PACKAGING: Gossamer Leads In Machine Manufacturing
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THE specialist packaging machine manufacturer, Gossamer Structures, based in Somerset West, is continuing to set the tone in the design and manufacture of top quality equipment, comparable with the best in the world.
Founded in 1993 by mechanical engineer Charl Nieder-Heitman, the company initially specialised in machinery to erect and seal corrugated cartons and trays, mostly for the agricultural sector.
Nowadays the product range includes bag and bin fillers, bag-in-box equipment, flow wrappers, carton sealers and packers. Also included are tray erectors, shrink wrapping machines, carton erectors and loaders.
One of the more recent developments is that Gossamer now also offers robotic palletizing systems which can be integrated with various custom built conveyor systems for most any palletizing needs.
Says marketing manager Murray van der Merwe, “By utilizing articulated robotics these types of systems are highly flexible for changes in products and product packaging. This is due to the fact that the intelligence of such a system is built into the robot and not the conveyor system. The rapid investment payback of such a system is very attractive for all industries”.
Today the company’s products can be found in the facilities of many of the leading packaging operators not only locally, but in various markets outside South Africa as well. “A world market dictates the quality of product and packaging required. Therefore the standard of our packaging equipment too must comply to the highest standards”, he says.
The challenge Gossamer faces is to provide ever more sophisticated yet user friendly machinery because of the increasing sophistication of requirements as a result of market segmentation, van der Merwe says.
This means greater packaging variation and bigger speed in the change-over between sizes in the production run.
Talking about speed, one of the latest new products to come from the Gossamer stable is a bag filler for fruit which must weight and mechanically sort up to 18 apples per second without a single fruit being damaged.
Gossamer is positioned as a specialist supplier to a specific market niche, that is end-of-line packaging machinery. Although much of the products are standard, many clients have their own specific needs and often Gossamer Structures is required to ‘tweak’ packaging machinery to meet these demands.
Most of its products is for clients which require erecting, packing and sealing of corrugated cartons and quite often the company has to modify its equipment to suit their demands.
Van der Merwe points out that a manufacturer may export to a variety of different clients in various overseas destinations. “We have to accommodate their requirements”, he says.
The company caters to customers in a wide range of industries, of which the fruit and wine industry is a significant part. The paper converters play an important role as they supply Gossamer equipment to various customers.
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