KIP Melamine Co. (formerly known as Kenya Industrial Plastics or KIP) has been the leading, predominant manufacturer and supplier of break-resistant Melamine tableware, crockery and sanitary-ware in the East African market for over 40 years. Renowned for its practicality, durability and high quality, the product range is available in supermarkets across East Africa and has long gained recognition and preference among catering organisations.
KIP applies its wealth of experience and expertise to the production of a wide range of consumer and industrial products, which are manufactured using the thermo-set pressing of melamine based compounds. The range includes:
- General Tableware & Crockery – plates, trays (flatware), drink-ware, dishes, bowls (all of various sizes, shapes and colours)
- Sanitary-ware – toilet seats and covers, and related accessories
- Promotional Items – tableware, flatware, ashtrays and other items with customizabledesigns and logos
- Industrial Chemicals –Urea-based glues for various industrial and commercial applications
- High Quality Adhesive Tapes – packaging tapes, masking tapes and related accessories
As part of its tradition of innovation, two new product lines were recently added to the above range:
- MelaKoy – a stylish line of melamine crockery embedded with real Kikoy cloth. Launched in 2012, MelaKoy is uniquely manufactured, making it one of a kind globallyand 100% Kenyan
- Polycarbonate Drink-ware – a line of elegant, long lasting and break resistant polycarbonate glasses including wine glasses (stemware), jugs and pitchers, tumblers and beer glasses
With the capacity to produce customized and branded tableware for both corporate and private use, KIP Melamine Co.’s products are ideal for promotions and advertising, addingthat personal touch to any event.
KIP has become the trusted supplier for customers in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Seychelles, South Sudan and Somalia, from a wide array of industries including:
- Local and Region-wide Supermarkets
- Schools, Universities and Educational Institutions
- Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations
- Hospitals and Health Care institutions
- Hotels and Food Service Institutions
- Large and Small Companies
- Retailers, Dealers, Wholesalers and Distributors
KIP has been based in Kenya for over 40 years, and under new management since 2006. Its modern production facilities located in Nairobi’s Industrial Area on 10 Pate Road just off LungaLunga Road, has the capacity to supply countries from Sub-Saharan Africa as well as other parts of the world. Priding itself in superior quality, empowering the 70 employees whose production skills are continuously upgraded, and sourcing raw materials from leading manufacturers around the world, KIP ensures that its product range is globally competitive and of the highest quality.
“To be a world-class producer of high-quality, user-friendly and practical products with the intention of highly satisfying consumers across East Africa. We want to create dominant, top-of-mind and respected product brands in the region by 2018. We want to become a known and respected brand in Europe and North America by 2020. Last, but not least, we want to develop our people and processes in order to enhance their careers and lives, as well as contribute to Kenya’s initiative of becoming a middle-income economy by 2030.”
“To deliver quality, value, durability, style and consistency in all our products. We will ensure that the highest levels of quality and customer satisfaction are always attained. At the Business-to-Business level, we want to build strong ties and partnerships with retailers (supermarkets), distributors, dealers and corporate end-users in the region with the end-goal of providing added value, positive impact on profitability, and high-quality consumer products with excellent pre- and post-sales customer service. We want to ensure that our brands stand out from the competition and that we create the value that our partners and customers can enjoy and/or benefit from. At the consumer level, we want to be the brand that customers prefer in terms of quality, value, application and durability.”
WHAT IS MELAMINE?
Melamine, the raw material used in the manufacture of KIP’s products, is formally known as Melamine Resin or Melamine Formaldehyde (MF) and is categorized as a form of thermoset plastic with hardness and heat resistance characteristics that differentiate it substantially from PVC, PP andother thermoplastics. These properties make it an attractive material for a range of product applications including: electrical components and parts (light switches and socket boxes), household products (tableware and sanitary ware), agricultural inputs (fertilizer) and industrial products (fire retardant materials, Formica, filters).
Although Melamine was first synthesized in Germany in 1834, it was only in the 40’s that it gained widespread commercial use. In the 60’s, a similar polymer, Urea Formaldehyde (UF) was discovered and synthesized at a lower cost than MF and proved to be advantageous for its lower density, lending finished products a lighter weight. However, the unique characteristics of MF and UFmake them suitable for different products; MF is used for items that are usually subjected to higher levels of heat such as plates, coffee mugs and soup dishes; UF is used for all other types of hard plastic products that are not usually subjected to heat such as trays, toilets seats, etc.
Today China remains the largest manufacturer of MF and UF compounds.
What is the difference between MF and UF?
Melamine is an organic compound that is often combined with formaldehyde to produce Melamine resin (known as Melamine Formaldehyde Compound), a synthetic polymer that is fire resistant and heat tolerant. Melamine resin is a very versatile material with a highly stable structure, which can easily be moulded while warm but will set into a fixed form, making it ideally suited to certain industrial applications, but difficult to recycle. Whilst it can withstand higher temperatures than other plastics, if exposed to enough heat, Melamine will melt, sodishware should not be exposed to high temperatures like those in an oven ormicrowave. Uses for Melamine include whiteboards, floor tiles, kitchenware, fire retardant fabrics, and commercial filters.
Urea Formaldehyde (UF) resin is an opaque thermoset resin produced by heating Ureaand Formaldehyde in a solution of ammonia or pyridine, and is available as a viscous liquid or spray dried powder that requires the addition of water prior to use. The resin is used widely as amoulding material and component of adhesives and protective finishes, or in the case of the fireboard industry, as a binding agent. The resin possesses excellent tensile strength, flexibility, and heat distortion resistance, and when cured forms a resilient finish. These characteristics have made the polymer a useful additive to a wide range of products such as wood finishes, adhesives, and binding agents. Many household products, such as kitchenware, tableware, sanitary-ware, electrical accessories, do it yourself (DIY) glues and finishing products are based on the resin. Despite these positive attributes, its main disadvantage is in the release of formaldehyde gas under certain conditions.
Generally Formaldehyde resins are extremely tough, scratch resistant polymers making them ideal for a host of domestic and industrial applications.
Key Features of Melamine Tableware
- Break-resistant – compared to glass, ceramic or porcelain based products, Melamine items can endure rougher handling and occasional falls, however they are not entirely ‘Break-Proof’
- Easy to clean
- Easy to handle – low breakage during transportation
- Lighter than ceramic and glass-based tableware
- Clean shiny finish
- Customizable at production level in terms of designs that can be placed on them
- Cannot be placed in the oven or microwave. Some heavier items (e.g. Kikoy Plates) can be placed inthe microwave (but not in the oven) for under 1 minute
- Can be scratched by sharp, dense objects made from metal or glass
Key Features of Melamine Sanitary-Ware
- Better hygiene levels (standards) than plastic or MDF toilet seats due to low porosity
- Stronger than plastic and MDF due to high tensile strength
- Lighter than MDF
- Easy to clean
- Heat and fire resistant