NASA Engineering SA reaches 40-year milestone
Upholding the same principles, culture, and ethics as the US space agency, is South Africa’s NASA Engineering SA. The word NASA in South Africa is different, purely an amalgamation of the middle name of the two founders. And the distinction is that the local company is focused on manufacturing their own products and spare parts for the mining, quarrying, and civil engineering industries.
Patience, experience and risk reap the rewards for Mill Turn Engineering
Established in 2013 and now in its eighth year, Mill Turn Engineering (PTY) Ltd, based in Okavango Park in Cape Town are specialists in CNC turning, CNC milling, CNC programming, tool and die manufacturing, product development and design. Mill Turn manufacture many different glass standoff and balustrading components as well as pump internals, bolts, shafts, a whole range of sensor units for use in mining operations, derailleur hangers, shower fittings, and various spigots, amongst others.
Design it! Machine it! Ride it!
Mountain biking, over the last two years, has exploded into possibly one of fastest growing sports. Many businessmen are transitioning to mountain biking as a way to entertain their clients while reaping the fitness and health benefits. Riding bicycles off-road in rough terrain has turned into a rapidly growing sport and not just in the last year and a bit. The growth in the MTB sport had begun a lot earlier and some say that the numbers began to surpass those participating in golf. Enter cSixx, a rider operated, high-end bicycle component manufacturer.
Four brothers and dad. Making it work – Carbo III Engineering
Most of us spend more of our waking hours with co-workers than with our respective families. Finding a mix of people who can work and “live” together at work is a challenge for most businesses. It’s so tempting though. You launch your business, it starts to grow and you need help. Who better than family? Not only are you giving work and a paycheck to your loved ones, but you’re also assured that you are working with people you can really trust.
Shilton Reels – a South African fly fishing success story
Worldwide recognition has come with dedication, passion and quality. It is often said that, to be successful in business, you have to have a passion for it. Sometimes, however, having a passion for what product you manufacture is as important, too. This point became clear to me while visiting Shilton Engineering to gather information and pictures for an article I wanted to do on the company.
P&C Technologies driven by technology and passion
Standardises on Feeler CNC machines. There is no doubt that many companies have experienced a drop-off in business during the past year. The economic downturn has affected almost every company in some way. During these times, it is critical that companies maintain a long-term business focus while taking some short-term actions to help weather the storm.
More than just a canopy for your bakkie
Choosing a RLD Design canopy is choosing a lifestyle of travel and adventure, say the manufacturers. And guess what! South Africa is a very beautiful country and has many and varied attractions to visit – from raw nature to the upmarket, with great distraction and surprises around every corner. And at a price that we can afford.
Designing for repeatability
The steel processing fabrication shop, like virtually all metalworking businesses, is faced with seemingly relentless pressure on its margins. Customers of all shapes and sizes are swinging the cost-cutting axe with a vengeance. Processing shops find themselves squarely in the path, whether they are jobbing or regarded as a production business. Suppliers to these businesses are also in the firing line, whether you are a consumable supplier or a press tool supplier.
Atlantis Foundries – 40 years of history
Atlantis Foundries has evolved over the years, originating from Atlantis Diesel Engines (ADE), an engine machining and assembly plant that was built in the late 1970s. The brand ‘ADE’ died away, but the company was purchased by Daimler/Mercedes-Benz in 1999, and has continued to cast cylinder blocks for heavy-duty trucks ever since.
Dycer Engineering and Foundry graduates
Any organisation that is faced with the need to change things wrestles with the questions of what to change and how to sustain that change. What to change will obviously vary from company to company and industry to industry. Often, the answer to this question is presented to us by external forces. For example, changes in products will typically be dictated by customers.
Aeroton Steel adds laser cutting to its decoiling, coil slitting, cut-to-length and size and blanking capabilities
Metal is money, whether it’s raw stock, work-in-process or finished goods. Metal processors have spent many hours figuring out ways to minimise work-in-process and get finished goods out the door as fast as possible. That’s how they are able to free up funds and stay competitive. They have become adept at turning assets (raw material) into cash (purchased goods) in a very efficient manner. Turnaround time is the name of the game for most coil and sheet processing operations.
