Snapshots from Propak Cape 2017

Propak Cape 2017 was hit at Cape Town’s CTICC last week – superbly supported by 200 vendors across its ‘packaging, processing, plastic, labelling, printing’ byline and  attracting some 6,000 visitors over the three days. Generally, the event felt and looked sophisticated and truly world-class. Editor, Brenda Neall, spent two days browsing the show and presents these snapshots….

Future-ready Tetra Pak: I recently read an article on momentous packaging advances, and this is what it had to say about the globally ubiquitous Tetra Pak carton: “Tetra Pak is an amazing innovation in the 21st century which has revolutionised beverage packaging.

“It checks all the requirements for a perfect, technology-based packaging. From safety, preservation, transport-safe to leakage free, Tetra packaging has sorted many logistical problems in the food and beverage industry.”

Penny Ntuli and Agripa Munyai, respectively communications and environmental managers for Tetra Pak SA, snapped here on their very elegant stand that showcased the full range of Tetra Pak’s diverse offer, would certainly agree with those sentiments.

Munyai expanded on the great strides being made, in collaboration with MPACT and Golden Era/Gayatri, to recycle the 35 000 tons of Tetra Pak cartons that are used per annum in SA, and the challenges in getting consumers and local government to do their bit in improving this valuable collection chain.

Filkraft: Johan Beyers (far left) is a legend in the game of liquid filling and packaging, as the founder of Filmatic in Paarl which can boast that its renowned systems are likely found in most liquid food/drinks factories in South and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Johan retired and sold out of the business a while back, but retirement got boring and so he’s part up a new company, Filkraft, started along with his son, Danie, (2nd left), and the rest of the team: Rene, Nico, Lourens and Kobus.

They’re particularly proud of the design and acme quality of their K100-K200 Series fillers, rotary level fillers that that can fill from 200ml to 5-litre containers, and are ideal for filling milk, juice, water and any non-carbonated low viscosity products.

The Polyoak Group: There is always something novel to see at any expo where Polyoak features, and Propak Cape 2017 was no exception.

My “Most Interesting Moment” of the show was spotted here: awarded to Ella Classic, a super-innovative way to enjoy a fine cappuccino melange on the go. It has been developed by Cape Town entrepreneur, Neil Hellman, with his daughter, Cassie, on duty to promote it at the expo (above).

You simply shake the cup for 20 seconds, pour into a mug and add 150ml of hot water, for a frothy, delicious, preservative-free cappuccino, that is shelf stable at ambient temperatures. And it really works!

The possible marketing potential is huge. Hellman has been working on this for four years – not surprising considering the complex packaging and production hurdles to cross for this sort of product – and has invested in a production plant in Paarl. He’s going to the market slowly, said Cassie, trialing it at SPAR in Hout Bay first.

Polyoak is particularly proud of the packaging it has created for Hellman; a retortable cup, complete with frothing widget in its base, as well as an oxygen barrier in-mould label. This is definitely one to keep an eye on!

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Also on the Polyoak stand: Next to catch my eye was this new product by Clover, a shelf-stable, creamy mayo – interesting venture by the dairy giant into a completely new sector.

Once the shrink-sleeve label is removed, in a nice, upcycling touch, it reveals a useful reusable tub, dubbed My Crayons, My Keys, My Teabags etc. 

The exciting part of this product is the oxygen barrier in-mould label on the inside (that says Crayons etc). This innovative technology enables this product to have extended shelf life under ambient conditions.

New aseptic packaging from Polyoak: Dairypack Cartons is a new division in the group, specialising in the marketing and distribution of aseptic packaging systems in exclusive partnership with Italy’s IPI, part of the Coesia group.

IPI  is a full system supplier that has been providing fully integrated filling machines, multi-layer packaging and closure solutions for the aseptic packaging of liquid products in multilayer structure for over 35 years.

Dairypack Cartons has partnered with IPI to offer the market new and exciting carton  shapes, to “push the  boundaries of the standard carton brick”. There are already IPI-packaged brands on the local market, ie Rugani Carrot Juice and ZZ2’s 100% Romanita Tomato Juice.

FlexLink’s collaborative robot: The Italian Coesia group is also directly setting up in South Africa to market and service its range of high-end conveyors and palletizing robots.

Briton, Cyprien Brochard, who is establishing the local operation, is pictured here with a palletizing cell and very graceful robot that was mesmerizing to watch.

Among several benefits, it has a significantly smaller footprint than traditional industrial robots, no cage is needed and operators can work safely side-by-side with it; it’s modular, quiet, easy to install and configure, and has a claimed ROI of less than three years.

