Jet Park-based corrosion protection, epoxy flooring, concrete repair and waterproofing company Verni secured a contract for its Supaflor polyurethane (PU), high-density (HD) screed flooring solution last month. The solution will be applied to the floors of the winery at Mont Rochelle, in Franschoek, the Western Cape.
Mont Rochelle forms part of English business magnate and investor Sir Richard Branson’s collection of retreats under his Virgin Limited Edition banner.
Verni technical sales engineer Peter Breiting says, although the company supplies various Supaflor PU products, the HD screeds are most commonly used. He adds that HD screeds are used to protect floors from high-volume traffic and constant cleaning, such as the production areas of wineries and breweries. “These floors are nonslide surfaces that are also chemical resistant.”
He notes that ceramic tiles often break and the grouting used to lay them promotes bacterial growth. However, PU flooring solutions can withstand a significantly higher load capacity and are more hygienic than ceramic tiles.
When installing the Supaflor PU HD screed, all existing tiles must be removed, and the concrete repaired and scarified to allow for the PU to properly bond with the concrete. The PU screed is then manually applied to provide a seamless flooring system.
Verni has supplied its flooring solutions to several other vineyards, including Stellenbosch-based Aldering and Thelema, as well as Wellington-based wine farm Jack Frost.
It has also supplied the solution to brewing and bottling company SABMiller’s operations, including its Alrode and Chamdor breweries, in Gauteng.
The latest and most significant project Verni completed for SABMiller was its new Castle Lite and Coca-Cola bottling lines in Gaborone, Botswana. The company completed the supply and fitment of 6-mm- thick Supaflor PU HD screeds in August 2013.
“SABMiller was impressed with our single-line guarantee, which includes product manufacturing to specifications, quality control, installation and after-sales services, which is why we secured this contract,” Breiting says.
He notes that trucking the equipment to Gaborone was one of the most significant challenges of the project. Completing the project on time was another challenge for Verni, as the company could apply the HD screed only after the building contractors had completed sections of the building. Doing the work in phases allowed for the systematic installation of capital equipment soon after the installation of the HD screeds.
Supaflor HD screeds were launched in South Africa in 2002. Verni MD Vernon Botha initially started the business as a product manufacturer, and contracted approved applicators to apply the solution.
“We soon realised, however, that the approved applicators would often mix the materials incorrectly or not prepare the floors properly, which would essentially ruin the application, giving us a bad name in the marketplace,” Breiting tells Engineering News.
He adds that, owing to the poor performance of the applicators, Verni decided to conduct everything in-house, “which affords us a unique position in the marketplace”.