Astrapak’s Plastop transformed to world-class facility

PHOTO: From left Robin Moore (CEO), Craig Schaffler (Technical Executive), Zamani Chonco (Technical Manager), Nawaaz Kalick (Group Procurement and Supply Executive), David Kelly (Financial Executive), Peter Berg (Project Manager), Anesh Mohanlall (Operations Manager), Tyrone Nadasen (Quality Manager).

PHOTO: From left Robin Moore (CEO), Craig Schaffler (Technical Executive), Zamani Chonco (Technical Manager), Nawaaz Kalick (Group Procurement and Supply Executive), David Kelly (Financial Executive), Peter Berg (Project Manager), Anesh Mohanlall (Operations Manager), Tyrone Nadasen (Quality Manager).

Astrapak’s base is entrenched in South Africa and no compromise or concession is afforded any of the production facilities by the leadership and management to attain world-class operating standards and recognition. Being leaders within our industry on every possible level is not negotiable.

In line with their strategy to continuously reform, modernise and improve their manufacturing facilities, Astrapak has undergone various levels of reorganising and rehabilitating several of their facilities, furthering their commitment to improving their model and value offered to stakeholders.

Astrapak has chosen Plastop KZN as the latest facility to undergo changes, transforming it into the world-class facility it is, creating an Injection Blow Moulding (IBM) Technology Centre of Excellence.

Group Procurement and Supply Executive, Nawaaz Kalick, expressed Astrapak’s commitment to expand the business. “In line with our quest to constantly upgrade and improve our sites to world-class standards, we chose Plastop KZN for the most recent major revamp.

“Our commitment to expand our existing business together with additional volumes recently contracted with one of our multi national blue chip customers was the driving force behind this particular facility being the focus of change. The changes brought about in this facility allowed us to make process and equipment changes as well, involving upgrading of equipment to improve reliability and on time delivery.”

Working in an incredibly tight time frame, the entire plant was shut down on 12 December 2016 and had services in place to restart operations by 23 December. In that time, no less than 22 machines were either introduced or repositioned, while additional power supply was installed, water supply reconnected, floors were resealed, part of the roof was repaired and repainted, and new compressed air units were installed. Nothing less of a major revamp for this production powerhouse!

Production without attention to driving the Quality Assurance at Astrapak would be unacceptable. Thus, the Quality Control Lab was extended to create the space and opportunity to enhance the quality assurance and quality control processes that are already in place to not only cater for the increased production, but to ensure that the facility meets and exceed Customer expectations.

Furthermore and in keeping with the Group pledge to introduce sustainability wherever possible, investment was made into the use of a borehole, reducing reliance on mainstream water supply. Considerable cost was expended on energy saving lighting and the introduction of natural light systems.

Mr Kalick commended the work of Project Manager Peter Berg, who co-ordinated the revamp and Anesh Mohanlall (Operations Manager) and their Teams on their efforts.

“Although the Plant was ready to resume production on 23 December, there was still peripheral work to complete to achieve the world-class standard required,” said Mr Kalick. “It is remarkable that this amount of work was achieved at this high standard within such a tight timeline.”

The Site was officially handed back to the Ops Team after an Executive Committee audit on 16 March 2017. The outcome of the upgrade and the rehabilitation of the Site more than met the expectations of the Executive team and the Site Team. It was especially encouraging to note that the successful implementation of the project was done with very little disruption to all stakeholders.

Mr Kalick said: “Maintenance work was carried out in advance to prepare the site for the transformation. The preparation included significant work being done on some unutilised equipment, especially those machines transferred from other sites. Over and above the physical equipment changes at the site during the project, we also focussed on pre-planning production up to four months before the shutdown. This allowed us to mitigate supply risks by pre-building stock and increasing SLA cover. In the process, we did not let any of our customers down.”

Mr Kalick extended his thanks on behalf of the Executive and leadership at Astrapak to everyone involved and congratulated them on the conclusion of a very successful and world-class transformation.

Mylene Paynter