21st – The DemaPlasTech team celebrated the company’s coming of age at a lunch in Joburg in December with the following present, Morne Victor, Jacques Visagie, Chris Oberem, Veronica Mvula, Gert Victor, Dudu Dube, MD Jacques Kleynhans (tallest, at rear), Moira Hinchcliffe, Jacki Kleynhans and Louis du Toit. It was also Moira’s farewell, she has retired after 16 years at DemaPlasTech. Absent was Jabulani Dube, originally Jacques Kleynhans’ gardener who has been with DemaPlasTech since the company’s estabishment

DemaPlasTech celebrates 21yrs

DEMAPLASTECH, the Johannesburg-based equipment supplier, recently celebrated its 21st year in operation.

From small beginnings, the company has proved to be one of the most consistently reliable plastics processing machinery suppliers in the SA market: it has stuck with the machine brands it has supplied over the past two decades-plus as well as retained the field service personnel it has employed – the latter being a main factor in the continued faith that many of DemaPlasTech’s customers continue to show in the company.

DemaPlasTech emerged out of what was Mannesmann Demag South Africa, a German company which was involved in South Africa more specifically in the supply of overhead cranes (manufactured in Boksburg), and its own range of injection moulding machines (manufactured in Germany). Ankerwerk injection moulding machine was founded in 1950 becoming Demag Kunststofftechnik in 1970 and Mannesmann Demag Kunstofftechnik in 1979. The Demag injection machines became popular in SA during the 1980s-90s with some well-known individuals managing the process. Sales of the machines were handled by, first, Wolfgang Barth, a jovial German chap, and then John Ward, a Briton, both of who had the rare blend of exceptional technical ability and sales nouse, which helped create a successful support model that enabled Demag users to become among the most successful convertors in SA, with several of the users still opting for the Demag technology today.

The process created a culture at Mannesmann Demag SA which provided the springboard for when Jacques Kleynhans, himself a service engineer, had the opportunity to go at it on his own.

After completing an engineering diploma at the Wits Technikon, Kleynhans first worked at Ford for a year, where he gained experience in PLC technology, automation, hydraulics and pneumatics before joining Mannesman Demag SA as a sales & service engineer for their injection moulding division called DEMAG Ergotech.

Then things changed rapidly: in 2000 the Mannesmann Demag Group was purchased by Vodafone in Europe and almost immediately opted to re-sell its various divisions, as well as subsidiaries in other markets. In South Africa, the Demag business continued but focused only on its core market, cranes and the outgoing management offered Kleynhans the opportunity to to become the South Africa agent for Demag Ergotech injection moulding machines. Few others may have been prepared to take the risk, aware of the fact that many such supply buisnesses had flowered and then withered, and still do.

DemaPlasTech was registered and established in early 2001 and opted to relocate to Northlands business park in North Riding, which was then one of the fledgling business park models springing up all over the Witwatersrand, and where it still operates from today.

From the outset, DemaPlasTech has managed to retain key staff, with virtually all its personnel having remained with the company for extended periods. The company’s service engineers include Gert Victor, Jacques Visagie, Louis du Toit and Morne Victor. Besides new machine commissioning, this team performs on-going service back-up to convertors around the country. These gentlemen have proved to be the bed rock of the DemaPlasTech business, sorting out often complex machine and moulding problems – and doing so on an a.s.a.p. basis and enabling their convertor customers to keep operating.


Another transition

Another major transition was the merger of Mannesman Demag of Germany with Sumitomo (SHI) of Japan in 2007 becoming Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH. The Sumitomo-Demag technology appears to have extracted the best features of the partners, with its machines being highly regarded in the small to medium-sized (clamping forces up to 15000kN) category. Not a K show has gone by in the ensuing 15 years without Sumitomo Demag introducing impressive new production cells, with extremely high output of complex mouldings. The business also has the advantage of being part of the Sumitomo Heavy Industies of Japan, one of the largest corporations in that country, enabling it to readily source its steel components.

This has had the result that the group of Sumitomo-Demag users in South Africa has remained loyal to the brand. Essentially these machines are priced at standard European rates (which are high relative to the Chinese variants) with exceptional and proven high-output rates. Users have confirmed their satisfaction with the marque.

The choice of DemaPlasTech as the company’s name retains the Demag (now Sumitomo-Demag) link but the company is far more than only a supplier of injection moulding machines. It is the agent for a number of ancillary equipment suppliers, allowing it to supply virtually all plant related to the IMM. Several of these principals have continued with Jacques and his team since the get-go. DemaPlasTech represents Frigel of Italy (manufacturer of cooling systems), Stratasys, an Israeli/USA venture (3D printing and rapid prototyping), Mastip of New Zealand (hot runners), Moretto of Italy (conveying, drying and blending systems), Single of the Germany (temperature controllers), MO.DI.TECH of France (granulators).

With such an array of related equipment, all connected or related to the injection moulding core focus at DemaPlasTech, the service team spends a lot of time on the road assisting convertors big and small.

“We’ve stuck to our brands, and to our people,” said Jacques. “It’s working for us, and for our customers.”