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Cornering the market

Investment in automatic folding-gluing technology is adding to capacity at Magnum Packaging, reports Karen Stretch.

IN 2001, Roodepoort businessman, Koot Meyer, launched a specialised hand packing and finishing business called Magnum Packaging.

With a strong eye for detail and a determined focus on personalised service, he and his small team were soon attracting the attention of some of South Africa’s renowned brand owners.

By 2003, the business had expanded considerably, and Koot ploughed back some of his hard-earned rands to purchase a Roland two-colour press to complement his packaging services.

Fast forward 11 years and today Magnum Packaging is owned and managed by Koot’s son, Kobus, and business partner, Allan Naicker, and occupies three adjacent factories in the heart of Stormill, Johannesburg, employing 65 full-time staff and around 40 contract workers.

Most recently, Kobus and Allan have stepped up converting and finishing activities to cope with production demands, installing a new Brausse TB1100 C4 C6 folder-gluer, supplied by Alliance Machinery.

‘We were beginning to run out of finishing capacity and needed a value-for-money, high-speed folder-gluer to maintain a smooth workflow,’ comments Kobus, who oversees production, supported by factory manager, Selwyn de Jong.

Magnum Packaging delivers top-class printing and die-cutting for a broad spectrum of well-known brands across all market sectors and boasts a wide range of printing and finishing equipment including five-colour and six-colour Roland presses, laminating, die-cutting and cold glue machinery.

Kobus is happy to confirm that the Brausse is already making a significant difference to production efficiencies and helping create additional business opportunities. ‘Its performance has surpassed our expectations, superbly  handling complex and delicate cartons. We’ve also received exemplary support from Bradley Bate and the team at Alliance Machinery,’ he adds.

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Brausse, a member of the Bobst Group, boasts first-class technology that incorporates electrical components sourced from Omron and Siemens and PLC controls from Mitsubishi.

Among many features on its feeder section are eight individually-adjustable feed belts with quick adjustment system; a feeder start/stop device that’s controlled from all operator stations; two standard feed gates and a 30mm-wide feed gate for small boxes.

On the gluing front an upper extrusion glue application system from HHS in Germany is used for overhead gluing and crash-lock bottoms, as well as lower left- and right-hand glue wheel systems.

For folding, three belt carriers and speed adjustment for left and right folding belt are included. The entrance height of the upper belt carrier is adjustable and the top belt can be lifted for accurate control of the cartons throughout the machine.

Other standard features include batch counter and kicker and jam detector. Two operation modes allow for compression of folded cartons, and an additional press belt for compression of crash lock and four- and six-corner glued boxes.

Comments Kobus: ‘These features perfectly suit our requirements, producing premium-quality folding cartons.’ According to Bradley Bate, MD of Alliance Machinery, Brausse is a great value-for-money brand that’s ideal for fast-growing medium-sized businesses such as Magnum. ‘Brausse is recognised for delivering high-performance technology at a manageable and competitive price. What’s more, we offer after-sales support and service by experienced and dedicated staff who understand local industry requirements,’ he remarks.

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Adapting for expansion

With production running smoothly, Allan Naicker is driving sales by demonstrating Magnum’s clear-cut strategy to improve service and deliver quality at highly-competitive prices.

He’s excited about the fresh business opportunities presented by this latest investment. ‘We’re already gaining a reputation for delivering the finest quality folded cartons and the Brausse allows additional flexibility to handle intricate carton designs,’ he relates. ‘As our business expands, continuity is all important. Many customers have been with us from the start and as they’ve grown so have we. Maintaining a personal service approach and adapting to evolving market demands is top priority,’ he adds. ‘The Brausse foldergluer assists enormously because it handles four- and six-corner gluing on a wide variety of carton sizes and thicknesses. Additionally, high speed automation means we can literally double our finishing capacity, eliminate production bottle necks, and deliver orders quickly and efficiently.’

In addition to this investment, Kobus, Allan and the entire Magnum team are busy revamping the operating in preparation for an ISO 22000 audit.

‘We’re enormously grateful to our customers for their support,’ states Kobus. ‘Without their investment in us, we wouldn’t be able to grow at such a rapid pace. We still offer specialised hand-packing and finishing services as well, so we’re providing a truly universal packaging service.’

Allan concurs: ‘It’s an exciting time for us and we’ll continue to improve our technologies and skills to keep ahead of the game. In fact, if we stay on this growth path, we should take over this entire business park by mid-2014!’ he concludes with a smile.