PND team celebrates - Mike Datson, Monique Datson, Les Nel and Gordon Pieterse toast the arrival of their new Kai Mei blow moulding machine
NEWCOMER to the rigids plastics market in South Africa is 18-month-old PND Plastics in Pinetown which recently commissioned a Kai Mei blow moulding line from suppliers YTS (Your Technical Solution) to manufacture large HDPE containers.
PND Plastics was launched in 2016 when partners Gordon Pieterse, Les Nel and Mike Datson decided it was an opportune time to break into the rigid plastics market.
“Albeit in a small way - with a modest factory operation manufacturing 20L and 25L containers,” explained Les Nel.
“The first task of the trio was to choose a suitable name for the company, and yes you guessed it, PND Plastics (taken from the partners’ surnames) was born. We were well warned by some of the most experienced operators in the blow moulding industry, that this was not as easy as it looked, and sure enough we were very soon to pay haunting school fees,” Nel added.
Some 18 months on, and the operation has really ‘come up trumps’ and the company’s second line, the Kai Mei PBS-905 was commissioned during the middle of this year, assisted all the way by Mark and Annette Varrie of YTSM, the Kai Mei agents in South Africa.
“This is our first Kai Mei machine and we are very impressed with both the quality and the performance,” said Nel. “Our initial entry into the market was cautious, testing the market to see if there was sufficient space for an additional converter. Having established that there was definitely an opportunity, we made the decision to increase production. We then proceeded to consider a number of machinery options and settled on the decision to purchase the Kai Mei blow moulder which represented a value for money option.”
The new machine runs a continuous parison and is fully automated. Nel said that aspects of the de-flashing unit were custom modified by Kai Mei, at no additional expense, to accommodate the design uniqueness of PND’s containers. The Kai Mei has a design capacity of 1,800 25L containers per day and the performance to cost ratio is marginally in excess of 4:1 which is excellent.
“There are very few wasted costs that can compare to ‘down time’ and so to have YTS based very close to our factory has been an advantage. Mark was a ‘rock star’ when it came to commissioning the machine and as usual he is readily available for any support and training needs that may arise,” Nel added.