Recently acquired by printing giant Novus Holdings, ITB Manufacturing has grown into a formidable company supplying flexible packaging products. Packaging Review takes a closer look at the person behind ITB Manufacturing’s success, MD Tim Stewart.
Inspired by watching his father build a packaging and manufacturing company, Tim Stewart has always had a strong interest in plastics and packaging. ‘Packaging 40 years ago was predominantly cotton, calico, hessian and paper-based. We are at the cutting edge of manufacturing and producing innovative packaging materials,’ he says. ‘Polymer to extrude film became commercially available during the 1960s and the technology to blow film, cut and seal plastic bags was only in its infancy when I started out.’
After school Stewart worked at the Durban Bag Company where his father was the MD. The opportunity to see exactly what it took to build a company in the manufacturing industry was the spark Stewart needed to enter the fray.
Reflecting on the future of the packaging industry Stewart believes exciting technologies and changing attitudes about the environment will revolutionise the packaging and manufacturing industry.
‘Technological improvements in polymers and extrusion processes to achieve improved packaging performances and the light weighting of films will be one of the next trends shaping our industry,’ he says. ‘Companies in this sector will also need to act with increased environmental awareness and implement better solutions to improve the threat that comes from pollution.’
To keep abreast of the latest developments in the industry, Stewart clears his diary for visits to international trade shows. ‘Being at shows gives us the opportunity to invest in the best film extrusion and converting equipment to stay ahead of the curve,’ he concludes.