Established in 1963, Marley Pipe Systems is recognised globally as the leading name in plastic pipe conveyance and reticulation systems. Driven by a passion for the industry, the company’s allencompassing approach is demonstrably structured to deliver on its promise: quality without compromise.
MARLEY PROVIDES plastic pipe infrastructure into several sectors such as mining, industrial and infrastructure, including municipal infrastructure. “We offer an alternative to the conventional systems,” explains Pranesh Maniraj, head of sales and marketing, PE Solutions. “We look to provide these solutions not simply from a product perspective but also from quality, technical support services, capacity and range points of view.”
While many companies like to consider themselves market leaders, Marley sees itself as a steward of the plastic pipe industry in general, and is active across a number of initiatives that raise the bar for quality, standards, testing and market education.
Partnering for quality product
Marley’s approach to all the markets it serves is one of partnership. The company can produce up to 1 000 mm in diameter in solid-wall pipes and up to 1 800 mm in diameter in structured wall pipes, with the technological potential to manufacture up to 3 500 mm. State-of-the-art fabrication underpins the company’s philosophy: ‘If you can draw it, we can make it.’
The company does more than sell pipes and fittings: it involves itself from the point of specification all the way through to commissioning. Quality is viewed holistically and the company has invested in ensuring that its production processes follow its SANS ISO 9001 quality management system.
“We have the equipment, the facilities and the trained personnel to ensure that our products and systems are manufactured to and carry the SABS mark of trusted quality as for the various permit requirements,” explains Ian Venter, product specialist, Petroplas and Weholite. This includes the resources to conduct destructive and nondestructive testing, carry out X-rays on products and ensure that all permit conditions are met.
Marley is also creating standards for the South African market, and works closely with several bodies to ensure this happens. “Our work sees us introducing a plastic alternative to a traditional product (typically cement or steel or GRP), developing a standard for it and working with the SABS to have it translated into a National Standard. An example of this is a project we are working on with the City Of Tshwane, in which we have developed plastic manholes suitable for the dolomitic nature of the area. Made from Weholite and solid-wall HDPE, the plastic manhole is gaining traction in the market due its versatility, quality, water and chemical resistance and ease of installation. The city was not familiar with its properties so we have developed the standards in conjunction with Department of Public Works, which will now become the SABS standard,” explains Venter.
Partnering for quality and price
Marley’s aim is to improve efficiencies, solve industry challenges and ensure safe and sustainable operations in a broad spectrum of pipeline applications. Substandard raw materials account for 85% of PE pipe system failures, due to the use of non-conforming recycled raw material in production. Marley Pipe Systems is dedicated to ensuring that plastic pipe systems deliver on their promise. “Plastic is entering a more mature phase in the market and is recognised now not only as a valid and recognised substitute, but as a first-line product that can deliver a 100-year lifespan. Cheaper products, which by nature are of a lesser standard, are not going to deliver that. The common message out in the industry is that plastic will outperform traditional materials in specific applications,” says Venter.
The bottom line when it comes to price is that the only way a manufacturer can drive its price down is by compromising on raw material.
Partnering for support
Marley’s technical expertise is second to none and is founded on its strong support structure of mechanical engineers and polymer technologists. From the specification of a project to development and commissioning, Marley sees each installation as a new opportunity to reinforce and improve both the reputation of plastic pipe systems and market knowledge and expertise. Transferring knowledge and skills to its client-partners is fundamental to each project.
This applies as much for contractors as it does customers. Faize Gafoor, sales executive: projects, explains, “We want to empower contractors and are driving this in partnership with Plastics SA by setting the standards and certifying welders in line with SANS/national specifications. Butt-welding and electro-fusion-welding processes are the critical elements of an enduring pipe system. We align ourselves with butt-welding equipment companies and also produce electro-fusion fittings up to 1 200 mm.”
Partner networks of innovation and capacity
With some of the largest, state-of-theart manufacturing facilities in Nigel and Rosslyn in Gauteng and multiple branches and depots throughout the country, Marley Pipe Systems’ manufacturing capacity is extensive, catering not only to the local market but also export markets in Europe, Australia, and across Africa. Further supporting the company’s capacity is its position as an Aliaxis company. Marley is continuously bringing new innovations from around the globe to the local market, by constantly adding new products to its stable and further increasing its abilities to provide complete solutions. This capacity, coupled with its expertise and a long heritage in the plastic pipes market, allows Marley Pipe Systems to continuously innovate new products, techniques and equipment.
“We have been active in developing new products and methods, including a technology to manufacture fire-retardant pipe. Our acquired Weholite technology from Finland and our innovative seals from Europe have created a thorough joining system perfect for both stormwater and sewer systems. We have also developed void-free stubs which significantly increase the integrity of piping systems.” says Venter.
Marley is also the only manufacturer that can offer fluorinated pipe for use with petro-chemicals. Fluorination essentially combats permeation by turning the inner and outer layers into a Teflon-like material, preventing permeation.
Partnering for the long term
Engaging with its customers, taking a longterm perspective and ensuring an uncompromising approach to quality from cradle to grave is what differentiates Marley in an increasingly competitive market. These principles have attracted large, high-profile clients over the years, such as Transnet and Sasol.
When working with clients of this nature, Marley’s approach of shared responsibility in risk completes the package. “We work as a unit with our clients and contractors and are as sensitive to their needs as they are,” notes Gafoor.