PHOTO: Thousands of colours – The new visitor centre at SAPY Colours in Hammarsdale KZN is the place to see how the company’s expertise in the manufacture of high standard-high dispersion colours is translated into reality
SAPY has opened its new visitor centre in Hammarsdale, KZN, where it is showing off its expertise in the vividly coloured industrial yarn and high quality colour masterbatches for plastics in general.
That expertise has been built up over the past 21 years, since the company was established in 1994 – so SAPY is due for a celebration!
The SAPY team has been expanding and fine-tuning its production units, storage facilities, labs and all other equipment in Eaton Road in Hammarsdale, midway between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The opening of the ultra-smart visitor centre is one of the most recent steps in what is an ongoing and major process.
Consistent success throughout PE and PP markets
The display at the visitor centre gives a good overall view of SAPY masterbatches that can be found in virtually any PP or PE based product in Southern Africa. Many products are good examples of years of perseverance, significant research and development, and sustainable competitive pricing.
SAPY (SA Polypropylene Yarn) commenced with the production of PP yarns in 1994 following within a few years with masterbatches to colour the yarns. The company is unusual in that it is the only manufacturer of masterbatch in South Africa that is also a consumer of its own product.
It rapidly found that its expertise in the manufacture of the high dispersion colour masterbatch required for the yarn was becoming a marketable specialty and the colours have since achieved consistent success throughout the PE and PP markets.
“Our experience from running the largest yarn facility in southern hemisphere, plus being the only masterbatch manufacturer in South Africa that is also a consumer of our own product, gives us a massive advantage. For example, our pigment selection is crucial for colour continuity and dispersion in our yarn, and we use the same quality for all our masterbatches irrespective of application,” said SAPY Colours marketing manager, Tracy Campbell.
R&D division has comprehensive range of masterbatch testing equipment
“In addition, the state-of-the-art R&D division is really impressive, having the only fully comprehensive range of equipment to test masterbatch across the spectrum of all plastic applications.
This includes a 55mm blown-film line, yarn extruder, injection moulder, and sample blow-moulding line. The myriad of testing equipment is too much to list, but our customers can rest assured knowing that we are committed to traceability, consistency and quality,” Tracy added.
A powerful database for cataloging and expediting custom masterbatches has allowed SAPY to take this expertise to the next level. It runs top-of-the-range twin-screw extruders offering masterbatch with optimum run-ability and dispersion.
SAPY’s most popular masterbatches include its white masterbatch, which Tracy explained, has an excellent bright whiteness due to the pigment supplier's manufacture process of the TI02.
“This quality and the fine particle size make our range of affordable white masterbatches a premier choice for the flexibles industry. Our colours remain very popular, especially in the lubricant and homewares industries,” she added.
SAPY also produce a wide variety of additives and are well known in the market for offering product development in this area, to give customers a competitive edge.
Library of thousands of colours
The past 20 or so years have allowed SAPY to accumulate an ever-growing library of thousands of colours, and it is from this significant achievement that SAPY has coined the phrase ‘Welcome2Colours’.
“We want our customers to experience colour, as it does more than just give us objective information about our world; it affects how we feel. With our range of masterbatch and additives, we help our customers to really stand out from the crowd in this highly competitive market space,” said Tracy.
The company is currently working towards ISO 22 000 (food safety) and ISO 14 000 (environmental) accreditation, further solidifying it as a serious market player.
According to Tracy, the aim is to continue with the programme of growth that will allow SAPY to continue manufacturing high-standard colours on a basis that is sustainable at every step.
“With our vigorous and continuous expansion, SAPY is continuing to establish a stronger foothold in the masterbatch market,” she added.