PHOTO: Improving flow, improving lives – iPackChem operates from impressive new 7500m² premises at Cosmo Business Park at Kya Sand, Johannesburg. Just about every detail has been taken care of in the design of the plant, coordinated by the French parent company, allowing for easiest possible flow from incoming materials to out-going moulded product. The new facility includes a well-equipped staff canteen, with part of the objective being to improve the work experience for all staff
QUADRO Plastics, the large container blow moulding business, has been bought by the global iPackChem group, a world leader in the production and fluorination of rigid plastic containers which is headquartered in France with converting operations in France, England, Hungary, Russia and Brazil.
Quadro has been renamed Ipackchem SA and has moved to substantially more modernize and expanded premises at Cosmo Business Park, Kya Sand, Johannesburg. The company, established by Ken Morgan in 1992 and now run by his son Simon, previously operated from Strydom Park.
Ipackchem specialises in state-of-the-art barrier technologies for rigid plastic containers with UN packaging certification. It has developed proprietary in-mould fluorination technology, which is new in South Africa. With this technology, fluorine gas is introduced into the mould cavity with nitrogen during the blowing stage, achieving the required modification of the polymers to the barrier specs required. This eliminates the extra step usually required for fluorination of rigid containers, which in most cases involves transporting containers to such a facility, and is hence an important advantage for the container manufacturer.
Quadro manufactures HDPE containers from 1-25 litres, a large portion of which are for the packaging of oil, fuel, solvent, essences, beverages and similar substances which require fluorination to prevent migration from within or ingress of oxygen. This led specifically to iPackChem’s interest in the South African converting business, initially in 2015. iPackChem has now completed the purchase of the business for an undisclosed sum and founder Ken Morgan has duly retired. In his wake, sons Simon and Matthew Morgan have been appointed MD and sales director respectively.
African connection Ipackchem was established in 1987 under the name Airopak, a division of Air Products & Chemicals, to exploit the ‘in-line fluorination’ patented process. It was bought in 1991 by Boxmore International of Northern Ireland. The African connection was established following Boxmore’s entry to the SA market a few years later, in 1995.
The business was subsequently renamed iPackChem and expanded steadily from its main site in Saint-Etienne, France. It opened in Crewe (United Kingdom), Peremarton (Hungary) and Paulinia (Brazil), honing its systems and technologies and creating the capabilities to so successfully undertake the project with Quadro in Johannesburg.
Besides HDPE blow moulding as well as in-mould fluorination, Ipackchem is involved in co-extrusion of HDPE with PA or EVOH, double-stage PET container production and the double-barrier iPackShield® process. The latter process is described as a ‘unique combination of in-mould fluorination to a six-layer coextrusion structure offering a double solvent barrier combined with an oxygen barrier’.