The story behind every startup is generally unique and Shaughn Kornau and his machine shop are no different.
It was inevitable that Shaughn Kornau would make engineering and in particular, machining precision components, his career.
“At the age of 10 my dad gave me a Myford 7 lathe as a present. It was the beginning of a lifetime of challenges in mechanical engineering and the fun that comes with it,” said Kornau, the owner of Ingenico Engineering Solutions, a precision CNC shop based in Eastleigh, Edenvale, Gauteng.
“From the moment I started to tinker with the machine I was fascinated with being able to make things out of metal. The exhilaration at finding satisfying solutions to difficult problems is unique and ever so rewarding to see them in production. All it demands is the confidence to accept a challenge, have faith in your ability to meet that challenge and be dedicated to whatever you do.”
“Dad had a career in mechanical engineering and in a way I suppose he wanted me to follow in his foot steps. Dad worked for Kempe Engineering, a large engineering firm which is based in Australia and is owned by relatives.”
“I largely learnt machining by working on the small lathe at home and by spending time at the factory where dad worked, watching and questioning different machinists as to how they were doing things.”
“After leaving school I studied mechanical engineering at Wits University for two years. My studies were cut short because I could not get a bursary so I went and did my two years of national service. Once I had finished I established my first company Drill Bush Engineering Supplies. That was in 1989.”
“Our focus was on manufacturing precision tooling and drill bushes as well as general manufacturing and design.”
Windscreen repair kits
“Throughout my life I have tried to use my engineering skills creatively and not be a run-of-the-mill guy. Being creative means taking risks and being adaptable. Because machine tools still represent the power to create, they will appeal to the creative powers of people with talent and imagination.”
“My first success came when I designed and developed the Glassmend Windscreen Repair Kits. They are highly successful tools used in workshops and windscreen repair and replacement shops all over the world.”
The fly fishing reels that Shaughn Kornau of Ingenico Engineering Solutions has designed and developed
The body of the reels is machined from aluminium solid
“Established in 1990, the system has been developed and refined over 10 years and is today a leader in its field. Designed with the user in mind, the kit is lightweight and simple to use. It is an excellent tool for glass repair outlets, as well as an ideal business opportunity for an entrepreneur.”
“Machined components are manufactured from high quality aluminium, and are anodised for long life and wear. The components are machined to tight tolerances on CNC machines and the moulded components are made from high strength polyurethane for long life and durability. It is designed to do long lasting repairs on all types of windscreens and because it is lightweight it is easy to move around. The total weight of the entire kit is just six kilograms.”
Shaughn Kornau of Ingenico Engineering Solutions with his wife Lauren, who also works at the company. They are standing next to Shaughn’s latest development, which is a outdoor drinks stand that has features such as cellphone/tablet charging points and advertising banners built into it
The latest machine to arrive on the floor Ingenico Engineering Solutions is a Hurco VM 10i vertical machining centre
“The bridge of the kit fits in the palm of your hand and is equipped with a pressure regulator which adjusts the pressure of the injector against the glass, for those breaks that have a tendency to run. The tips are disposable and all the vacuum pressure and surface seals are built into it. The system is equipped with a unique release mechanism which releases the bridge from the windscreen on completion of the repair.”
“We are still making the kits and spare parts today.”
The company continued to operate successfully until 2002 when Kornau decided to seek a new life in Australia, selling up everything and relocating his family. Life in Australia was not what the family thought it would be and they decided to come back to South Africa in 2004.
Kornau still owned the company name Drill Bush Engineering and the manufacture of the windscreen repair kits were still under his control.
“I was very fortunate that I could virtually start again from where I had left off, despite the two year gap. I could begin machining almost immediately.”
GCM sliding gate wheel kits
“The second product that I have been very successful with is the sliding gate component kit which is known as the GCM wheel kit. It comprises two wheel assemblies, two PVC guides and anti scuff brackets.”
“We manufacture wheel kits for sliding gates with the sizes comprising 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120 mm. The range is done in either V-type or U-radius type profiles and the bearings are made of steel.”
Two of the machining centres have 4th-axis capabilities and up until a couple of years ago Ingenico Engineering Solutions was loyal to one supplier
“The anti scuff brackets, also made by us, are patented and are designed to omit the chances of inevitable squeaks arising from the rubbing of the wheel against the bracket. Another feature is that they stop unnecessary load and wear on the gate motor and its rack and pinion.”