Tal-Tec embraces technology to enhance efficiencies and productivity
For many shops in the metal fabricating world, laser cutting capability was never a prerequisite to success. Tal-Tec knew that first hand. It had been doing just fine without lasers for the last 46 years. The company had relied on its press brakes and guillotines for its metal cutting and bending of mild steel needs. The equipment that the company manufactures might not require the high-spec tolerances needed for safety critical equipment, but it still needs tight tolerances as the cattle and animal handling systems that the company manufactures are deployed and used in some harsh working environments.
Anceriz Engineering: From general engineering to product-focussed solutions
There are many instances of family-owned businesses that have folded when the younger generation takes over. But there are also many success stories to report about as well. Managing a family-owned business involves dealing with interpersonal dynamics that may not be present in other companies. Germiston, Gauteng-based Anceriz Engineering is a family-owned business that’s into its third generation.
Solidworx Engineering and Fabcast Alloys combine talents and expertise
I was warned before visiting Solidworx Engineering to not to attempt to visit using my sedan vehicle. The reason given was because there had been plenty of rain in the area and the gravel roads leading to the company were in bad condition. Gravel roads should give you a clue as to the location of the company – not in your normal industrial area that has tarred roads and other good infrastructure.
Melting capacity allows Sarco to expand their casting product base
South African Roll Company (Sarco) has long been recognised as one of the leading international manufacturers of castings used in the steel and non-ferrous manufacturing industries. Producing castings weighing up to 65 tons requires the foundry to have large melting capacity and the machine shop to have custom-built CNC equipment. All the processes in between pouring of the metal and final machining have to match and accommodate the size and weight of the castings – no mean feat.
Marnic Precision Engineering
Because Marnic Precision Engineering machines a large portion of its precision-machined components for the aerospace and defence industries, which require tight tolerances, the word precision in the company name is a pre-requisite. It might also service clients in the medical, mining, power and energy, automotive, food and beverage, petrochemical and agriculture industries, but to a lesser extent.
J.A. Engineering gears up big in coal mining industry
Despite the company now being recognised as a full systems OEM provider of underground mining equipment that includes continuous miners, shuttle cars, battery scoops, roof bolters and feeder breakers, the manufacturing of parts, and refurbishing and repair of these components and machines, constitutes the major portion of the company’s production capacity.
Burquip gets you moving
In the mid-1960s, four-wheel drive (4×4) vehicles, caravans and trailers weren’t as common as they are today. In fact, you probably would have had trouble finding an experienced mechanic to work on your vehicle, caravan or trailer. Today it is a different story. Every OEM automotive manufacturer has a number of 4×4 vehicles to choose from, caravans are aplenty, with some even having a double rear axle configuration to assist with the load and tow-ability.
Keeping the lights on with Elegen generators
Load shedding (rolling blackouts) and power outages have almost become a way of life in South Africa. Frequent loss of electricity has rippled across South Africa since 2007, but after many groans and moans, South Africans have become resigned to the fact that it is not a case of if, it is now a case of when the next outage will be. All too frequently the headlines read: Here we go again.
The silent salesman is ever changing
Geneva AD Display Systems go beyond commodity sheet metal processing to look after your visual communication. These days consumer industry product manufacturers and retailers that distribute their products move carefully so as to not transgress stricter rules and sociable conceptions. But sometimes they need the guidance of an engineer to eliminate costly mistakes and time wasting.
Switching to automated handling boosts productivity at Epiroc
The pipe processing department at Epiroc faced a major capacity crunch about seven years ago. Robotic handling of exploration drilling pipes expedites product processing. Mining in South Africa was once the main driving force behind the history and development of Africa’s most advanced and richest economy. Its decline is illustrated by the fact that gold is currently only the fourth biggest selling commodity in South Africa right now.
