Our sustainability journey

When we know better, we do better – Narrowtex’s sustainability journey

In this article, originally posted on Mail & Guardian, Narrowtex Production Manager Michael Stander takes the time to reflect on our sustainability journey.

Established South African textile company Narrowtex initially reduced the energy consumption at its Estcourt plant by 157 732 Kilowatt hours (kWh) with an overall investment of about R80 000. It subsequently went on to install the first phase of its Solar PV plant, all through the technical support of the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA). 

In 2019 Narrowtex began its sustainability journey with the dual objective of reducing its carbon equivalent emissions and becoming less reliant on grid power. Narrowtex underwent an energy assessment and almost immediately implemented the quick-win items, which resulted in significant energy savings. 

Production Manager Michael Stander takes the time to reflect on the company’s journey.  “In today’s fast-moving and ever-changing production environment all manufacturing facilities locally and abroad are looking at sustainability and ‘doing things better’ for the environment and to assist the bottom line.

“I was first introduced to the concept of resource efficiency under the guidance of Andre Page, Project Manager NCPC-SA, in Cape Town, and quickly realised the importance of all South African production plants being able to identify their ‘waste streams’. Equally critical is being able to understand the plant’s energy usage and quantify its consumption, to enable them to produce smarter and reduce energy costs,” says Stander. 

When I started at Narrowtex, a company that produces narrow woven textiles, one of my first objectives was to identify and quantify the energy consumption of the facility. We engaged with NCPC-SA KZN Project Manager Milisha Pillay and under the auspices of the Industrial Energy Efficiency Project received fully subsidised assistance in the form of an energy assessment. 

“We then went on to implement eight energy efficiency improvements as recommended, which slightly reduced our baseload consumption, and through the NCPC-SA went on to investigate the feasibility of a Solar PV system to become more self-sufficient and further reduce our operating costs,” Stander continues.

“The projects that were implemented included the reduction of standing losses on machinery through improved insulation, installing geyser timers as well as motion sensors in locker rooms and a LED lighting retrofit programme.

“The payback period for the renewable energy project became more attractive once the energy efficiency improvements were made, and Narrowtex General Manager Chris Fell decided to commission the first phase of the Solar PV plant in March 2021.  

“The installed Solar PV system is showing great returns so far. The company has consumed approximately 21.5% less electricity, based on the August 2019 year to date figure. We are still working on changing behavioural patterns (related to electricity use) and shift patterns within the plant to maximise the benefit from the system.

“Phase 2 is planned for the near future and will result in us being able to generate enough electricity to meet approximately 60% of the facility’s current daytime energy requirements. The final phase of the installation should take us up to 80% off-grid during daytime operating hours,” says Stander.

“As Narrowtex Group we are very pleased with the outcome achieved by engaging with the NCPC-SA, not only for our Energy Efficiency and Solar PV Projects, but also for the next steps in our low carbon journey and to continue our commitment to operate in the best and most environmentally-friendly way possible. 

“People’s involvement in this journey is critical, as management cannot do it alone as  — you must have the understanding and buy-in from all employees within the organisation if you want to succeed,” Stander concludes.

The NCPC-SA is available to advise and support your company on its sustainability journey.  To get more information visit: www.ncpc.co.za or email: ncpc@csir.co.za to start the journey today.

Narrowing the gap

Narrowing the gap: manufacturer sees scope for UK growth

Q&A with Packaging Scotland

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

In a recent interview with Packaging Scotland, Narrowtex General Manager, Chris Fell, discussed some of our future plans and prospects.  Read the full article below:

South African-headquartered Narrowtex is looking to grow its presence in the UK market through the company’s selection of narrow fabrics. Chris Fell, general manager, Narrowtex, recently told Packaging Scotland about standing out in a competitive market, the potential for growth, and new product innovations.

Q) What’s the history of the business and how has it grown over the years? 

A) Narrowtex was established in 1969. We manufacture a large range of quality narrow fabrics including industrial webbing, seatbelt webbing, curtain header tape, and our core range of lashing and strapping.

With over 50 years of experience, technical expertise and premium quality standards, we have developed into a reputable and trusted business partner offering manufacturing excellence to local and international markets. We are a member of the NTX Group, a subsidiary of SA Bias Industries Pty Ltd. Over the years Narrowtex has achieved continued growth, especially in the international market where we are supplying to five different continents. We expect this growth trend to continue into the future.

