Seasoned manufacturing experience leads to new growth at Reomach Engineering

Like so many small, medium and micro enterprises in South Africa, Reomach Engineering was born out of the need to create an income. And it wouldn’t take long before the company turned into a proudly family-owned and run business either. Pride and hard work are the proverb by which the company operates and the late Reinold Ernest Oskar Rüster, who was a qualified fitter and turner, and established Reomach Engineering in 1998, would be extremely proud of what his two sons have gone on to achieve with the business since his passing.

Hermann, Petra and Edrich Rüster

Rüster was joined not long after establishing the business by his two sons Hermann Rüster and Edrich Rüster, both qualified toolmakers, in 2003, and they have both helped build the company to where it is today. Their mother Petra Rüster has also played an integral role in the business and while no longer actively involved in the day-to-day functions of general operations, still has a keen vested interest in the company and is always interested in what happening. The company wouldn’t be where and what it is today without her dedication, both Hermann and Edrich remark.

Based in Somerset West in the Western Cape, Reomach Engineering is a well located and well established precision component manufacturer and supplier to the food industry, more specifically for the canning and production lines and machines used for the automation of fruit processing, serving a number of high profile clients within the wider industry. The company also refurbishes and reverse engineers components that are simply no longer available due to various factors.

An overview of some of the machines in operation on Reomach Engineering’s 640m² shop floor. The company is looking to expand this space in the coming future

An example of hardware casing components machined by Reomach Engineering, as well as other various components

Reinold Rüster, affectionately known as Reo, who was schooled in Philippi in the Western Cape, completed his trade as a qualified artisan at National Portland Cement. He went on to spend some time in Nababeep in the Northern Cape, an old copper-mining town in Namaqualand founded in 1860, working on the copper mine in the area. From here Reo went on to work at Somchem, now Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd.

He later joined Rainbow Chickens, today known as RCL FOODS, in 1993, and after being retrenched, Reo, only 58 at the time, took his severance package and decided to purchase a small Bridgeport-type milling machine and a Colchester lathe. Working long hours and on weekends out of the family garage at home, Reo embodied the company’s work ethic of “Bete und Arbeite”, directly translated meaning: “Pray and Work”.

Various components manufactured by Reomach Engineering, generally for the food processing and canning industries

One of two Fanuc Robodrill vertical machining centers on the shop floor

The older of the brothers, Hermann, previously worked at an engineering company in Stellenbosch called Comar where he completed his trade. Around this time Reo had acquired a contract for a client that required many long hours of work, and Hermann would assist with this in the evenings when he would get home from work as well as on weekends.

When Edrich finished school, he decided to complete his engineering diploma at Northlink College’s Wingfield Campus. After qualifying, he too joined the family business and went on to complete his practical with the family business.

While Reomach Engineering is a precision engineering firm that delivers the majority of its various engineering components and equipment to the food and beverage industry, it also services the water and sanitation, avionics, aerospace, filling, packaging and poultry industries.

An example of a large component machined by Reomach Engineering

Plastic components are also machined by Reomach Engineering

The vast majority of components manufactured are machined out of food-grade aluminium and stainless steel, but various components are also machined from plastic, carbon steel and mild steel. This all depends on what the clients wants.

Once more work started to flow in, and the business became a little too big to continue operating from the family’s double garage, Reo decided to purchase the industrial erf in Somerset West from which all operations still take place today. Comprising 640m² under roof, with a further building that is currently tenanted, Reomach Engineering employs 26 people. Edrich jokes that the shop floor is already too small and they will be looking to expand into the adjacent building in time to come.

“This time of the year is always extremely busy for us,” explains Hermann, with the fruit industry fast approaching a demanding harvest season that can run from November through to March, so it is no wonder that a particular project for a box building equipment and automated machinery production line is keeping the brothers on their toes at the moment.

Lathes in operation on the shop floor

Reomach has a number of CNC machining centers on their shop floor

On the shop floor
Currently on the shop floor are two Fanuc Robodrill vertical machining centers, two Leadwell vertical machining centers, a SMEC vertical machining center and the brand new SINO SP1020 Gantry CNC Milling Machine. The majority of the machines have been supplied by WD Hearn Machine Tools, and the new machine takes pride of place on the floor. There are also three lathes that are currently in use. Edrich remarks that there is also room in the future for a further milling machine and a further lathe.

SINO SP1020 Gantry CNC Milling Machine
The new machine is fully equipped with a Fanuc Series 0i-Model F Plus control (the majority of the machines at Reomach Engineering are equipped with Fanuc controls) that features significantly enhanced basic functions. It is equipped with the latest control technology for fine surface machining and reducing cycle time, and with customisable functions that can flexibly create screens suitable for machine tools.

Reomach Engineering have the capabilities to design, precision engineer and manufacture specialised components

Various components manufactured by Reomach Engineering, generally for the food processing and canning industries

The 3-axis high rigidity heavy cutting double column machine itself offers a worktable size of 1 000mm x 2 000mm, XYZ travels of 2 050mm x 1 100mm x 600mm, a load capacity of 3.5 tons and a spindle speed of 7 000rpm.

“Having this machine opens us up to more work as well bigger work,” says Edrich.

One particular project currently being worked on is for a production line machine that removes the skins from apricots before they are cut in halves. It is not a new machine, but rather one that is being completely refurbished and its design improved upon, as well as having its size and capacity increased. Hermann has done the design work behind the project himself on Solidworks – but other clients also bring their own designs to Reomach Engineering for particular projects, says Hermann.

The brothers describe the business as a jobbing shop in the sense that they won’t generally manufacture large numbers of specific components, but rather precision engineer and manufacture smaller production runs of the various components. Typically around 8 000 to 10 000 components will be manufactured on a monthly basis, all dependent on client requirements. Reomach Engineering won’t turn someone away and relationship building has been at the heart of the business since day one – many clients have been clients of theirs for years, and the brothers say they are always happy to welcome new ones.

The XYZ travels on the new SINO SP1020 Gantry CNC Milling Machine are 2 050mm x 1 100mm x 600mm, it has a load capacity of 3.5 tons and a spindle speed of 7 000rpm. The machine was supplied by WD Hearn Machine Tools

The new SINO SP1020 Gantry CNC Milling Machine features a Fanuc Series 0i-Model F Plus control

Two of the machines on the floor have 4-axis capabilities and this allows the machining of complex parts fairly easily with the aid of Mastercam. Another investment has been in the employees and each operator has been trained on the use of the software and how to operate their particular machines, ensuring a level of responsibility and accomplishment each time a component or production run is completed.

Other components manufactured include hardware casings for the aerospace industry and components for sorting machines that can for example decipher between different fruit sizes and weights. This also includes components manufactured specifically for the conveyor belts used in conjunction with these machines and can also include components used for box folding, gluing and packaging. Reomach Engineering has also developed meat cutting components for machines used in the poultry industry.

Fortunately COVID-19 didn’t have a major impact on the business and very quickly the company was able to get back to normal operations as an essential services business. The same can be said of loadshedding and the brothers have invested in a decent generator that keeps everything running at full capacity thereby alleviating any downtime.

In-house quality control is strictly applied to each and every component before they are allowed to be shipped to clients

Mounting plates and various jigs are manufactured in-house on a daily basis, and, linked to this, is an in-house quality control manager who ensures tight tolerances and high standards are always met before components leave to their respective clients. Reomach Engineering is yet another fine South African example of hard work bearing fruit for those that are prepared to put in the effort.

For further details contact Reomach Engineering on TEL: 021 851 9597 or visit