​Long lasting partnership between Gebo Cermex and Unilever materialises in a 30 per cent line capacity increase

After a thorough evaluation of different suppliers, Unilever Durban in South Africa decided to acquire a new SF39 bottom-loading vertical case packer from Gebo Cermex, part of Sidel Group. Installed at the Maydon Wharf factory, the equipment is enabling the plant to better respond to market growth, by significantly increasing its production capacity.

With eight other Gebo Cermex case packers operating at the plant, the choice of case packer supplier may have appeared obvious, but it was not that clear cut, explains the plant’s project delivery engineer, Roy Naidoo: “Since the factory was built in 1996, the business has tried to standardise on the case packers supplied by Gebo Cermex, which is one of the three global machine suppliers to Unilever. However, this is not set in stone – after sales support, machine quality and reliability, OEM flexibility and cost are all important deciding factors.

Two key drivers helped Unilever in selecting the Gebo Cermex proposal: the supplier was able to showcase ongoing technology and engineering improvements based on operational learnings, as well as to design a solution that was perfectly fulfilling the customer’s requirements. Eventually, the value of an enduring partnership, built on trust, listening and understanding, made the equation work.

Part of a new packaging line, delivering Vaseline petroleum jelly in different formats and fragrances, the SF39 case packer provides case forming, loading and sealing on a single machine with a more efficient design than previous models, with operator zones visible and accessible.