It was not so long ago that this fabricator provided turnstiles for most of the football stadiums used during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and over three million ticketed spectators passed through Turnstar turnstiles. In fact, next time you enter a major sporting venue in South Africa you will most likely be guided through a Turnstar turnstile to enter the stadium. If you are a Virgin Active member take note of the waist height polished stainless steel product you go through before entering the gym, as it too could be a Turnstar waist height turnstile.
Such has been the demand for Turnstar’s products since 2010 that the company’s revenue has increased by 50 per cent, just during the last three years. How?
Established in 1990 by Sid Sacks, Turnstar’s products offer a fit-and-forget solution and are known to be exceptionally reliable. Products are also now exported worldwide and have proven successful in some of Africa’s harshest conditions.
Turnstar is now one of Africa’s largest manufacturers of secure physical access control products, offering a host of solutions, ranging from turnstiles and revolving doors to vehicle barriers. A full research, design and development team is able to assist Turnstar clients from project conception to the final on-site installation phase.
Turnstar’s new Durma 4kW fiber laser
The new Durma 4kW fiber laser is capable of cutting up to 20mm mild steel and 12mm stainless steel
You could say that the heightened security concerns are a big contributor to Turnstar’s growth and this cannot be denied. However, it’s the company’s willingness to adapt to market demand and the company’s changing production operation that have also made a contribution to the company’s significant growth.
Over time the company’s offering has evolved from that of a turnstile manufacturer. Today the company’s portfolio includes a full range of turnstiles, speedgates, revolving doors, man-trap cubicles, vehicle barriers, high security spike barriers and anti-terror rising bollards and road blockers. All products are either manufactured fully in-house or part thereof and then assembled in their own facility in Wynberg, Johannesburg.
Likewise Turnstar’s 3 500m² manufacturing facility had to adapt. The equipment on the shopfloor had also advanced in terms of technology and quantity. A number of disciplines that used to be shopped out are now done in-house and this has seen a substantial investment in capital equipment. This included a CNC machining center, a CNC lathe, a CNC pipe bending machine, a robotic welder and a powder coating plant.
But as much as the company changed and enhanced its production facility to maximise output and quality, growing pains forced Turnstar to consider an alternative.
“Fortunately for us there was a run down and empty building directly behind our building. We managed to purchase the property and after some major alterations and refurbishment the two properties were seamlessly connected and we moved in just over three years ago. It also gave us the luxury of now having more than double – 7 700m² as opposed to 3 500m² – from which to operate from,” said Sid Sacks, the original founder of Turnstar.
“Additionally we have a further 1 000m² in our original building that we are using.”
Turnstar have just commissioned their second powder coating plant that has a fully automated seven stage preparation process and also includes a stainless steel nitric acid bath
Turnstar’s product ends up in all sorts of situations, from stadiums to corporate and financial institutions. Each product has to cater for functionality as well as take into account the environmental conditions endemic to the installation
“The move came at an ideal time because both our local and export orders had increased. It also gave us the opportunity to re-evaluate our production methods and processes. We were still outsourcing a number of processes, such as our press brake and laser cutting requirements. Shortly after the move into the new facility we purchased a Bystronic Xact 160, a 160 ton press brake with a bending width of 3 100mm and our existing Exactility 80 ton press was refurbished and is now referred to as a 2017 model.”
New Durma 4kW fiber laser
“We are now proud to announce the latest addition to our manufacturing plant. Late last year we commissioned a Durma 4kW fiber laser. The machine is capable of cutting up to 20mm mild steel and 12mm stainless steel and will increase overall product quality and lead times.”
“The laser cutter is also fitted with a tube attachment, which enables the company to laser cut holes on steel tube and pipe. Tube and pipe makes up a sizeable portion of our metal processing. We purchased the fiber laser as it is considered to be far more sophisticated, advanced and cost effective than CO2 laser cutters.”
“Additionally we have just commissioned our second powder coating plant that has a fully automated seven stage preparation process and also includes a stainless steel nitric acid bath. Different finishes are required to suit the various climate environments and powder coating provides greater durability. We also offer hot dip galvanising but this process is outsourced.”
“Because we have our own product lines, we have designers that help bring new products to market regularly. We can also use these designers to benefit our custom customers, whether it’s to tweak designs or develop process improvements.”
“It has really helped attract customers to us. We can help develop products and bring them to market at the right price from the get-go, rather than going back two years later and trying to figure out how to take costs down.”
“Turnstar’s products have to cater for both the security concerns as well as its overall aesthetics. For example full height turnstiles offer a high level of security whereas waist height and half height turnstiles are more comfortable, but less effective when it comes to security and crowd control.”
Industrial type turnstiles
Three years ago Turnstar purchased a Bystronic Xact 160, a 160 ton press brake with a bending width of 3 100mm. The machine was supplied by First Cut
“Our product ends up in all sorts of situations, from stadiums to corporate and financial institutions. Each product has to cater for functionality as well as take into account the environmental conditions endemic to the installation.”
Stainless steel polishing
“Close to 35% of our product is now made up of stainless steel components. The trend is very much to have a polished look because this gets attention for various reasons, but as far as I am concerned it is more effective when it comes to hiding weld lines and smoothing out surface blemishes.”
“In this department we have ordered a flat bed double belt finishing machine with flexible abrasive which enables the work of flat and round surfaces, as well as corners or edges of materials to be polished.”
“The working table with dimensions of 2 500 x 850mm allows the finishing of large structures up to 2 500mm long. We have asked the manufacturer of the machine, who is based in Europe, to design and provide us with a special adaptor which will allow us to do both rough and smooth finishing. The machine will be installed in the next couple of months.”
Turnstar was recently awarded with a contract for the supply and installation of bollards at the new Cableway Bridge that crosses the M1 motorway. The bridge, which is an extension of the Rea Vaya bus system, provides a new link between Sandton and Alexandra. In total eight bollards will be installed, four on either side of the bridge. The bollards will be used to ensure that only BRT buses are granted access. Four of the bollards are being supplied with a special design head to match the fall of the road. Special custom traffic light and control boxes will also be manufactured and installed.
Another interesting installation that Turnstar recently completed was to supply and install five speed gate secure lanes to Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape. The speed gates are installed at the entrance to a computer lab and currently protect millions of rands of equipment. The five lanes are installed in one row between the existing supporting columns of the building and are 900mm wide, allowing for comfortable access for students. With an opening time of less than one second, the speed gate secure lanes were the perfect fit for the university.
For further details contact Turnstar Systems on TEL: 011 786 1633 or visit www.turnstar.co.za