Sharp tooling makes its mark

Renlaw was established in 1985 by Swiss toolmaker, Walter Brunner. The company is now run by his son Mikko. In the past five years, Renlaw has become one of Africa’s leading manufacturers of precision cutting tools for the food processing and packaging industries.


In 2012 Renlaw realised that the only way to compete globally was to design and develop its own range of computer controlled (CNC) production machinery. ‘We have successfully built five of our own CNC machines, and several more machines are in production,’ Mikko Brunner enthuses. The investment in technology has given Renlaw an edge over its opposition, allowing the company to produce cutting tools of superior quality, while keeping prices competitive.’

To ensure that blade quality remains consistent, Renlaw imports all of its knife steel directly from Germany. It also enforces strict quality control procedures during production. ‘Our customers are aware of our focus on quality. When they purchase our products, they are getting a value-adding item that can save money by reducing downtime and yield loss.

‘Steels are selected for their unique application. Few people realise just how important this is. High-grade Martensitic stainless steels, commonly used in quality tooling, can potentially crack if used to process foods at temperatures below -20°C. These temperatures require an alloy with nickel to improve its sub-zero toughness,’ Brunner explains.

A focus area of Renlaw is the manufacture of poultry processing blades, which are sold locally and abroad.

These blades have seen a surge in demand from southern Africa and South America. Renlaw has a long-standing partnership with Lutz Blades in Germany, offering the highest quality derinder and membraning blades to the meat-processing industry.

‘We find there are two broad categories of customers using these blades; customers who change blades at the start of each shift and customers who use their blades until their edges start to dull. The first type of customer never reaches the end of the blade’s life and buys the cheapest blades to cut costs. Our blades show their obvious advantage to the second type of customer, offering extended blade life and reducing the loss of production due to blade changing.

‘A big challenge for our customers is the lack of stock-on-demand and poor response times offered by our competition. Modern lean-manufacturing practices mean many original equipment manufacturers and blade producers no longer keep stock. It is quite normal for customers to wait for 10 to 15 weeks to get blades from overseas suppliers. Renlaw offers to keep strategic stock on behalf of key customers. We work hard at keeping production lead-times to a minimum. Our separate short-cut department focuses only on expediting production-runs to help our customers during stoppages,’ Brunner concludes.


Renlaw is proud to announce the purchase of a new Kent KGR-600 CNC surface grinder. The machine was purchased to keep up with the rapid increase in demand for bowl-chopper and poultry blades, which are proving very competitive on the local market. The machine balances its own grinding wheel and has fully automated dressing and grinding cycles, offering superior surface-finishes and achievable tolerances of 0.005mm or less.


Renlaw supplies bowl-chopper, derinder, membraning, slicer and dicer, circular, straight-edged and profiled blades for the food processing industries. For the packaging industry it offers toothed and scalloped VFFS blades, zig zag blades and anvils, tray-form blades, crush-cut blades, crown-toothed punches, precision punches and dies and corrugated board cutters.