Propak Cape 2014 in review: A winning expo

The biggest ever Propak Cape, incorporating FoodPro, Pro-Plas Expo, Print Expo and Pro-Label Cape, took place at the Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC) from October 21-23 and was a winner with 6 113 visitors who attended it over the three days.

Showcasing the latest products and technologies available from the packaging, food processing, plastics, printing, labelling and wine manufacturing equipment industries, Propak Cape exhibitors were given plenty of opportunity to engage with visitors and reported off-the-floor sales as well as generating sales leads and valuable business networking.

“Propak Cape takes place in Cape Town every three years,” says Gary Corin, MD of Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, organisers of the show.

“This year’s show was the biggest ever with over 5000 square metres of net space, which is about a 30% growth over the previous show. The general feedback has been incredibly positive. Trade happened, equipment and machinery was sold, deals were brokered and good partnerships were forged”.

One of the products showcased by industrial food processing machinery company Eptech was the Kronen Model GS-10, a belt-fed cutting machine for fruits and vegetables, suitable for slicing long products like carrots and cucumbers and for the shredding of leaf vegetables. Visitors were also able to see the Tenrit Model Solo-C Carrot Knife Peeler in action, which is fast becoming the standard for carrot peeling as the entire carrot is peeled in such a way that it looks hand-peeled and totally without abrasions on the outer surface, thus promoting shelf life. Eptech director John Binedell says that the “feedback has been fantastic this year” and confirmed that he’s had a “huge order placed for advancement in the carrot industry in South Africa”.

Pyrotec PackMark,demonstrated the new Laser C350 and showcased the SmartLase C series that provides solutions whatever the rate, size and substrate of the product. The SL C150, SL C350 and SL C350 L are designed for markets such as frozen food, chocolate confectionery and dried process food that need to code paper-based containers and the SL C150 S and SL C350 S are designed to code on PET, reducing the risk of piercing containers, even lightweight thin-walled bottles.

“We’ve had a lot of new walk-ins this year and the show assists to increase our footprint. We’ve launched our new equipment such as the SL C350 and 150 lasers as well as our latest inkjet technology,” says Brandon Pearce, GM at Pyrotec PackMark. “It’s was a busy show and we received good positive enquiries”.

A fourth time exhibitor at Propak Cape, HG Molenaar says this year has been the busiest show to date. “Visibility is the biggest reason we exhibit at Propak – in both Johannesburg and Cape Town,” says Charles Heyns, sales director at HG Molenaar. “We measure our success by the number of sales made at the show as well as the longer term projects over the next 12-18 months.”

Visitors were able to view the recently launched Videojet LPA (label, print and apply) equipment as well as the latest inkjet printers and new thermal inkjet coding.

Geiger and Klotzboucher, manufacturers of food packaging material for mainly the meat, fish and cheese industry used Propak Cape to showcase new products that are unique to them.

Says MD, Chris Klotzbucher, “One of the most difficult things to pack is anything that has a bone in it, but we have developed a vacuum shrink bag that allows you to vacuum pack products with bones. It’s strong, has a high barrierand gives fresh meat a much longer shelf life.”

Multivac Southern Africa launched its new R 085 entry-level model for thermoforming packaging at Propak Cape, bringing it into South Africa especially for the show. The machine can be used for running both flexible films and rigid films and is suitable for packing non-food products as well as food.

“We always come to Propak Cape and it’s a great way for us to meet with and show our new products to the customers,” says David Morley, national equipment manager at Multivac. “We have had excellent feedback from visitors who have seen the machine running on the Multivac stand and have had many positive leads.”

Marel launched a waterproof box labeller at Propak Cape – the first full wash down machine in the market. The waterproof OCM9500 box/crate labeller is suitable for automatic weighing and labelling applications in both wet and dry production environments. The unit handles crates and boxes up to 40kg in weight, providing consistent weighing accuracy with automatic zero tracking.

Rodney Macer-Wright, GM at Marel, says that Propak Cape provides “a very good platform for meeting new customers, getting feedback from the industry on our equipment and discussing solutions from standard weighing equipment through to big full line projects.”

Michelle Penlington, group marketing manager at Polyoak Packaging says Propak Cape “was a bumper show this year and a number of our award-winning products were launched and showcased including our Melrose Cheese Wedges pack, our Butro tub and our child resistant closures, all of which have won gold medals in their category”.

Propak Cape portfolio director, Joshua Low, says he is delighted with the positive outcome of the show and with the increased numbers of visitors and exhibitors over the previous show in 2011.

“The initial allocated exhibition space was sold out months in advance of the show and due to the continued demand for space we made the decision to expand into a second hall, which has not happened before. The enthusiasm from exhibitors has been overwhelming and many of the bigger exhibitors have sold a lot of equipment off their stands. Before the close of this year’s show, 41% of exhibitors had already signed for Propak Cape 2017.”

Alongside the 240 exhibitors showcasing the latest machinery and equipment, there was a full programme of workshops and free-to-attend seminars. IPSA hosted a number of sessions on key trends and legislation effecting companies in the packaging and related sectors. The free-to-attend seminars covered topics on packaging, plastics, printing, food labelling regulations, effective food processing, recycling, design, innovation and leadership, amongst others. Plastics SA also ran a workshop alongside Propak Cape on the second morning of the show.

Propak Cape has the continued support and endorsement of the Institute of Packaging in SA (IPSA), Printing SA, Plastics SA and the Packaging Council of South Africa and, concludes Corin, “We look forward to working with them again in association with Propak Africa which takes place at Nasrec in Johannesburg from 15-18 March 2016 and the next Propak Cape taking place at the CTICC from 24-26 October 2017.”