45 years to retirement for Voight
Capetonian Melvin Voight is almost due to celebrate his retirement after a remarkable 45 years of service at RPC Astrapak.
Mr Voight began his career with a German company in 1972, manufacturing fiberglass wine tanks for the local farming industry at that time. He explains that there were a few company name changes during his tenure, and the company became known as Thermopac in 1996.
He was committed to his role as a machine operator, setting moulds and learning how to make the moulds. “In 1980, it was mandatory to implement Quality Control within the plant. I started with the Quality Team and have been part of the team until now, serving as a Quality Supervisor and Technician,” he said.
Speaking about his most memorable moments of his career, Mr Voight said, “The best part was when we changed from PVC to PET, as it wasn't environmentally friendly. We isolated the machines that were running PVC until it was completely out of the system. We managed to successfully do this in one go, at the same time without any cross contamination, which was an amazing achievement for our team.
“We were also tasked with making cPET material, which can be baked in an oven without melting. The astounding part of this task is that we started without any product information whatsoever! After only nine days, we got it right and found success. We could bake the tray in the oven at 210 degrees without melting. This was a huge achievement for us and one that I remember very well. At that time, a Danish company had utilised nine tonnes of material and it took them 11 months, whereas it took us nine days with 500 kilograms of waste by testing the process,” he said.
In his spare time, he enjoys playing darts and swimming, which is a favourite past time. “About 35 years ago, myself and some friends swam across the Brandvlei Dam in winter, starting at Rawsonville and swimming across to Villiersdorp. It took us five hours and 40 minutes!”
As he starts contemplating his retirement, Mr Voight is looking forward to sitting on the stoep and resting, and is also planning a long drive up country.
RPC Astrapak Thermopac General Manager, Craig Matthews, said: “Melvin’s long service is truly remarkable, particularly in today’s environment. He has been exceptionally loyal and has always shown full commitment to the work that he carries out. He will be a great loss for the company and we will miss his incredible expertise. On behalf of the entire team at RPC Astrapak Thermopac, we wish Melvin all the very best in his retirement.”