Qinisa Steel Solutions (Pty) Ltd is a BEE Level 1 black-owned business based in Alrode, Gauteng that specialises in tube laser cutting, robotic welding and component manufacture. The move into tube laser cutting began in 2017 with the purchase of a new BLM LT Fiber tube laser from Italy, which is adept at cutting mild steel, aluminium and stainless steel tubes at high speeds and with great accuracy.
“The key to these machines is to ensure they are working around the clock to ensure the cut parts remain competitively priced relative to traditional methods of tube processing such as drilling, milling, blade cutting, deburring and finishing,” said Grant Mackenzie, a Director at Qinisa Steel.
“Once tubular parts are cut, we add further value through fabricating sub-assemblies via manual or robotic welding, which helps to reduce cost and improve quality and consistency,” continued Mackenzie.
“An added advantage for us is that customers who require localisation and improved BEE spend can source their products through Qinisa Steel.”
“We have been particularly successful with some IPP solar PV projects, which is one of our specialities. The requirements of the solar industry and their fastidious clients require high-quality standards and accurate parts that are produced in high-volume to strict on-time delivery demands. The onerous warranties ensure we remain on top of our quality management systems and material traceability and that we meet their strict cutting tolerances.”
“The experience that we have gained from dealing with the solar industry is applied to other industries that we deal with. As a result our business has started to gain traction in a host of other sectors and applications that require aluminium and stainless steel components to be processed on our machines,” said Managing Director, Jerry Govender.
“There is quite a lot of jobbing that we perform for mid-sized clients requiring accurate drawings and quick turnaround times. The key to the business is staying on top of machine maintenance. Additionally, machine up-time and making sure that the machines are working through multiple shifts are also key to maximising efficiencies and reducing costs,” continued Govender.
“Having our own in-house drawing office helps us to interface with clients for quick solutions and solving customers’ technical difficulties when presented with a manufacturing dilemma. If we cannot lower the total cost of manufacturing for our customer, then we are not assisting the industry to become competitive, which is one of our key goals”, adds Mackenzie.
Learning from others
“What we learnt from the unfortunate demise of Robor Steel and the closing of other large merchants’ tubing and laser departments, is that one must specialise in a niche area and stick to what one does best to ensure sustainability. We have chosen to specialise in tube laser cutting and provide a quick turnaround service for tube mills and large customers who free issue material to us for cutting. This ensures we keep costs low and the customer controls the buying and therefore the cost of the tubing. We simply focus on getting the jobs out quickly and seamlessly taking out the hassle factor for our customers.”
Additional tube laser processing machines
“We have recently purchased and installed two BLM CO2 tube lasers from Macsteel. This will assist Qinisa Steel in our efforts to improve our turnaround times and ensure that cutting and processing of product continues uninterrupted while the required planned maintenance can take place on our other machines. Again it is to emphasise our culture of cutting accuracy and machine uptime.”
“There are a lot more moving parts in a tube laser than a conventional flat laser and calibration is important to ensure customers get exactly what is on the drawing. Focusing on the customer is the key to our business and getting the little things right,” said Mackenzie.
“Being easy to do business with is vital for a good customer experience and we strive to remain quick-footed and relevant to the customer’s changing needs.”
“From a machine perspective we can process mild steel tubing from 15mm to 152mm in rounds, up to 120mm in squares and up to 8mm wall thickness. It is also possible to laser cut angles and channels which customers are finding very useful. Our lasers also cut aluminium and stainless very effectively.”
“If required, we fabricate mild steel components post laser cutting and have good rates on hot dipped galvanising (HDG) due to our involvement in the solar industry where we out-source HDG as part of the finished product,” said Govender.
“We have a growing base of service centres that send their 3D drawings to us – we re-draw where required – and this ensures they get their parts back 100% to what they expect, and on time.”
For further details contact Qinisa Steel on TEL: 010 873 7000 or visit www.qinisasteel.co.za