Q) What can you tell us about your lashing and strapping range, and how do these products stand out in a competitive market?

A) Our quality lashing and strapping range includes woven polyester lashing and strapping, composite/cord strapping, and bonded/hot melt strapping. We have over 25 years of experience exporting our range and are well established in the international market. Our superior quality control measures and supporting accreditations especially stand out in the market. Our accreditations for the range include ISO9001, AAR (Association of American Railways) and DNV.GL certifications.  Our seatbelt webbing range is IATF16949-certified and is testament to the standard of our quality control in our in-house laboratory.

Certificates of Conformance from our in-house laboratory can be provided with each batch of product supplied. We have also established an Environmental Management System that is in conformance with the ISO 14001:2015 International Environmental Management System.

Our high quality, ability to provide innovative solutions and our custom printing and dyeing facilities makes us an attractive option for importers internationally including the UK.

Q) How much potential do you see for increasing your presence in the UK market? What are your plans for growing the business in the UK?

A) We currently see a lot of potential to grow our offering into the UK with our large range of high quality narrow fabrics. Our plans include follow up face-to-face visits with prospective customers looking to import our products into the UK.

We will continue to market our range through the various mediums available along with participation in upcoming trade exhibitions in the UK. South Africa and the UK have a long-established trading history with good trade relations and trade agreements in place.  Narrowtex’ s close proximity to a major seaport (Durban) gives good access to the shipping routes from South Africa to all of the main UK ports. The combination of these factors makes Narrowtex an excellent high quality and cost-effective supply option for UK importers.

Q) What have been some of the most memorable projects you’ve been involved in?

A) We enjoy working in tandem with prospective customers to develop innovative solutions to their challenges. Our most memorable and satisfying projects involve providing customised solutions to customer requirements. Working closely with customers to understand their requirements, developing solutions to meet these requirements and then supplying product accordingly, provides great satisfaction to the Narrowtex team.

Q) Anything you can tell us about future product innovations? Are environmental considerations becoming more prominent?

A) We are constantly developing new product and more efficient and innovative manufacturing processes in our factory. As the market changes and our customers’ needs change, we work closely with our customer base to re-engineer current product ranges and develop new ranges to meet customer requirements.

Environmental and social responsibilities are key in our development as a company and group at large. We participate in a number of community development projects including a creche to care for children in need. We work closely with the education department to assist newly qualified individuals to gain valuable work experience with our learnership programmes and provide bursaries for students in need.

Our environmental management system is in conformance to the ISO14001:2015 system, but this is certainly not where our efforts stop. In March this year, we completed the first phase of our solar energy project, aimed at increasing our level of self-sufficiency in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.

We now produce more than 33% of our energy requirements and the intention is that we will expand on this into the future. Rainwater tanks have been installed to reduce our water consumption and recycling of waste is of extreme importance to us. A number of other projects aimed at reducing our carbon footprint are also currently under consideration.

Link to the original article: Narrowing the gap: manufacturer sees scope for UK growth | Packaging Scotland

FOR MORE UPDATES, FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

The safer & lighter steel strapping alternative

Woven polyester strapping features & industry uses

The safer & lighter steel strap alternative

Narrowtex Woven Polyester Strapping is safer, lighter and as strong as steel strapping. Our range is available in a wide variety of tensile strengths and widths to suit any requirements.

These strapping/cord/banding systems can be used in every type of load securing and is ideal for securing heavy or uneven loads. Whether inside or on top of rail cars, containers, shipping vessels, trucks, lorries, flat racks, open-top containers, or freight carriers, our woven polyester strapping is the safe and secure cargo ratchet tie-down option. Large industry use of our woven strapping includes the secure bundling of Timber / Lumber; this is also referred to as timber strapping.

Woven polyester strapping features

Large industry use of our woven strapping includes the secure bundling of Timber / Lumber; this is also referred to as timber/lumber strapping.

In addition to the timber/lumber industry, our woven polyester strapping is used for the securing of:

  • Machinery – engines, equipment
  • Steel and metal – pipes, sheeting
  • Engineering – lifting, machinery
  • Automotive – cars, parts in transit
  • Chemical and petrochemicals – drums, containers
  • Construction – brickyards, scaffold, precast, concrete product
  • Shipping – shipping crates, cargo inside containers, bundled loads
  • Vessels – irregular-shaped cargo, containerization
  • Transport and logistics – flat racks, rail cars, trucking
  • Food and beverage – securing and palletizing
  • Pulp and paper – bulk transportation
  • Plastics- piping, sheeting,
  • Export Packing – strapping cargo securement for export
  • Ports and terminals – lifting, packing and loading
  • Armed and defence forces – securement during transportations

At our production facility in Estcourt, South Africa, our up-to-date laboratory is used for continuous testing. By testing our strapping during different stages of production, we ensure consistent delivery of our superior products.