Job shop versatility is key at Fast Flame Profiling
Today’s job shop market is characterised by unrelenting competitive pressure from fabricators that focus on just a few processes and do them very well. “Very few real job shops exist today. That is job shops that offer the variety of services that can process metal from flat sheet to profile cutting. You need to know the cost of everyday operation,” said Mike van Zyl, MD and founder of Fast Flame Profiling.
Turnkey production the key to success at Press Dynamik
Since it was established in 1995 Press Dynamik has grown to become a key player in the CNC sheet metal industry in South Africa. Initially the company was focused on the production of metal pressing components for the home appliance industry by way of owner Aylwin Stephenson’s association with the industry at the time. The company has since diversified in that metal pressing is no longer part of the processes that it performs in its 6 700m² facility in Kyalami Business Park.
KPL Die Casting comes of age
The month of August marked a significant milestone in the history of KPL Die Casting, an aluminium and zinc high-pressure die-casting foundry located in Germiston South, Gauteng. “We have been in business for a full 21 years now so you could say we have come of age,” says the entrepreneurial owner Sally Marengo, who runs the company with her husband Guiseppe.
TruTool Engineering – Pressing ahead: Press tools demand no less attention to precision and productivity than mould and die tools
Press tool manufacturer enjoys the benefits of concentrating on segment where others dare to venture. Investments in automotive stamping dies and press lines are expensive and require long lead times. Streamlining the development and commissioning of new lines and flexibly adapting existing lines to new designs are key to maximising return on investment.
Bosworth pulling ahead
Regardless of whether you’re handling scrap or finished components, you need to think about several points to select the right equipment for your particular application. You have many equipment choices today to move, elevate, and distribute material. If you’re considering a belt, vibratory, or a magnetic conveyor, it’s a challenge to select the most efficient conveyor for a particular application.
Robots help frame the future at Jambmax [WATCH]
One doesn’t often give too much thought to the window and its structural makeup through which one is looking when looking through a window at something. Rather one focuses on the view itself and does not pay particular attention to how that frame was constructed, unless you were looking at a particularly striking structure that is.
Maxion Wheels plant in South Africa recognised as among the best in the group
The Maxion Wheels aluminium wheel manufacturing plant in South Africa was recently recognised as being one of the most technically advanced in the international group when senior executives, including Marcos Oliveira, President and CEO of Iochpe Maxion, Pieter Klinkers, CEO Maxion Wheels and Juan Lorenzo, President, Europe, Africa, Asia, visited the plant in Alrode, Gauteng to see the recent developments at the plant and to hold executive meetings.
Conbrako focusing on growth and transition into 5-axis machining
Bullish in supplying the mining industry with drill bits – more products being launched. Economic activity in modern-day South Africa has been centred on mining activities, their ancillary services and supplies. The country’s stock exchange in Johannesburg was established in 1887, a decade after the first diamonds were discovered on the banks of the Orange River, and almost simultaneously with the gold rush on the world-famous Witwatersrand.
New ideas spur success at young startup
SP Laser Cut flourishes as a custom manufacturer. It is not hard to work out what the initials SP stand for in the company name SP Laser Cut, a young startup company whose directors look at work as a fun and an exhilarating experience rather than a means to earn a living. Both directors are successful businessmen in their own right. But even though they have known each other for over 30 years this is the first time that they have ventured into business together.
Staying ahead with Cutting Edge Technologies
As a term, ‘cutting edge technology’ is somewhat ambiguous and is often used in the context of IT and marketing. Cutting edge technology refers to technological devices, techniques or achievements that employ the most current and high-level developments in other words, technology at the frontiers of knowledge.
“We sell and deliver a store” – Storequip Group
The concept of a ‘supermarket with a difference’ is growing and designers and the manufacturers and suppliers of shelving, racking, refrigerators and all the other equipment that make up a supermarket, have to take into account the supermarket psychology that includes appeal, convenience and comfort, whether it be in the bakery, the fresh produce section or in the general merchandise isles.
