Rubber Products & Mouldings unveils major expansion plans
NO RISK, no gain. It’s really as simple as that in South Africa at present, there is just no rescue net for entrepreneurs who venture forth and as a result for most of these people failure is just not an option.
That is certainly the case over at Rubber Products & Mouldings in Maitland in Cape Town, which was bought by Wayne Tozer and Sue Supasar in 2019. Three years later, this dynamic duo has been picking up market share, partly by offering to manufacture previously imported products and, more recently, in the rollers sector. Supasar and Tozer ventured out on their own when they purchased RPM from Barry Hollis in 2019. Established in ’54, RPM had to a large extent become moribund and had exited several of the markets where it was formerly a leader.
RPM had stopped production of rollers and instead outsourced orders. But much of the equipment to produce the rollers was on hand, so the new partners decided to make a go of it and established RPM Rollers in early 2020 … just in time for the Covid lockdown ‘apocalypse’! From that point on there was no looking back. “We were halfway there before we started,” says Supasar.
Some new equipment was purchased, including a larger lathe to manufacture 2m-plus rollers.
Possibly the biggest benefit, however, lay in the quality of materials used. RPM had in 2019 also concluded a sole distributor agreement with Hexpol of Britain, a leading international manufacturer of high-spec rubber compounds. RPM now uses the Hexpol materials exclusively in its roll covering processes and also supplies the materials to other users across the southern Africa region. The Hexpol materials are available in a range of pre-coloured compounds and allow for the production of high standard rollers, which has helped increase demand for the RPM rollers and recovering service. Roller users across the country and in Africa are now freighting rollers to the Maitland plant for recovering.
But that’s not all that’s happening at RPM now.
Due to start PU production of mouldings and rollers – The partners have also recently concluded the purchase of a polyurethane business, which will give it a whole new set of options. RPM will now offer the market polyurethane moulded products and Polyurethane Roll Covers will now be produced onsite. A full range of high spec’ed Polyurethanes will be on offer. . RPM staff are presently undergoing training in PU technology, which is new to them.
New rubber injection moulding machine – RPM will shortly also be installing a world-class rubber injection moulding machine. The new machine, from France, will far transcend the technical abilities of the machinery it currently has on site. The new machine offers more flexibility than rubber injection machines used to date, with considerably more electronic control ability, which will potentially allow for faster cycle times and greater precision.
Watch this space!