28 June 2024


Read more +
Article by Nampak 30 July 2013

More than just a bottle

Nampak Glass is growing and its new leadership team is fully committed to building stronger customer relationships by delivering more choice, flexibility, quality and service. A number of strategic initiatives are in the pipeline, including significant investments in capacity, processes and technology, as well as a firm focus on key issues, like innovation, people and sustainability.

Since 2007, divisional managing director, Stoney Steenkamp, and the Nampak group executive have engineered the complete transformation of the company, and they’re looking forward to taking it to the next level in the future. To this end, the leadership team has been bolstered by the appointment of several senior people.

Operations director, Fanie Vermeulen, has been bottling and filling for over 30 years. Having worked on the FMCG side, he’s finely attuned to the needs of the industry and brings huge value to the table, particularly in terms of his ability to share world-class manufacturing processes, skills and systems. At the same time, sales director, Paul Coombe, has 23 years of packaging experience under his belt. During his multi-faceted Nampak career, he has held various management positions and offers a broad perspective and knowledge base, infused with passion, pride and purpose.

As a further commitment to transformation, Nampak Glass has employed two women in the roles of finance director and supply chain director, namely Gerda Janse van Vuuren and Alida van Bruggen. Previously, Gerda was a finance manager at Nampak head office, while Alida was a strategic role player elsewhere. Together, they bring a wealth of experience to the company.

To address the specific needs of the wine industry in the Western Cape, Nampak Glass has developed a dedicated infrastructure “for the Winelands in the Winelands.” A manager and service technicians provide guidance regarding any bottling challenges and needs, with further support from the factory in the form of customer services manager, David Ungerer. There are also warehouse facilities in Paarl and Wellington, which improve flexibility and reduce risk.

In-house designers use advanced modelling software to develop and evolve new glass packaging. At the push of a few buttons, they’re able to quantify the effects of aesthetic and structural changes on pack integrity and supply chain functionality, specifically finish, shape and weight.

Finite element analysis and the 3D printing of sample bottles are available from the Nampak group’s research and development facility in Cape Town. They’re a quick and easy way to review designs in tangible form before engaging in the costly and time-consuming process of mould manufacture, while giving marketers the opportunity and tools for proper evaluation in the trade and elsewhere.

Once the glass bottles are made, Nampak Glass offers a wide range of printing capabilities, as well as a value-added labelling service. A state-of-the-art Pressure Sensitive Label (PSL, [Status]) machine from Krones has been acquired for this purpose.

The company has achieved FSSC 22000 with PAS 223, which is a prerequisite for the packaging industry. It’s one of the first companies in South Africa to be implementing ISO 22301, the International Business Continuity Standard, and ISO 50001, the Energy Standard.

Delivery trucks comply with Euro 5 Emission Standards and are retro fitted with air suspensions for the smoother transportation of glass over long distances. This is particularly pertinent to customers in the Western Cape.

As a founding member of The Glass Recycling Company, Nampak Glass is involved in many community programmes, like placing 2 800 glass banks nationally, assisting more than 1 600 entrepreneurs and creating income-generating opportunities for over 35 000 glass collectors. In 2012, one billion glass bottles were recovered for recycling, which is approximately 2.8 million per day! As a result, South Africa’s glass recycling rate is 40.1%, the highest in Africa.

All glass produced in South Africa has at least 40% recycled content; and of all the packaging produced in the country, glass has the highest recycled content. One ton of ‘new’ glass made from recycled glass saves 315kg of CO2.

This progressive theme is underpinned by the Nampak group, which has made ongoing investments in Nampak Glass, namely R160-million for a cullet (waste glass, [Status]) processing plant, R938-million for the 50% previously owned by Wiegand-Glas, and nearly R1-billion for a third furnace. According to Steenkamp, the third furnace will improve manufacturing efficiencies and enable the supply of a broader range of containers.

While Nampak Glass is continuing to develop and grow, it remains deeply committed to giving its customers personal attention and service. The concept of ‘The Personal Touch’ is – and always has been – a defining feature of the Nampak Glass brand experience.

“Our hands-on approach to doing business has huge appeal and value, particularly in a transaction-driven economy where price and volume are the overriding objectives. At Nampak Glass, we have a fairly unique culture in so far that the lines of communication are open from top to bottom, and our leadership team is visibly active and responsible. This negates issues, like geography.”

“Given the pervasiveness of ‘The Personal Touch’ in everything we do, there’s no doubt that while the Winelands may be far away from the factory in Johannesburg, they’re never far away from us,” says Steenkamp. “When we travel overseas, we love seeing all the South African wines that stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best in the world. It’s an amazing feeling to know that we’re part of a distinctly home-grown success story, which can only go from strength to strength.”
Back to top ^