Carton converter Shave & Gibson, one of South Africa’s leading privately owned manufacturers of litho printed cartons and E-flute boxes for the FMCG, beverage, and industrial markets in the Republic, has installed Vetaphone corona treatment technology on a 1500mm board sheeter at its plant in Mobeni, an industrial suburb of Durban in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The sale is part of Vetaphone’s drive to focus on wide web applications, and is the eighth of its type in South Africa in recent times.
According to S&G’s Dave King, CEO of the company’s Packaging Division: “We were encountering occasional problems with print quality on some of the poly coated boards we use, and this was unacceptable to us and our high profile brand owning customers.” Aware of the advantages of surface treatment, S&G set about researching the market for corona treaters and quickly found a local contact in Ipex Machinery.
“We have known and worked with Ipex for many years and trust their expertise – so were delighted to find that they represent Vetaphone, the pioneer and world leading manufacturer of corona treatment,” he added. The next question was how to make best use of the technology, without compromising press performance or workflow on the large format KBA Rapida presses used at the plant.
The answer proved to be simple – fit the Vetaphone unit to the board sheeter so that there is no restriction in press usage. The decision was made in September 2015 and the installation completed by Vetaphone and Ipex Machinery technicians. The Vetaphone corona treater in question is a double-sided air-cooled VE2D-A model powered by a Vetaphone iCorona 3-20kW generator, and is capable of corona treating at 500m/min to a level of 47 dyn/cm, depending on substrate.
Since it’s been in full production, the Vetaphone corona treater has prevented any print rejects and reruns due to ink lift or scuffing, and although difficult to quantify in monetary terms, has significantly boosted output and productivity at S&G on the more difficult boards. “Previously we had to accept whatever the dyne reading was on the roll when it was delivered. If it was really low we could send it out for treatment, but that was never ideal – now we have complete control of quality on all the material we sheet,” explained King.
Today, the Shave & Gibson Group employs 500 at its 28,000 sq/m plant in KZN and is one of South Africa’s premier supplier of high quality packaging, focussing on a food-safe folding carton converting operation and being a leading supplier to both small/medium enterprises and the major multi-nationals in the country. The company’s plant list includes a bank of KBA and Bobst technology, making S&G one of the most technically advanced converters in southern Africa.
Originally founded in 1981 by Neville Shave and Alan Gibson, the company was acquired by its current Chairman Simon Downs in 2005. In addition to package printing, since the purchase of Africard in 1989 and Stradprint in 1995, S&G has grown into the leading supplier of security printing products to the banking, retail, tele-communications sectors and to many government departments in South Africa and Africa.