Following fire, Reunion Components hopes to be back in production by end March
New plant purchased, and negotiating with other PU plants to produce some orders
Durban (SA) – Following the fire on January 22 which destroyed all 3 of its moulding machines, as well as its spraying, dipping and degreasing equipment and its mould making plant, PU unit manufacturer Reunion Footwear Components expects to be back in production by the end of March, according to sales agent Matthew Hansen of Hansen Agencies.
In the interim, Reunion is negotiating with John Whittle Components and Corrida Shoes’ in-house PU unit plant to make some of Reunion’s orders, using Reunion’s own moulds. Reunion would do the finishing and despatch.
He said if agreement was reached, production would start “in the next week or so” [early February].
Reunion has bought a complete, reconditioned PU unit production line from a Polish company, which includes a Gusbi 60-station rotary machine, and a Gusbi 24-station ‘banana’ machine, which is similar to Reunion’s old machines.
In the rotary machine, the stations rotate around a static pouring head at a set speed, allowing for higher production than the more manual banana machines. “Previously our capacity would have been around 5 000 pairs in 24 hours. We expect the new machines to offer us the capacity to produce 6 000 to 7 000 pairs in the same time,” he said.
“The banana machine is back-up, but it allows us to continue with cork and PU recycling, because that mixing head is designed for that type of machine.”
The new plant will come with an automatic sole spraying machine, an automatic sole dipping machine, an automatic sole degreasing/washing machine, other associated equipment.
The majority of Reunion’s moulds were not destroyed. Its mould storage room, built with a concrete roof, steel-reinforced double walls and a fire door to prevent theft “turned out to be fireproof”, he said. “Even the resin moulds were unaffected.”
Of 40 pairs on the machines at the time, a number of aluminium moulds had survived, he said. Resin moulds on the machines and on racks in the factory and had been destroyed.
Reunion’s accounts and admin were not affected.
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