Silafrica, a leading manufacturing company and the top packaging supplier to East Africa and its surrounding regions has recently increased their production capacity by investing in a new machine in their factory in Tanzania, which utilizes the PET preform material to produce high caliber products.
A PET preform is a test tube-shaped piece of plastic that is made by a process called injection molding, using a plastic called PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) producing material for liquids and food containers. The group, with a presence in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia is known for setting benchmarks in the manufacturing industry with their high-quality standards in terms of customer satisfaction and in adopting top of the range technological equipment. In December 2019, the company made a huge investment in a new Husky-3 machine which will aid in expanding their PET preform capacity in their production. The Husky-3 is a Tier 1 level machine that produces high-quality preform, operating on highly efficient production conditions.
Silafrica Tanzania, with four preform machines in their plant, makes high-quality products with the majority of them running at 95% OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency), which is significantly higher than the recognized industry standard of 85% OEE. Their newest investment, the Husky-3, has an impressive capacity to produce 330,000 pieces of preforms per day from the previous 250,000 pieces from the Husky-1 and 2. This has increased its production capacity by 32% and has given their customers increased confidence in the company and other substantial benefits that can be attained from increased yields. It has seen them also gain confidence and support from their loyal customers.
The fully automated machine has an electric fore clip that feeds material into the machine and can automatically heat up, inject, mold, cool, and eject the preform product by itself. The packaging is done through minimal human contact to maintain the company’s maximum hygiene and sanitary standards in their products. It also requires very minimal human supervision and helps to maximize on utilizing manpower.
Other notable advantages of the PET preform machine are that it efficiently cuts downtime and saves on energy, therefore minimizing production costs. The PET product is also easily recyclable. Used bottles can be recollected and made into finished products such as fibre-fill for duvets and pillows, PET trays for fruit, geotextiles, and even brand-new bottles. Silafrica Tanzania’s CEO, Mr. Alpesh Patel, is passionate about the circular economy and sits in the PETCO board working with the Tanzanian government to help promote a circular economy through PET recycling.
Additionally, the company understands the need for relevant skills in their plant to leverage more local and expert manpower. Because of this, they provide the necessary training for their employees on how to operate the machine through experts who train the local engineers. They help develop the skills to the many employees who operate the PET preform machines. Silafrica is on track in performance leadership and in maintaining its high manufacturing quality and standards, having also been recognized as being one of the pioneers to adopt the impressive technology in Tanzania, with no other plants comparing across the board.