Finding a niche in a lower-volume speciality application yields results for REH Engineering
When one thinks of packaging a hundred images come to mind. It’s a huge and continually growing industry, especially in the plastics sector where PET has become king and companies are finding it more cost-effective to produce packaging using plastic rather than aluminium, glass or paper, for example.
Pfisterer’s toolroom equipped for efficiency
Toolrooms play crucial roles in supporting the daily production of many machine shops. But while a shop’s main production area may be bright, clean and equipped with the latest CNC machinery, the toolroom typically houses older, manual equipment in an atmosphere that is suggestive of metalworking’s primitive roots.
Commercial Auto Components adds a functional, aesthetic look to your truck’s front end
Design, development, fabrication and sales of products and components for automotive and truck applications. For most truck owners the term replacement part is unwelcome at best. Who wants to shell out hard-earned cash to replace radiator grilles, bumpers, headlights, windscreens and other front-end components and accessories to an asset that is the income source of the company.
When pressure matters DCM Group releases the burden
The machine shop of the DCM Group has been manufacturing components and products for pressure and vacuum relief on storage tanks as well as for transferring and measuring a wide variety of fluids such as fuels, acids and bases, cement, bitumen, paints, distillates, oil, wine, milk, juices, and water for nearly 50 years.
Bono Steel – a unique kind of vendor with diverse capabilities
Bono Steel, based in Elandsfontein, Gauteng, can attribute its existence to a sister company that was involved in just machining operations and services before the owner decided to offer his clients forming and fabricating services. The company dabbled in a bit of forming with an investment in a couple of press brakes but as the company grew so too did its requirements for sheet metal and plate components.
Rollfab rolls on with big options
Processing of heavy plate and high-strength steel has become second nature to Rollfab, since it was established 25 years ago. Specialising in general steel fabrication, plate rolling, CNC bending and section rolling, the company has carved out a niche and emerged as a metal fabricator that can take on large and complex jobs that other shops might not want or do not have the equipment to handle.
Flexibility and speed the core at Ukuthela Foundry Projects
While Minika van Aswegen – wife of Ukuthela Foundry Projects owner Cobus van Aswegen – describes herself as being a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none, the same cannot be said of husband Cobus. Within the company he has had to take on the role of jack-of-all-trades while at the same time being master of all of them, right down to driving the forklift.
More freedom in the countryside – Bepicon Steel Construction
Imagine driving down a country road, rounding a bend, and coming across a couple of cars in the ditch. You’re the first person on the scene so you use your mobile phone to call emergency services. In a minute or so police cars, ambulances, and a fire truck are on their way. Dialing 911 isn’t a big deal, but getting your telephone signal routed to the emergency responders is.
Technology makes Executive Engineering a success
Executive Engineering has been in business since 1994. The business was established when three ex-South African Railways (SAR) – as it was known then – employees had a vision to be recognised as the best engineering shop in the Western Cape. All three were qualified artisans and were tired of just punching the clock and doing their 40-hour weeks. They had spent over six years at SAR and during this period they had become close friends.
Ultra-Flow Engineering Services finds additional niche in market
Heavy, mobile and stationary equipment represents a substantial investment for any business. Due to the heavy demands placed on equipment performance, a significant consideration of risk for any operation today is damage to equipment or potential loss of life resulting from the ever-present risks.
UTP Mould & Die: Improving toolroom turnaround times
UTP Mould & Die invests in imported high quality steel from Sweden, 5-axis machining and WEDM to help keep you ahead of the competition. Globalisation is making this traditionally competitive business even tougher. As a result, die, mould and press tool manufacturers must rethink both their short-term and long-term strategies. The tooling industry as a whole is not just experiencing a temporary decline but a complete restructuring with far-reaching implications.
Building relationships in the plumbing and construction industries
The roll forming industry is not as straightforward as it used to be. Customers demand more sophisticated shapes and quicker turnarounds. Heunis Steel has rolled with the changes over the past 50 years and now sees an exciting future serving the plumbing and construction industries. Not only must these components and products be functional but they must also be aesthetically pleasing when visible to the eye.
