-up
Nampak Petpak Technical Director Mthandeni Mkhize says: “We are really satisfied with our choice with the XFORM 500 and about the relationship we have established with SIPA. The system has been running smoothly since the day we first switched it on, achieving excellent preform quality. SIPA has made a good job with know-how transfer to our people, and on-site service is available with all the right skills, which helped provide a smooth transition. We are happy to have found a partner that can support us both on technology and on packaging development.”
SIPA’s XFORM 500 is actually capable of handling molds with up to 144 cavities. Not only will it accept molds from any supplier, but the molds can also be changed over inside 3.5 hours. The XFORM 500 has been designed to be robust, versatile, and also energy-efficient. Molds can be cooled with water at 14°C rather than the traditional 8°C, for example. Post-mold cooling is carried out in six stages. Continuous low speed screw rotation minimizes the stress on the PET to ensure minimal generation of acetaldehyde. Furthermore, XFORM 500 performs very well with RPET flakes: throughput drop is less than 10% with 50% flakes.
Nampak and SIPA are now continuing to work together on more projects, in connection with stretch- blow molding as well as injection molding. Nampak has grown substantially since it began making cardboard cartons in 1920. It now offers a comprehensive product range, across multiple industries throughout the African continent, manufacturing to the highest commercial and environmental standards in metal, glass, paper and plastics. Apart from South Africa, the company is also present in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It also has a strong presence in Europe, with nine sites in the UK.