We also use accredited Labs for calibration i.e., tensile machines and have the calibration certificates issued by the accredited Lab.  When requested, we provide the following reports to our clients:

Tensile Test Report
COA – Certificate of Analysis
COC – Certificate of Conformance

These certificates list the customer specifications and the actual test results.

 

Contact our local and export lashing and strapping specialists for further technical information as well as demonstrations or solutions to your specialised packing needs.

We are an established exporter! Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information or to discuss your requirements.

Narrowtex Solar Energy Project

NARROWTEX COMPLETES THE FIRST PHASE OF OUR SOLAR ENERGY PROJECT

REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

On 23 March 2021, we completed phase 1 of our solar energy project. This project was explored to become more self-sufficient, save on electricity and continue our commitment to operate in the best and most environmentally friendly way, possible.

This video shares footage of our new solar panels. By installing these solar panels, we are now producing 220 kilowatts of energy on-site, which is more than 33% of the energy required for our operations.

Visit the solar energy project page.

  • AAR Certificate decal
  • Narrowtex is AAR (Association of American Railroads) certified for selected lashing and composite strapping products for open-top loading requirements.

  • ISO 14001 CERTIFIED NARROWTEX DECAL
  • We have established an Environmental Management System that is in conformance with the  ISO 14001:2015 International Environmental Management System.

  • ISO 9001 CERTIFIED NARROWTEX DECAL
  • We have established a quality management system that is in conformance with the ISO 9001:2015 International Quality System Standard.

  • DNV.GL CERTIFIED NARROWTEX DECAL
  • Narrowtex holds DNV – Germanischer Lloyd certification for specified lashing and composite strapping products.

  • IATF 16949 CERTIFIED NARROWTEX DECAL
  • Narrowtex seatbelt webbing is manufactured in accordance with the IATF 16949:2016 quality system.

  • Narrowtex in-house lab tested
  • The Narrowtex production facility’s up to date laboratory is used for continuous testing at different stages of production, ensuring our consistent delivery of superior products.

    Narrowtex lashing and strapping features

    LASHING AND STRAPPING FEATURES

    Narrowtex manufactures quality lashing and strapping for South African and export markets. Our range includes woven polyester lashing and strapping, composite strapping and bonded strapping. We hold the following accreditations: ISO9001, ISO14001, AAR, DNV.GL and IATF16949

    WOVEN POLYESTER LASHING

    Container Lashing from Narrowtex is manufactured to ensure a safe and secure cargo lashing system. Our range of cargo lashing is marketed under the brand NARROLASH™ and the comprehensive range of products can accommodate various cargo securing systems. Our core range is the Association of American Railroads (AAR) certified.

    WOVEN POLYESTER STRAPPING

    The Narrowtex range of polyester woven strapping is marketed under the brand NARROSTRAP™ and is the ideal solution for various applications as the woven polyester strapping does not split, is flexible and can be used universally. Combined with buckles, tools and tensioners, Narrostrap provides a reliable assembly solution. The strapping can be tensioned using manual or pneumatic tension tools

    COMPOSITE/CORD STRAPPING

    Narrowtex Composite Strapping is manufactured from high tenacity polyester yarns and encased in a high-quality polymer coating. Composite Strapping, also referred to as cord strap or synthetic steel, is an effective alternative to steel strapping, metal banding and plastic strapping. Composite Strapping does not rust and therefore will not damage precious cargo during transit and storage. It is designed to absorb impacts and load shifting during transit and unlike steel strapping will not snap or break.

    BONDED/HOTMELT STRAPPING

    Bonded strapping, otherwise referred to as hot melt strapping, has many advantages over conventional manually applied products such as steel straps, metal banding, rope, plastic straps and stretch film. Compared to these products bonded strapping is applied in a faster, safer and more cost-effective way. The bonded strapping can be joined by a simple knot or used in combination with buckles, tools and tensioners, providing the most dependable joining systems. It can be tensioned using manual or pneumatic tension tools.