Growing with the times – Siyanda Engineering
Established in 2002 with the focus being on supplying manufactured spares to industry, Siyanda Engineering’s history actually dates back further than 2002. The company has roots dating back to 1988 when friends David Slabbert and Pieter Alberts formed a partnership to establish a general engineering machine shop. Alberts was more mechanical engineering inclined and Slabbert had a flare and leaning towards sales and marketing.
Dreams take wing at The Airplane Factory – Turning your passion into a manufacturing business
Most people who own light aircraft buy them fully assembled, but this isn’t the only option. The Airplane Factory lets the buyer purchase their Sling type two or four-seat aircraft in kit form and lets them be the builder. When you visit The Airplane Factory, you’re likely to meet people who are either design engineers, fabricators or pilots. In the case of Mike Blyth, Director and one of the founders of the company, he is all three of them.
Coertzen Engineering Consultants (CEC) – A real steel fabrication shop
When it comes to proper steel fabrication operations, not all are the same, especially when you look at the big-time fabricating that CEC does. Some metal fabricating operations produce the same product day in and day out with little variation. Real fabrication shops, which are becoming increasingly rare, have a much tougher road to follow, one that requires constant innovation and high skill levels.
The efficiency effect at Munot Engineering
This family-owned job shop has developed an integrated business in order to satisfy customers’ changing needs. In doing so it has become an example that other shops might want to imitate. The job shop is a make-it-best-you-can environment where almost every new job represents new process challenges. It’s also an environment where profit or loss hinges on how efficiently the shop can get a job done.
Astronomical wonders need CNC machines to manufacture the equipment that astronomers and scientists use in their research
The 200th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope will be celebrated in 2020. Located in the leafy Southern suburbs of Cape Town, The South African Astronomical Observatory is the national centre for optical and infrared astronomy in South Africa.
Steel Services and Allied Industries continues with its smart investments
Steel Services and Allied Industries, one of the largest fabricators of steel in South Africa, has been busy modernising its operations in the past few years. Its approach has been that of a mix of smart investment in technologically advanced equipment, acquiring additional processing equipment, upgrades on existing machinery and innovative process and materials handling changes.
Design it. Make it. Brand it.
Combining metalworking with branding. Branding of a product, company or service is a vitally important ingredient that can go a long way towards success or not. Paid print and electronic adverts, along with collateral materials, press releases, and tradeshow participation, are important components of a successful integrated marketing plan that helps strengthen a brand. Maintaining a uniform appearance and message is essential to solidifying the brand.
A tale of two businesses: Evolving into a supplier to your suppliers
SI Systems have been integrating security, monitoring and controlling systems and platforms into the commercial and industrial space since 2001. The emphasis of the business is to design, install and maintain systems such as camera surveillance, access control, fire and intruder alarms, lighting and even power consumption.
Finding a niche in the supply chain
When you push more manufacturing processes (as well as engineering services) down or up the supply chain, you increase risk. Some companies bring in more processes either through direct machinery purchases and others via company acquisition, which in turn increases the customer base. Whatever happens it has got to make good business sense because upsetting your clients could do long-term damage. The idea is to find your niche in the supply chain and make sure it works for you.
Pride and appreciation at Adlam Engineering
Manufacturing a reliable and quality product is one option. But that is only a percentage of the total package. Lead-time and delivery reliability is another aspect to differentiate oneself from the competition. Competitive pricing is another. In the normal course of business there are many paradigms that I can give but one always forgets one of the most important ones: The visual impression. Many times the visual impression is also always the first one and the lasting one.
Shaping up to the demands at Frankwen Forge
The popular manufacturing “stock photo” these days shows a guy in a hardhat in nice clothes looking at a clean plant full of machines and a spotless floor. I’ve seen plants like that in a precision sheet metal fabrication environment and maybe some machine shops where the company is producing components and/or products for the medical or some high-tech industry.
