On Friday 19 February the punching hall was officially opened by Dave King (former MD, Packaging). The hall was named “Dave’s Punching King-Dom,” in honour of Dave’s many years of dedicated service to S&G. Dave started at S&G as National Sales Manager in 2004 having elected to move on after the merger of Nampak and Kohlers. In 2005, after Simon Downes acquired the total shareholding of S&G, Dave took the reigns as MD of Shave & Gibson Packaging, a position he held until his retirement on 31 May 2020.
Dave had the vision to reshuffle our plant and streamline our factory, to improve on the production flow, by moving our existing 5 Bobst Autoplatens from one factory hall to another, some 250m away. This daunting task would take 18 months and countless hours of planning, changes and disagreements and would ultimately have an effect on production, with the machines being taken offline and out of use for periods of time. During the course of the relocation, we decided to acquire a Bobst Visioncut – the first of its kind in the world. This served to complicate the factory reorganisation even further. Finally, Covid intervened, to ensure that this massive undertaking generated as much pressure as possible, all of which, Dave absorbed with aplomb.
The project was headed up by then Maintenance Manager, John Arton-Powell, Beswick Machinery engineers and other selected contractors. The Bobst engineers who were slated to fly to SA to install the new Visioncut were unable to do so due to the Covid-19 lockdown, and the machine arrived at the height of this period, and was installed using WhatsApp; YouTube, and other online measures. A real testament to the resourcefulness of the engineering team.
John started with us in 1987, on a temporary basis to repair a faulty gate. He never left, and finally retired on 7 August 2020, after 33 years of industrious and loyal service to the group. None of us can recall whatever happened to that faulty gate…
The new “Dave’s Punching King-Dom” is a space of great beauty and efficiency, and a fitting testament to the loyal service of these two stalwarts.