World Power Products consolidates manufacturing sites for better efficiency

The consolidation is taking place to cut costs, to improve customer service, and make the company more competitive.

When a company occupies five different factory sites, has 30 000m² under roof to work with and offers CNC laser cutting, punching, bending, milling and turning, robotic welding as well as MIG/TIG welding and stud welding, plastic injection moulding, die casting, polyurethane gasket extrusion, powder coating and electro plating, you know it means business.

However, as cost cutting drives more applications away from labour-intensive secondary and tertiary operations, better tools are needed to help consolidate processing into a minimum amount of handling.


World Power Products has six Haas CNC machines in the machine shop


Jan Görtzen (MD) and Igmar van Rie (Factory Manager) of World Power Products

“As a manufacturer, your world is growing in complexity. You are serving more customers, with more products across multiple supply chains. The technology you are using to manage your business may be spread out across multiple, disconnected systems that make it difficult to consolidate into a “single version of the truth”. Therefore your business needs a technology solution that provides end-to-end visibility through insights that enable you to make timely, effective decisions to maintain and grow your business,” says Jan Görtzen who joined the company three years ago as Managing Director.

Established in 1963 in the south of Johannesburg by the late Peter Bahlig, World Power Products originally focussed on part production and repair work. Currently World Power Products is run by Bahlig’s son Mark, as Director, and Görtzen.

Today the company specialises in the manufacture of high-precision, custom sheet metal products as well as standard mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium enclosures and cabinets, offering a vast range of sizes and various accessories to cater for customers specific needs. All cabinets and enclosures have Ingress protection ratings of IP40, IP54, IP55 and IP65. The standard products are powder coated in RAL 7032 grey and B26 orange. Textured finishes and various colours are also available.

“The occupation of five different factory sites was augmented by the company’s growth and its endeavour to offer a complete solution. Planning was obviously undertaken because electro plating, for example, was off-site from the main operation a few streets away. It made sense in that it would not contaminate the other operations. But the time wasted on transport between facilities before assembly and dispatch, which has always taken place at the main facility, was affecting the bottom line. Equally, having duplicate support staff and in some cases duplicate operations at the various sites did not make sense.”


Enclosures manufactured by World Power Products on the assembly line


World Power Products has four Motoman robots of various sizes carrying out robotic welding operations

“The more closely we examined our sites and envisioned the ideal facility, the more we realised how significantly each individual facility either supported the overall operation and contributed to profitability, or detracted from it and drained profitability.”

“Additionally we weren’t being as efficient with our space at the main facility as we could have been. The various operations, which should follow the previous one, were also located all over the factory. The relatively new Salvagnini fiber laser was located on one floor while the other lasers were on another floor.”

Five ways to add punch to productivity
According to Görtzen, the company considered many factors as part of the decision to consolidate operations.

“The efficiency of consolidated operations was a key point. Generally, the more operations can be consolidated, the less part handling is required. Combining different operations can also improve part accuracy.”

“However there are five ways to add punch to productivity and efficiencies – eliminate, optimate, renovate, coordinate and consolidate.”

“We have done all of these and now only operate from two facilities that are located next to each other. In essence you could say it is one facility with two addresses.”

“In a company of this size offering clients a complete package there are a large number of machines that are on the floor. At the heart of them in the sheet metal operations are four lasers, which include three Trumpfs and the relatively new Salvagnini L3 fiber. Then there are five CNC Trumpf punching machines and over 30 press brakes, the bulk of them being Trumpfs and the largest a 320 ton Trumpf.”


World Power Products has over 30 press brakes, the bulk of them being Trumpfs, and the largest a 320 ton Trumpf


The relatively new Salvagnini fiber laser

“At the moment we have six Haas CNC machines in the machine shop, and in the welding department we have taken the automation route and have four Motoman robots of various sizes carrying out robotic welding operations.”

“We have extended and renovated the buildings and now we have all our operations in one place, and as a result we will be more competitive and quicker to respond to changing requirements.”

“The added advantage is that because of the restructuring and reorganising we have more space to grow.”

“The best metal fabricating partner in a supply chain is the one that not only provides on-time delivery of quality products, but also provides complete and open communication, and this has been our strategy since Mark and I took over. We believe we have achieved this.”

For further details contact World Power Products on TEL: 011 680 5524 or visit