Experience spurs success at Afrilaser
Dale Hughes built his reputation in the laser cutting and material bending industry by being the employee that the company could rely on to get the job done. Hughes has been in the sheet metal processing industry for the whole of his working career having started off in the industry when it was in a fledgling stage in South Africa and there were not many companies that had laser cutting machines on their books as capital equipment.
Sheetech SA gets on with business
It has always been difficult to pigeonhole a metal fabricator. Does a shop specialise in sheet metal or plate; light enclosures or heavy fabrications; precision aerospace or work that isn’t so precise; industrial work like vessels or piping skids; architectural and ornamental work; structural fabrication or a combination?
Foundry Solutions thrives on non-ferrous bushes and liners
Foundry Solutions might not be your modern casting facility with all the bells and whistles often associated with a foundry that is perhaps servicing the OEM automotive market and is required to have the latest production equipment and is deploying the cutting-edge technologies. But if you are producing quality castings and components on equipment that you can afford and your clients are happy with that then does it really matter?
Own your market. Precision is a mindset
Management of National Stainless Steel Centre calls itself one of the largest independently owned stainless steel and alloy metal processing and value adding centres in South Africa. They specialise in stainless steel, duplex, super duplex and high alloy steel processing. With stainless steel making up 90% of the 500 to 700 tons of metal that the company processes every month, it would be hard to dispute this fact.
More than a metal fabricator manufacturing equipment for the catering, hospitality, food services and bakery industries
When Grant Norton purchased a shareholding in his father’s business in 2010 he was not quite ready to join the business full time. Together with his uncle Jeff Norton they purchased a majority stake in Metnor Manufacturing from dad Greg when it was focused on manufacturing high volume, low mix products that were mainly used in the bakery industry.
Machine shop vital to SA Metal Group operations
SA Metal Group might be one of the oldest and largest scrap metal collectors and recyclers in South Africa but when you visit the company’s head office in Epping Industria, Western Cape, you are introduced to an aspect of the company that is not commonly known – the beneficiating of the scrap metal that it collects and processes.
Matthew And Son reborn
The name of the company sounds like the single written, composed and performed by well-known singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. Stevens selected the song – Matthew and Son – as the title song for his 1967 debut album. The song remains Cat Stevens’ highest charting single in the British Isles, reaching number two in the UK and number three in Ireland in early 1967.
Capitalising on your opportunities
Manufacturing products and components for use in harsh environments and challenging applications is not a task every machining company relishes. It becomes even more of a significant challenge if you are supplying the demanding mining industry and your competition is not just the local supplier down the road but rather multi-nationals that have been in the business for many more years than your company.
Naledi Foundry fired up and ready to grow
Just over two years ago Naledi Foundry, the foundry division of the Naledi Inhlanganiso Group, began implementing a plan that had increased capacity, improved quality and diversification as the pillars of its strategic blueprint. In order to achieve this the foundry embarked on a restructuring process that included investment in new equipment as part of an approximate R100 million investment programme in the foundry.
Concentrating on the little things
Davox stands out in an industry where one metal fabricating shop is rarely an exact copy of another. A war on emissions has been raging for the best part of 40 years, with governments coming down hard on the automotive industry. The advent and introduction of the automotive catalytic converter has been a big step forward.
Making clear-cut decisions at TWR Steel
It’s the question heard around the steel service center world: What metal cutting technology makes the most sense? Unfortunately, the answer to the question cannot be covered in one simple statement. The answer depends on the metal being cut, the metal thickness, how the customer defines a quality cut, and how fast the job has to be accomplished.
Prima celebrates 80 years in the foundry industry
History shows from minutes taken in the first recorded meeting that took place on the 15th April 1937, that it was decided to register a company Prima Iron and Steel Foundry and Engineering Works (Pty) Ltd. The decision was taken by two partners to start a steel foundry to supply the growing mining industry in South Africa.
BST is constantly pushing the envelope of development in carbon fiber and advanced manufacturing
In the automotive world, after-market wheels normally have limited performance. Generally speaking improvements over the OEM supplied and standard items are more for aesthetic purposes. However, this is not the case with Blackstone Tek’s (BST) range of carbon fiber motorbike wheels.
