Nampak: Driving Innovation in the packaging arena

In May 2014 Nampak Plastics achieved the latest in a long line of successes, as the company triumphed at the international DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation, winning silver in the Packaging Innovation category for its multi-award-winning Infini bottle.

The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation, now in its 26th year, is an international, independently-judged competition that honours innovations in packaging design, materials, technology, processes, and service across the entire packaging value chain. Inaugurated in 1986, the DuPont Packaging Awards programme is now recognised as the leading packaging awards scheme in the world.

“Nampak is Africa’s leading packaging company,” proclaims the company website. “We offer the most comprehensive product range, across multiple industries throughout Africa, manufacturing to the highest commercial and environmental standards in metal, glass, paper and plastic.”

The company has a long history and can trace it roots back to the 1920s. It is split into several divisions: Paper and Board; Plastics; Metals; Glass; Non-packaging and a range of services.

Within the Paper and Board division, there are a number of companies:

woodNampak Corrugated provides packaging solutions not only to cartons, but also to packaging and palletisation optimisation solutions.

Nampak Cartons & Labels is considered to be a leading producer of lithographic and gravure printed folding cartons and labels.

“Our manufacturing plants in Johannesburg and Cape Town, produce an extensive range of quality products for many local and global brand leaders,” states the website. 

Nampak Liquid Cartons utilises a combination of local and international expertise which encompasses assistance in carton graphic design and continues right through to include carton filling, machine maintenance and upkeep. Value-added benefits for the customers include full technical back-up and 24 hour service.

“Our packaging solutions comply with the stringent quality and hygiene standards required in the food and beverage industries.

“Our international strategic alliances include Canadian Primographic Systems, Stora Enso—our paper suppliers—and Galdi, suppliers of filling machines. These alliances keep us current with the latest technology and have also enabled us to develop technology specifically for Southern African conditions.

“Our Isithebe plant in KwaZulu-Natal handles all manufacturing and converting of Conipak® cartons. Customer services and marketing are managed by our offices in Industria, Johannesburg and in Westmead, Durban,” the company website explains.

Nampak Sacks completes the suite of business interests within Nampak’s Paper & Board division and encompasses a high quality range of Kraft-based sacks, high gloss sacks and bags, and self-opening bags which are designed in line with the specific requirements of customers.

Nampak’s Plastics division operates 6 separate companies:

Nampak Flexible demonstrates the innovation at hand within the company:  “Our main areas of focus are consistent with good manufacturing practices, including On Time In Full (OTIF), costs, lead-times and quality. 

“We have 3 strategically-located plants throughout Southern Africa.  These plants specialise in their particular packaging technologies and operate according to world-class standards.

“Our KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape plants are ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001 accredited and have American Institute of Bakers (AIB) and British Retail Consortium (BRC) certifications as well as HACCP accreditation.

“Our plant in Port Elizabeth uses the Flexible Best manufacturing practices where the key focus is on manufacturing embossed film for the tyre and rubber industries.”

Nampak Liquid operates in the Eastern and Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, providing a range of plastic products which are supplied to the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage markets as well as the chemical industry, household detergents and food sectors.

“We pioneered the concept of in-plant blow moulding in South Africa—an option ideal for customers with sufficiently large volumes to warrant blowing bottles directly on their premises.”

Nampak Megapak and Polycyclers is the sole licensee for Mauser technology in South Africa and Schoeller Wavin Systems, manufacturing world-class drums and crates from 3 facilities in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

Nampak Petpak has produced PET bottles for local and international brands since 1979. 

shutterstock_125704769“Our track record, expert knowledge, cutting edge capability, in-house design service and quality products in the carbonated and still soft drink markets have made us a leading supplier in the Southern African region.

“We are a licensee of Graham Packaging for the manufacture of multi-trip bottles and have close associations with leading international machine suppliers including KHS, Krones, Sidel and ASB Nissei. We have 4 customer-specific dedicated in-plants and two commercial plants located in Cape Town and Johannesburg.”

Nampak Tubes offers modern thin wall injection-moulded technology and are leaders in producing high quality tubs.

Nampak Closures has aligned with major international players including Bericap and Portola, to enhance and diversify its range of services.

“Our comprehensive range of specialised closures including plastic bottle caps and lids, as well as plastic twist caps, are designed and engineered to achieve maximum product integrity and filling line efficiencies, crucial to the markets we serve.

“Nampak Closures is a HACCP and an ISO 9001:2000 accredited company offering customers a diverse range of plastic closures,” according to the site.

Nampak’s Metal division operates 3 businesses: 

Nampak Bevcan provides steel and aluminium beverage cans; while Nampak Divfood is the country’s leading manufacturer of food, aerosol and general line cans. Nampak Closures completes this division and makes aluminium and tin plate closures.

Nampak Glass formed when Nampak acquired the remaining 50 per cent shareholding in Nampak Wiegand Glass from Wiegand Glass in 2012.

“Our world-class manufacturing plant in Roodekop, Gauteng is equipped with the very latest in international technology and we are proud of our high operating efficiencies, which are in line with the best figures benchmarked worldwide.

“We provide our customers with an extremely diverse range of award-winning glass products. The flexibility of our range has been further extended, as a result of our rebuilt and enlarged furnace,” the company outlines.

In addition to these businesses Nampak Tissue manufactures high quality tissue, feminine hygiene products and other household products for the southern African markets; while the Inspection & Coding Solutions business provides marking, addressing, bar coding and labelling solutions for clients.

Nampak’s product range is diverse and each division has a strong focus on quality and innovation – the latter aspect of course addresses the environmental issues under scrutiny within the packaging sector.

The award-winning Infini beautifully demonstrates this innovation, winning Green Product of the Year at the British Engineering Excellence Awards in 2013 and being awarded silver for sustainability at the WorldStar Awards in the same year.

Commenting on the DuPont Award win, Eric Collins, Managing Director of Nampak Plastics, said: “Nampak Plastics is delighted to be internationally recognised by the DuPont Awards. We’re extremely proud of the efforts we take to ensure Nampak continues to make technological advancements, while also maintaining our responsibility to improve responsible packaging. We are also currently exploring how we collaborate with new partners so that the Infini design can benefit customers in new markets and geographies outside of Diary.”

“The DuPont Packaging Awards program recognizes and honors packaging excellence around the globe,” said Yasmin Siddiqi, DuPont Packaging Awards Program leader. “This year’s honorees demonstrate exceptional creativity in Technological Advancement, Responsible Packaging and Enhanced User Experience. These breakthroughs are revolutionizing the role of packaging and will be a catalyst for inspiring future innovations.”