Ishida strikes key NPS South African packaging equipment acquisition

A key strategic move has been made by Ishida Europe in strengthening its presence in African continent, as it acquires specialist South African packaging equipment manufacturer National Packaging Systems (NPS), reports Neill Barston.

The major Japanese-founded machinery firm confirmed that the latest addition to its group will continued to trade as a separate business under new ownership, with the deal expanding the range of technical expertise being offered within the region.

Established in 1983 and based in Pinetown, near Durban, NPS has built a strong reputation for the design and manufacture of high-performance and reliable vertical form, fill and seal machines for sachets, stick packs and pillow packs, as well as volumetric fillers, auger fillers and feed systems. The company also designs and installs bespoke systems manufactured to customers’ specific requirements. Its customer base is wide-ranging across both food and non-food products including sugar, rice, salt, peanuts, cereals, snacks, sweets, powders, liquids and specialist non-food applications such as firelighters and car components.

According to Ishida, the new deal will not only draw together technical excellence, but also applications experience and market knowledge to provide customers with unparalleled levels of support in the development of complete weighing, packing and quality control systems for a wide variety of end-markets, including grains, pulses and all types of granular products.

As well as helping businesses to further increase levels of automation, the new Ishida/NPS partnership will also offer start-up operations the opportunity to take their first steps in automating their processes with the availability of high-quality and cost-effective entry level weighing and packing systems. In addition, all customers will benefit from the highest levels of support, with fast response localised service and rapid spare parts supply.

Russell Gwynn, NPS’s Managing Director, commented: “We are excited to be become part of Ishida.The synergies between the two businesses will enable us to offer an even more comprehensive package to our customers in terms of both equipment and after sales support, providing them with the ability to further grow and expand their business and maximise opportunities in both the home and export markets.”

“We are delighted to welcome NPS into the Ishida family,” said Dave Tiso, Ishida Europe’s Managing Director. “Alongside the company’s extensive complementary range of skills, expertise and equipment, what impressed us about NPS was its commitment to the same values and ethos in terms of delivering a service that is good for our customers, good for our business and good for society. We look forward to working together in the continued growth of both companies.”

Equipment development
In other significant news for the company, Ishida has made a notable breakthrough with high-speed x-ray capability for flow wrapped packs – which had previously offered a notable challenge within the confectionery and bakery sector for handling small lightweight flow wrapped items.

As the company explained, its new Ishida IX-EN-2493-Compact combines an ultra-compact design, which can fit easily into existing lines, with speeds of up to 120 metres per minute. This is double the speed of a typical standard X-ray inspection system.

Key to achieving these high speeds is the IX-EN-2493-Compact’s unique split conveyor design. Traditional X-ray systems have a single conveyor with protective curtains that contain the X-ray beam within the machine. However, these curtains can interfere with the movement of lightweight flow wrapped packs, causing them to be destabilised and creating product jams.

With the Ishida solution, the curtains are raised above the conveyor so as not to impede the movement of the packs. The X-ray beam is therefore projected through the pack as it passes over the gap in the conveyor where it is captured within two large metal plates to ensure any X-ray emissions are contained within the machine.

“Our new compact X-ray inspection system enables manufacturers to check primary packs, whereas before the fast speed of line prevented inspection at this stage,” explained Glen Oxborough, Quality Inspection Control Sales Specialist, Ishida Europe. “Prior to this, therefore, the only effective solution was to carry out the inspection in the secondary packaging, either when the packs were part of a multipack or in their outer case ready for onward deliver



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