Gabriel Reddy of Inkulu and Jim Freemantle of Yili Machinery Africa during the installation of the big machine in December, with Lenny Naidoo (Inkulu), Zhishan Wang (Yili Machinery) and Paul De Preez and Terique Reddy of Inkulu

Inkulu installs major Yili 1200mm pipe line

INKULU Plastic Pipe of KZN has recently completed one of its biggest capex projects to date, the commissioning of a 1200mm solid wall pipe extrusion line from a Zhangjiagang City Yili Machinery Co. of China.

The order was placed in August 2018 and delivery was made during December 2019. The first production was run during January this year, thus concluding 18 months of planning and execution.

The extruder is specified to produce HDPE pipe from 500 to 1200mm. Prior to this, Inkulu had produced pipe from 16 to 630mm, so the venture is a major step up for the Hammarsdale-based manufacturer. The Yili system’s production rate is specified at 1600kg/hr, and Jim Freemantle of Yili Machinery Africa said “we are confident that this rate will be achieved”.

“The move to higher speed machines is all about converting plastic at faster and faster rates, thus reducing the cost per kg, and ultimately making oneself more competitive in the market,” added Freemantle.

“Only with an aggressive capitalisation programme in place will a manufacturer continue to be more competitive in the market. We have found this with many of the manufactures but none more prominently than with Gabriel Reddy of Inkulu.”

Yili Machinery (established 1991) has been actively involved in the South African market for the past 12 years, initially with the late Gary Warren of Sangio Pipes. Warren was impressed with the Yili technology and was one of the first in Africa to partner with the Chinese specialist pipe extruder system manufacturer. Yili has worked closely with Inkulu Plastic Pipes since inception in 2015 with all but one of its machines being from Yili. Besides the extrusion lines, Yili has also supplied shredders, granulators and pelletisers, with the obvious advantage that all its equipment is designed with the production of and handling of plastic pipe being the main focus.

“I believe we have a very good working relationship and will continue to foster this relationship, add value and bring new equipment to market,” added Freemantle.

Yili Machinery Africa has been registered in South Africa as the African office of Zhangjiagang City Yili Machinery Company. Yili Machinery Africa is not an agent or distributor but the South African office of the Chinese parent company, making it one of the few international machinery manufacturers to run a dedicated office in Africa. Jim Freemantle runs the SA office.

Key to the registration of the African office is that this is not another link in the supply chain but has been put in place to facilitate better service to customers in Africa, quicker turnaround time for spares. With the African office, some items may even be supplied from South Africa, thus enabling a reduction in freighting costs, he added.

Yili Machinery is also extensively involved in the plastic recycling and PVC sectors and is currently involved in a number of projects to manufacture PVC medical face masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic.