New 1-day plastics conference launches to acclaim
Event attracts top plastics manufacturers
Nearly 95% of the audience were from South Africa and working for raw material and plastics conversion manufacturers. Job titles ranged from industrial engineer to general manager and technical manager with sales and marketing in between. Companies were either large multinationals such as BASF SA or domestic operations like DPI Plastics. Advanced Laboratory Solutions attended as a sponsor to showcase stress-testing equipment.
mPAD Plastics Manufacturing South Africa was co-located with the Afriplast plastics industry exhibition, one of 10 trade shows that make up INDUTEC, the South African Industrial and Technology Fair, which ran at Gallagher Convention Centre from 14 to 16 May.
Manufacturing Partnerships for African Development (mPAD) held its first conference in South Africa on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.
The one-day conference, titled Plastics Manufacturing South Africa, consisted of seven technical workshops and was well received by the audience of manufacturers and raw materials suppliers from domestic and multinational companies based in South Africa.
With an umbrella theme of Finding New Solutions to Improve Productivity and Energy Efficiency, chairman and speaker Bernard Reeksting, Technical Director of Centre for Polymer Technology, opened the day with a pertinent question for the delegates – ‘how much energy does your plant use?’
Insight-packed seminars While the 28-strong audience were left to consider their own energy usage, they heard updates on raw materials and additives from two leading plastics consultants – Annabé Pretorius and Tim Cooper. The sessions then focused on motivating your workforce with a thought-provoking presentation from Hendrik Lourens, writer of new publication ‘Management Guides’ and Technical Manager at Ampaglas. “Based on 20 years in the industry,” said Lourens, “I would say the plastics industry is doing a lot of wrong things well.” The audience responded positively by studying and questioning the alternative perspective from which Hendrik approaches efficiency within the work place.
Practical sessions followed including troubleshooting to reduce contamination, from Bernard Reeksting and two practical workshops on cutting energy usage. Sivuyile Hlam, Managing Director of Iskhus, presented on power-factor correction equipment, and Faith Daba of the National Cleaner Production Centre concluded the day with tips and ideas on how an energy audit could save companies millions. “Energy efficiency is really imperative to our industry’s livelihood and future,” said the chairman Bernard Reeksting. “Sivu and Faith’s presentations were top class and right on the button.”
Content relevant for manufacturers Discussions throughout the day highlighted the challenges faced by the 5,000 plastics manufacturers in South Africa. The rise of lucrative packaging businesses as a threat to non-packaging manufacturing; the need to reclaim South Africa’s position as a designer and innovator of products, and companies having to move production to regional markets because of transportation and logistics issues, were raised as major concerns.
However, the delegates were given ideas and solutions to help with future planning of their businesses. And the launch edition was positively received with Steph Le Roux, owner of Sandplast Injection Moulding, summarizing the event: “My colleague and I flew up from Cape Town for the conference. Not knowing what to expect, we thought that the quality of the speakers was fantastic and the topics were really relevant. The information we’re taking away is worthwhile.”
Rose Bundock, Conference Producer, says, “mPAD events offer insight and solutions and
we’re delighted that the content of the plastics workshops chimed so well with manufacturers’ challenges and concerns. We have future projects planned across Africa but we will certainly be hosting this event again in South Africa in 2014.”
For details about upcoming mPAD conferences, visit http://www.mpad-africa.com/
For more information on mPAD, please contact:
Tel: Rose Bundock at + 27 21 700 3500