Durban-based innovative paper products manufacturer Pandu Paper will add a new laser cutting machine to its production line.
The technology is being imported from China and will be delivered by the end of this month.
The company notes that, while laser cutting technology is most often used in industrial processes like steel processing, it can also be useful in making other processes more efficient.
Pandu Paper will use the laser technology to help create and cut new designs for its paper products.
“This laser technology will help to improve the quality of our designs, increase innovation and increase production. From an aesthetics point of view, this will greatly improve our product designs,” says Pandu Paper GM Keshen Naidu.
Last year, the company launched a new range of muffin cup holders made from paperboard.
The response to the company’s new muffin cup holders has been positive. “A big demand exists for this product in the wedding, entertainment, gift and food packaging industries.
“We will now make the laser- cut version of this product available and this has generated a lot of interest from the public and the baking industry,” adds Naidu.
Since the introduction of the new muffin cup holders, Pandu Paper has experienced a 35% increase in sales.
“Once we include the laser technology in our production process, we expect this number to grow considerably,” he says.
Further, the company plans to export its innovations to the UK from the end of June this year. The products are currently being exported to South Africa’s neighbours, such as Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Pandu Paper employs 200 workers from nearby townships to produce its products.
During peak season, the company employs an additional 50 temporary workers to help with production. It trains these people so they will have the necessary skills to contribute to production.
“Pandu Paper feels it is important to help with job creation in South Africa and to train people and empower them with knowledge they can use in other areas as well,” says Naidu.
Pandu Paper is a Level 1 black economic-empowerment- (BEE-) compliant company.
“We are very proud of our BEE accomplishment. “We try to make a difference and to contribute positively to South Africa where we can,” comments Naidu.
The company also advocates the recycling of its paper products.
“We try to use resources sparingly, as every company needs to make a positive contribution to the environment. “We also support local paper mills and buy all of our raw materials from them,” he notes.