VENTURES: Inroads by Cape Flexible Hose
Recent Western Cape Business News
Cape Flexible Hose, was founded by Rodney and Ron Leppan in March 1985 working from premises in Montague Gardens. They started up by distributing rubber hose for a Gauteng manufacturer, P.V.C. hose for Saplex and hydraulic hose and fittings for Parker Hannifin.Initially, 60% of sales were earmarked to BUSAF, at that time building fuel tankers for Armscor, with the remaining 40% split between the Navy, wine industry and the agricultural market. It started manufacturing rubber hoses during 1997.
Initial production was very slow and the quality not very good. During 1999, both the manufacturing and sales divisions were restructured.
The manufacturing plant was moved from Montague Gardens to premises on a farm outside Kuilsriver, while the office and stores were moved to Brackenfell.Rodney (Leppan senior) was placed in charge of the factory.
Much of the raw material preparation work (calendering of rubber and frictioning of reinforcing fabric) was sourced to outside contractors to improve both delivery times and the quality of product.
CF Hose changed its rubber supplier to Natal Rubber Compounders and they, along with reinforcing fabric supplier, Industex, offered much in the way of advice with regards products in the manufacturing of rubber hoses. “Half metre lengths of all commonly used sizes of hose were tested to destruction and we now have products comparable with any other hand built rubber hose manufactured locally in South Africa”, says Ron Leppan.
Chief hose builder, Andrew Bell and his hose building assistants are now able to manufacture any type of rubber hand-built hose in sizes ranging from 20mm to 300mm inside diameters with maximum lengths ranging from 20 meters (20mm – 150mm) and 12 meters (200mm to 300mm).
Ron, (Leppan jnr) moved from repping to running the admin and internal sales division of the company and, while keeping the family tradition, Ron’s wife Diantha and youngest son Andrew, were product trained and put onto the road. A further rep, Belinda Olivier joined the company during March 2008.
“We have concentrated our sales and manufacturing into specific areas - most important being the local beverage and agricultural markets, but through specialist distributors in the Eastern Cape, KZN, Natal and Mpumalanga we are obtaining a greater share of hose built for the mining and paper industries as well as the agricultural markets in these areas”, Leppan says.
“We are currently able to build hoses for the following applications : EPDM & BUTYL acid hoses, glassfibre covered furnace coolant hoses, shotblast and gunite hoses, water suction and delivery hoses, trawler suction and fish pump hoses, pulp and slurry suction and delivery hoses (30 shore liners), abrasion suction and delivery hoses (75 shore liners), rubber air duction hoses (line and standard) straight radiator hoses (normal and oil resistant), beverage hose (hardwall and softwall), petrolic and bunkering hoses, large bore mining and ‘bull’ hoses and large bore steam hoses”, Leppan says.
All the above are built with plain ends or in the case of wire embedded hoses, with cuffed ends as standard. Flanged ends or expanded cuffed ends can be built into any of the above hoses on request.
To complement its range of ‘self produced’ rubber hoses, CF Hose distributes a full range of Goodyear industrial rubber hoses, as well as a full range of Petzetakis industrial P.V.C. hoses.
It also carries a comprehensive range of hydraulic hose and fittings, stainless steel flexible hose, metallic and rubber bellows and a full range of industrial hose end fittings.
“With over 70 years combined experience in the hose business, as well as invaluable experience obtainable from our raw material suppliers, we will find a solution for any hose problems you may encounter. Even where there is no problem, we have the right hose for your application”, says Leppan.
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