Robotics and automation were a very prominent trend on display at Propak Cape 2017 – something to seriously alarm any trade unionist visitors!

Tramper Technology comes to SA: It’s encouraging that another European vendor has confidence in SA’s economy and potential in these troubled times.

Tramper Technology from Holland recently set up shop in Somerset West to market, construct and service an extensive range of customised packaging machines and entire production lines for the food industry: denesters, filling, tray sealing, lidding systems among them.

Here Tramper’s sales director, Marco de Koster, explains a packaging line on show to Tiger Brands’ Sibusiso Mlungwane.

Dale Spiral Systems and Bakery Automation: This is a super success story of a start-up business in Jo’burg in 1999 that can now claim being a world leader in handling and spiral freezing systems for both the poultry and baking industries.

Co-founder, Jill Dale, was at Propak Cape with Marco Hillebrand, international sales director (left), to promote their diverse lines, with diversity being key. “We can custom our lines to suit the market demands,” said Dale.

Of interest, Dale’s equipment is now responsible for cooling and conditioning over 10m bread loaves a day! Some recent work they’ve done is a system for rustic rusk making, most evidently a product moving out of the artisanal arena into the mainstream.

Bidvest Technilamp: There’s nothing new about UV sterilisation, but interest from the food industry has picked up in recent years due to the growing demand from international and local retailers and their customers for environmentally friendly and chlorine-free products.

Technilamp was at Propak Cape to promote their Ultra-Violet C systems, that use this invisible spectrum of light to eliminate viruses, bacteria, moulds and odour on surfaces.

“The use of UV-C technology in the disinfection of fruit, vegetables, nuts, meats and bread has increased substantially of late,” said Technilamp MD, Hylton Cowie (left).

“No other technology has the capability, the adaptability and the favourable cost economics to control bacteria in the food chain.”

The UV-C systems can be designed either for disinfection at the time of pre-packaging, during the actual packaging process or prior to sealing of the contents.

Win-Pak Labels & Packaging: The Capricorn Park-based packaging company had two small but powerful stands to show off their expertise and flexibility in the digital printing of labels, as well as their clever grip sheets that keep pallet loads intact.

“If you want to print a relatively small number of custom labels, you will always get a better price with digital printing,” said MD Ant Pearse (left).

“Additionally, you get better much resolution than flexo printing, plus custom label designs and content can change frequently.”

Pearse is seen here with colleague, Hannes Brand (right), on their stand where they had a busy time demo-ing a new item in their inventory, the BenchMATE, small, robust and portable hand-operated SA labellers out of Australia that eliminate tedious and unreliable hand application. An ideal option for small volume producers.

Hulamin hoopla: This was a lovely stand, with a bakery shop-like image that greatly appealed to visitors, as did some delicious eats!

Sabine Stoeckigt (right) and Tracey-Anne Williams were promoting Hulamin Containers large range of aluminium containers that offer food manufacturers a perfect form of packaging: lightweight, scope for interesting NPD, better alternative to plastic, impeccable protection of contents and liquid-tight, heat-sealable edges.

“All Hulamin aluminium foil containers are manufactured with at least 50% recycled content,” noted Stoeckigt. “Aluminium is 100% recyclable, making it the most sustainable food packaging material.”

Inspiring Proficient Packaging: Here was perhaps my second “Most Interesting Moment” of the expo, found at Proficient Packaging’s stand, the Cape Town producer of flexible packaging bags in various shapes and forms.

It’s an absorbent travel bag (left of MD Noel Cochius here) called the B•DRY that protects luggage from leaky or broken bottles.

It comprises an absorbent pad that will soak up to 750ml of liquid, in a leak-proof zip-locked bag. What a brilliant way to overcome the tyranny of rip-off Duty-Free shops when travelling internationally!

Cochius was also promoting BOPP anti-mist zipper bags that surely are a no-brainer for the fresh herbs industry – who doesn’t hate the price, and mostly waste, of herbs that perish when you’ve used but a pinch of them. Great ideas, both!

AGQPE: There is always something new to see with AGQPE!

Here proprietor, Amotz Golan, has his hand on a new entry-level tray sealer out of Korea aimed at start-ups and small retailers, but he was particularly excited to be offering the newly-launched H’eataway Tray, developed by MPACT, and claimed as the world’s first insulating tray for microwaves and ovens.

What’s so special about the CPET H’eataway? “When hot you can still handle it; it has 30% less weight than comparable trays but is more durable and won’t crack; and has a dramatically lower carbon footprint,” he explained.

The MPACT publicity says it’s positioned to become the “aspirational and leading HMR tray for brands that use environmental awareness to enhance brand image”.