Keep intellectual property on the property
Companies give various reasons as to why they have brought or kept machining in-house instead of outsourcing it to a supplier. One of the benefits of retaining control of machining is quality control or inventory control. There is also the potential to scale up for increasing demand and the fast introduction of new designs with little disruption to production and machining.
Still building for Southern Africa 80 years later
Franz Janovsky was a pilot with the Austrian Air Force during the First World War. He completed his studies in 1919 and then joined Elin – the largest electrical firm in Austria at the time – as an electrical engineer. In 1928 Franz was sent to South Africa by the company to promote the relatively new technique of electric arc welding.
Auto Industrial Group transforms its high-volume machining, mould, shotblasting and sand handling systems
When you are supplying a range of safety critical components to all of the automotive OEMs in South Africa your attitude towards your production operations and systems has to be progressive and inefficiency is not an option.
Sun shines brightly at Tank Quip
Renewable energy source keeps company’s new 6kW Bystronic fiber laser operating at 100% uptime – saving on energy costs the primary objective. Unless you have been living like a “Lost” survivor or studying stalagmites up close, you’ve witnessed the explosion of green energy generation – “greenergy”.
Robb and Carter Manufacturing specialises in production and jobbing machining
Taking something over from your father-in-law is no easy task no matter what situation you can think of. When you have decided to purchase the business from him, that he started over a half a century prior, you better make sure that you are motivated and confident enough to keep the business on a sound footing and not run it into the ground.
Fast-forwarding ready-to-assemble tubes of any section and structural steel components
A new BLM fiber laser cutter, a new panel bender, a new Ficep monospindle gantry drilling line, a new Amada bandsaw and now the introduction of a Burny Kaliburn plasma cutter has put new kid on the block, Qinisa Steel Solutions, in a position to assist fabrication shops and a host of industrial and commercial enterprises and OEM manufacturers to fast-forward their production capabilities.
Flushing out a niche – keeping it clean with stainless steel
It has always been difficult to pigeonhole a metal fabricator. Does a shop specialise in sheet metal or plate; light enclosures or heavy fabrications; precision aerospace or work that isn’t so precise; industrial work-like vessels or piping skids; architectural and ornamental work; structural fabrication; or a combination? There’s nothing new about such diversity in this business.
Rising from the embers
Think about the various reasons why a machine tool might be out of service. Envisioned instances might range from the bearable – setting up a new job or performing routine maintenance – to the drastic – a machine crash. Though a crash is certainly damaging in terms of repair costs and production loss, most owners/shop managers know how to react to and recover from one.
The secret is in the DESign
DESign South Africa is one of the largest independent design and systems integration companies in South Africa. DESign South Africa’s expertise includes process planning, electrical and mechanical design solutions, manufacture, simulation, robot programming, installation, commissioning, site support and project management. They are also proficient in manufacturing the required tooling, jigs and fixtures and they are able to engineer fully manual or automated production lines to suit each customer’s build requirements.
Tiagen Industrial takes a slice of component production and consumable market
Although Tiagen Industrial is a relatively new company, history shows that its origins date back to 1983. “The company was established as a precision engineering company by my father Eric While and was aptly named Profile Tooling as the emphasis was on manufacturing precision tooling for many industries and supplemented with general engineering machining and manufacturing,” said the founder’s son Jevon While, who is the current Managing Director.
Mould and progression tool manufacture is MLI Tool & Die’s business
The major business issues being faced by mould makers worldwide are the customer demand for quick turnaround of high quality moulds, declining prices and profit margins, unavailability of skilled labour and global competition. These are but a few of the many that could be listed in a segment of the metalworking industry that has significance beyond its own borders. Mould machining is often at the forefront of metalworking technology.
Hinging on the success of both the old and new
General Hinges and Aluminium Frames thrives by combining old and new metalworking equipment with an emphasis on the new. Fabrication and machining involves numerous steps, ideally accomplished with the goal of cost savings and production efficiency. From product design and material selection to fabrication or machining technique, each step requires choosing the most effective machine to manufacture the components to guarantee a successful outcome.
