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Kenafric Industries Limited, located in Nairobi, Kenya, has been serving the African market in the confectionery sector and other industries for close to forty years. Theegarten-Pactec, specialist in the design and construction of packaging machines for small-pieced confectionery items, has been supporting Kenafric along its continuous growth path with high-performance wrapping systems and responsive service and support. Over time, new products and higher output requirements have made it necessary for Kenafric to invest in new wrapping equipment. As the company has grown, so has the successful collaboration between Theegarten-Pactec and Kenafric.
Theegarten-Pactec supplies its customers in the food and confectionery segments around the world with advanced wrapping machines that are easy to operate and developed to run for decades. The company began establishing a sales network outside of Europe in the seventies and has been active in Africa for close to four decades. It guarantees comprehensive technical service to its African customers with ongoing consulting to ensure the best possible equipment efficiencies, trouble-shooting on site within 24 hours, continuous delivery of spare parts even for machines being 50 years old, and even complete equipment retrofitting in Dresden to significantly extend service life. Close to 20 per cent of Theegarten-Pactec’s overall business is generated in Africa and the company has successfully established long-term partnerships with its customers all across the African continent. Kenafric is one of Theegarten-Pactec’s most important customers for confectionery wrapping machines in Africa.
Kenafric Industries produces many well-known confectionery brands for the African market, such as Lotta and Fruit Drops, and over time the company has evolved into a large player on the continent in this highly competitive sector. Its confectionary portfolio includes chewing gum, bubble gum, soft caramels, as well as preformed, hard-boiled candies and Lollipops. In the 1990s, Kenafric began producing confectionery with machines from Theegarten-Pactec. As the company experienced increasing market demand for these products and steady growth in terms of output, they invested in additional high-speed, high-performance machines and systems. Over the years, Theegarten-Pactec has successfully implemented advanced wrapping systems for cut & wrap products – chewing gum, bubble gum, soft caramels – as well as systems for preformed and hard-boiled candies.
The folding techniques used include typical wrapping styles for the mass production of cut & wrap products in double-twist or Bazooka, and well as hard candies in double-twist. Kenafric currently works with more than thirty machines from Theegarten-Pactec. These include the EW5 and EW8 for packaging bubble gum, the EK2 and EK3 for wrapping hard candies in double-twist, the WHD2 for chewy candy and the U1-EFC for bubble gum – with outputs ranging between 600 and 1,800 units/min. Since the first machines were purchased in the early 1990s, output has more than tripled. Kenafric purchased its most recent machines from Theegarten-Pactec in 2013: a WHD with an output of 1,800 chewy sweets in double-twist, and four U1-EFCs, each capable of packaging 1,000 chewing gums in side-fold wrap with a comic strip insert (Bazooka). These five additional machines were purchased to meet increased product demand.
Customising equipment for increased wrapping efficiency
Theegarten-Pactec’s U1-EFC is a high-speed forming, cutting and wrapping machine for products in side-fold with an output of up to 1,000 products/min. It is used to wrap Kenafric’s increasingly popular Bazooka chewing gum along with a popular automatic comic strip supplement – as inside wrapper – which increases the wrapped product’s point of sale appeal. Kenafric currently operates 8 U1-EFC machines which Theegarten-Pactec’s experts have further fine-tuned over time to significantly optimise efficiencies, while reducing downtime due to interruptions of the wrapping process. For instance, optimisations have included equipping the U1-EFC machines with four wrapping material draw-off devices – two for the outer wrapper and two for the comic strip – enabling automatic changing of the wrapping material, with the comic strip and outer wrappers coming from separate wheels. Levels of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) have risen to an impressive 95 per cent.
“Theegarten-Pactec has proven again and again that they are the right partner for our wrapping operations. They have made a decisive contribution to improving efficiencies and reducing wastage,” says Kirtan Shah, Group Managing Director Kenafric Industries. “Theegarten-Pactec is supporting us in achieving our objectives with high-quality packaging solutions that meet our standards and expectations – with service that consistently goes above and beyond.”
“We are delighted to be able to support Kenafric on their growth path and we highly value the partnership we have enjoyed with them over the last decades,” says Stefan Liebscher, Theegarten-Pactec Sales Director responsible for the African region. As an innovation leader, Theegarten-Pactec is committed to working with state-of-the-art technologies to continuously develop its systems for its customers worldwide. And of course this includes mastering the special logistics required to serve its export customers around the globe.
About Kenafric Industries Limited
Kenafric Industries Limited, with its headquarters in Kenya, produces an extensive selection of confectionery and other food products, as well as stationery, footwear and culinary products. The Confectionery Division contributes 65 per cent to Kenafric’s overall business, and is enjoying growth of 15 per cent. Kenafric’s confectionery products have an estimated market share of 60 per cent in East African Countries. Kenafric’s success in Africa is based on product innovation, market reach, a high-profile presence in key markets and of course, investment in state-of-the-art capital equipment.