Glass Expansion Boosts Production Capacity

Mminingweekly.co.za reported that one of South Africa’s largest glass packaging manufacturers, Consol Glass, has invested some R320-million in a facility at its Clayville plant In Midrand, which will extend the factory’s production capacity by almost 40%.

The investment is part of Consol’s long-term expansion strategy, following its listing last year.

The C3 project includes a 320-t furnace and will increase production capacity from 540 t of glass packaging a day to 860 t a day.

The furnace was installed based on anticipated increased demand.

“This investment will see the Clayville factory leading Africa in glass-packaging manufacturing. “With this cutting-edge technology, we will not only increase our production exponentially but the camera-based processing will help us achieve exceptional levels of quality that will be on par with the best in the world,” says Clayville GM Henry Botha.

The new plant has been commissioned using technology from American glass packaging giant Owens Illinois, which has a skills, and technology-sharing agreement with Consol, following the sale of its shares in the company prior to the JSE listing.

Consol MD Mike Arnold says that local engineers are facilitating the front-end design and implementation.

“Construction got under way in March and the plant should be fully operational later this year,” adds Arnold.

The project will improve production by cullet processing driven by environmental commitments, hot bottle inspection to reduce delay time to address defects, increased quality inspection through technological advancements in the field of noncontact laser, and a high level of flexibility included in bottle manufacture.

Botha says, “We are also gearing up our people for the increased capacity, helping to develop skills and enhance performance across the board. We have launched Destina-tion Excellence for our workforce to ratchet up our core competences at every level. This is a vital part of our drive to be a world-class manu- facturer.” Plans are afoot to commission a R21-million cullet-processing plant on the Clayville site to recycle waste glass. This move is in line with Consol’s commitment to the National Glass Recycling drive and will help remove waste glass from the environment and landfills across the region.

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