“We have been manufacturing the wheel kits since 2005.”
New company name
With progression and increased technology, drill bushes became obsolete. In order to move forward, Kornau changed the company name to Ingenico Engineering Solutions in 2009.
The shop took shape when new CNCs were purchased and other equipment such as a bandsaw, a 100 ton and a 70 ton press were acquired. Kornau then secured a long-term order for T-Lockout valves, which he still manufactures today.
Currently the company has eight CNC machines comprising a mix of lathes and machining centres
“We progressed to become a full CNC workshop and manufactured a variety of our own products as well as any parts and components on request, offering a service from design to final product. I love to be involved from the beginning and offer advice on the design side and then produce a prototype.”
So it was not long before Kornau started working on a new project.
Development of fly fishing reel
“We started this development just over three years ago. My son and I are quite keen fishermen, particularly fly fishing. On the end of the fly rod is a mechanical device called a reel… and there are many different manufacturers making a host of sizes.”
“But what we saw comes out of a manufacturing base in China. You can pick from a choice of 15 styles of reel, give an order for two to three hundred, put your name on it, ship it here in a container and land it here for half of what it costs to produce locally.”
“But what people don’t realise is that if it breaks you might as well throw it away. You can call the supplier but because they don’t make it they can’t fix it. Also it is made of inferior parts and components so you are going to have problems. You can go the expensive route and get good quality but with our exchange rate this is costly for most of us.”
An overhead view of the shopfloor
“Development has taken awhile with many hours put in on the manufacturing and then testing. We have now got to the stage where we are confident that the reel will be very well accepted in the market place. I know it is a very competitive market but with the quality of the components that we have used I know it will be a reel that can be relied upon.”
“We have tied up with a local fly fishing retailer and the reels are about to be launched under their own brand name. We have initially developed a salt water range and once this range is established we look at developing a fresh water range.”
“The body of the reel is machined from aluminium solid. The reel comprises 19 different components, which we also manufacture. They come in three different sizes – 8#, 10# and 12# weight – and are anodised locally. The only imported components used are some screws and bearings.”
Ingenico Engineering Solutions machines most materials including brass components
Ingenico Engineering Solutions has designed and developed its own deburring machine
“The 12# will be known as the Caranx (Caranx is a genus of tropical fish in the jack/GT/trevally family Carangidae), the 10# as the Chanos (Chanos is a genus of fish belonging to the Chanidae (milkfish) family) and the 8# as the Abula (Albula is a genus of fish belonging to the bonefish family Albulidae).”
“We have also designed the drag to make a sound on drag, which is not normal in a fly fishing reel but we figured that as we are only making the salt water range at the moment, the sound on drag is a necessity, especially when big fish are caught. From the sound on drag you can guage the speed and size of the fish on the end of the line.”
Ingenico Engineering Solutions manufactures T-Lockout valves for clients
At the age of 10 Shaughn Kornau’s dad gave him a Myford 7 lathe as a present. “It was the beginning of a lifetime of challenges in mechanical engineering and the fun that comes with it.”
“Some of the features that we believe will make it stand out is the light weight of the reel and it is manufactured with components that are made of high quality materials. Fishing reels are used in tough environments generally and you don’t want one to ‘explode’ on you when you are about to land your record breaking fish.”
“It is early days yet and we are not sure how many we will manufacture in a month. Time will tell.”
Currently the company has eight CNC machines comprising a mix of lathes and machining centres. Two of the machining centres have 4th-axis capabilities and up until a couple of years ago Kornau was loyal to one supplier. However this has changed and the latest machine to arrive on the floor is a Hurco VM 10i vertical machining centre.
“We have only just installed this machine and it fits the profile of our shopfloor perfectly. We are not machining large components so we don’t need a monster machine. It has a working envelope of 650 x 350 x 450 mm (XYZ) and comes equipped with Hurco’s Version 9 WinMax software control system.”
“A number of the components that make up the reels will be machined on the Hurco in future.”
Ingenico Engineering Solutions machines most materials including aluminium, stainless (all grades), mild steel and special steel and high tensile steels. Kornau does most of the programming of the machines and where necessary provides drawings. The company also manufactures its own jigs.
For further details contact Ingenico Engineering Solutions on TEL: 011 524 0091 or visit www.ingenicoengineeringsolutions.com