Alphapax’ local twist in the production tail

Designer and manufacturing supplier of shrink-wrapping and product handling end-of-line systems, Alphapax is now in its sixth year of operation. Packaging Review reports on its progress since inception.

Alphapax manufactures high quality engineering and innovative technology for packaging and product handling systems

The company has shown consistent growth and is becoming known in the packaging industry.

‘We have become known as the manufacturer of high quality engineering and innovative technology of packaging and product handling systems,’ says Bernie Jansen, sales and marketing director at Alphapax.

While the company was launched in February 2013, co-owners, Errol Louwrens and Bernie Jansen are not newcomers to the industry. The company initially specialised in plasma profile cutting and powder coating and was established by Louwrens in 2007, under the name Econocut. The majority of its contractual work targeted the packaging industry’s machine fabrication and manufacturing sector.

While running Econocut, Louwrens also worked for Starpak as factory and production manager as well as design and draughting of new projects and machinery– a position he held for almost 25 years.

After the sudden collapse of Starpak, a number of experienced tradesmen and technicians were left unemployed. So Louwrens chose to focus on diversifying his side-line business and offered employment to former Starpak staff and in so doing entered the packaging machine engineering and manufacturing field.

Jansen, who was employed at Starpak for more than 40 years, was approached to join Econocut as an equal partner. A decision was then made to change the company’s name to Alphapax.

Tailored to your needs

The company offers end-of-line basic entry level shrink wrapping machines to the latest and most advanced high speed fully automatic systems from the Alphapax factory in Sebenza Edenvale,. The company provides suitable solutions to meet each customer’s specific requirements, especially where custom designed systems are required.

‘We work on comprehensive refurbishment projects to upgrade old model shrink wrappers. The restorative process always results in a perfectly functional and productive system,’ Jansen comments.

He says the level of engineering and upgrade is of an extremely high standard.

‘All refurbished machines are returned to the customer carrying a new machine guarantee. This has proved to be a big money saver to the numerous customers who have opted to go this route.’

A diversified approach

The demand for product handling solutions, other than just shrink-wrapping requirements, is rapidly growing and responding to this exciting market requirement, the company has already undertaken several projects that have been extremely successful.

As systems integration partners, Alphapax and German multinational industrial control and automation company, Festo, have jointly undertaken several projects, all recently concluded. Jansen explains: ‘Providing product handling solutions is a field the company will continue to explore and develop as the future of this market is both promising and challenging.’

The company completed another first in the design and development of a carton dual flap, hot melt glue and fold system for an entry level carton packaging system.

The project was an immense success and has been added as a standard machine in Alphapax’ product portfolio.

The company was also approached to custom design an extruder system for an explosive gel product. Described as an interesting venture between the company and Festo, no electrics could be used owing to the hazardous nature of the product. The complete system had to be pneumatic comprising all pneumatic activation.

According to Jansen, the unit was designed and engineered within one month of the order being placed.

‘It performed perfectly after installation. The feedback received from the customer has been positive and the system has been trouble free for more than a year,’ he boasts.

Going forward, Alphapax has a strategy in place to promote and expand its machinery in export markets.