Ocme: growing its presence in southern Africa

Millchem grew from being appointed as the sole agent for Ocme packaging equipment in the food beverage, personal care and chemical sectors in southern Africa in 2009 to the third biggest contributor of worldwide sales in 2011.

It then entered into a 50:50 joint venture shareholding with Ocme Italy and launched Ocme South Africa in March; in order to pull its global leadership, expertise around innovation and best practice, as well as after-sales service and support, into the South African market.
David Damen, general manager of Ocme South Africa, says that the company’s vision is to become the leader in the local packaging industry by responding rapidly to customers’ service and support needs through establishing service centres in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. “These centres will stock critical spare parts applicable to machines in those areas, and employ skilled Italian service engineers to assist customers in maintaining the reliability and efficiency of their equipment.”
“Our strengths are mainly in the dry sector of the business – shrink-wrapping, wrap-around packers, palletisers and depalletisers for the food and beverage sectors. All of our palletisers have moved away from conventional to robotic palletisers, which have helped to automate and increase the efficiencies at the back end of customers’ businesses. This patented robotic-head and manipulation area ensures low impact and soft handling, with a complete layer grip, offering the benefit of not needing any curtains underneath the packs that could damage or slow down the operation,” says Damen.
“During the past four years we have seen a major evolution in packaging formats from one standard format – for instance, a six-pack to various pack sizes – 12-packs or four-packs – that facilitate shelf-ready packaging and easy opening for consumers. One of Ocme’s key advantages is our flexibility – we are capable and to follow these changes with our customers.
“We see scope for growth in medium to high-speed equipment in the food and beverage as well as personal care sectors with companies l looking to expand their operations, and others looking to replace equipment due to the age of the lines,” he states. “Many customers are turning to technology to help them reduce material and operating costs and to increase efficiencies. Our equipment is low-maintenance, highly efficient, uses reduced power and comes fitted with energy saving kits (on specific units).”  
Damen: Tel +27 11 974 2255; d.damen@ocme.co.za; website: www.ocme.co.za

Packaging equipment
According to David Damen general manager of Ocme South Africa, the company bases the design of all its equipment on the following principles: high efficiency, high quality of finished packs, flexibility, fast change-over, easy accessibility, and easy operability. Its range includes:
• Automatic depalletisers for crates, cases and containers in bulk.
The Dorado range consists of low- and high-level machines dedicated to loose containers such as cans, tin cans, jars and bottles with speeds varying from 2-7 layers/minute. Layer transferring takes place through a rotating pusher or with a self-adjusting gripping head.
The Antares range offers low- or high-level machines dedicated to secondary containers such as plastic crates, carton cases and pails with speeds varying from 4-15 layers/minute.
• Automatic fillers for beverages. The Hydra filler is available in two models: one that uses level filling technology for still liquids (water, juices and spirits), and one that employs an isobaric filling system for carbonated liquids (still/sparkling water, juices, carbonated soft drinks and beer).  
Both models can process glass or PET containers, with an output speed of 12,000 to 100,000 bottles/hour. The pitch ranges are 94mm for a maximum bottle diameter of 89mm; 113mm for a maximum bottle diameter of 108mm; and 126mm for a maximum bottle diameter of 115mm. The number of filling valves varies between 40 and 160 based on machine output, speed and pitch.
• Dryblock integrated solution for final packaging. Dryblock is being launched at the Drinktec expo in Germany in September. It is delivered completely assembled and ready to be installed like a free-standing machine. Dryblock is a labeller/shrink-wrapper/wrap-around/case packer/palletiser integrated into one machine, which completes the process in a synchronised and sequential mode with a single operator. Advantages include optimised line layout as no conveyors, accumulation or dividers are required; high flexibility to handle packs with different configurations and different numbers of bottles; and fast change-overs between cylindrical or shaped containers.
• Easy-to-open film packages. A perforating mechanism applied to Ocme’s shrink-wrap packers – new or existing models – can make a perforation on the top, front or back of the package to make its opening easier for consumers. It can be adopted for both plain and pre-printed film. And is available on film only, film and pad, as well as film and tray models.