Keep the fires burning with Megamaster
Grill or be grilled. One of South Africa’s leading manufacturers of braai’s and fireplaces invests in its equipment and facilities to cut lead times and keep up with overwhelming demand. Right now, keeping the winter cold and gloom at bay with a warming and welcoming fireplace is a priority. Nothing warms a home, literally and figuratively, quite like a flickering fire. While the flames create physical warmth, their orange glow creates a sense of comfort on a cold winter’s day or night.
Cutting out a niche with TW Profile Services
These are interesting times in which metal service centres find themselves. Many are finding that they have to offer some level of fabricating services to help them stand out among other service centres. They have seen dramatic consolidation on the mill side and are wondering if the mills have a desire to own part of the supply chain, as they do in Europe, where mills own the distributors. They also have to contend with a shrinking manufacturing base.
Better processes, better results at Multi Tanks International
Considering the variety of welding processes available, selecting the right one for your shop could be a confusing and difficult decision. In any manufacturing operation, matching the best process to the application can be the difference between profit and loss on a job. Likewise, welding has many variables in terms of matching methods and materials.
Aiming to do better
When you are in the business of manufacturing and selling products that require accuracy you need design, process planning, component manufacturing and supplied materials to all come together in assembly and work. There is no better measurement of the success of a manufacturing operation than the assembly of the various components that go together to make a product.
Spares, Supplies & Services thrives in repair and refurbishment industry
More than ever, processors within the mining, mineral and aggregates industries are cashing in on economies of scale by equipping their plants with huge grinding tables, roll crushers, kilns and material-handling systems in an effort to cut costs and boost productivity. The mining industry in South Africa is, at present, not at the levels that it used to be at for a multitude of reasons.
Moulding a niche̶ proudly made in South Africa “my china”
Enviro Lamps is not your typical moulding shop, but a small sub-set (niche) of the broad injection moulding business since its specialty is developing and marketing its own products. Not only is it committed to providing the highest quality, reliability and best performance, in recent years the company has explored other avenues that now contribute to the bottom line.
Moving into fabricating
Making the transition into manufacturing, more specifically sheet metal processing and fabrication, is a daunting task at the best of times. But when you see the opportunities and you can reflect six years later on your decision to diversify and see what you can now offer clients, it is somehow all worth it.
Resolution Circle looks to fill gap for industry
“It’s all about collaborating and pulling our industry together into a team to grow faster than single entities would be able to do by themselves.” That comment from Gideon Potgieter, Group Senior Manager: Business Development seems to capture the overall sentiment of the newly formed Resolution Circle.
It’s all about control at Bay Engineering
The amount of the machining work going on at Bay Engineering is impressive. What’s just as evident as one walks through the shop, however, is the role that process and equipment flexibility plays in its success. In particular, versatility of machine design, workholding strategies and tooling allow the shop to respond quickly to customers’ needs for accurately machined components.
Graytex Metals emerges in the textured and patterned metals market – Rimex Metals SA rebrands as 100% South African owned company
Designers, architects, fabricators and engineers are looking for additional inspiration on how to make their product or project stand out amongst the crowd. Aesthetic and functional textures can be one of the most important components of design projects.
Hooked on precision machining
It’s one thing to emphasise capital investments and technology updates, but every machine shop needs to make its capabilities and skills known to customers in a way that is immediately effective, honest, thorough, and memorable. This Centurion, Gauteng based machine shop promises customers (and potential customers) an “old school dedication to craftsmanship combined with state-of-the-art equipment,” delivering precision machined parts on-time, produced with the latest CNC technology.
Diversification and capital equipment investment leads to Technipunch’s growth
Most service centres and fabricators adjust their manufacturing processes significantly to compete in today’s hotly contested race to gain new customers and keep existing clients happy, while at the same time they look for opportunities to cut production time and maintain, or even improve quality.
6-axis BLM tube laser machine adds new dimension to TW Tube Laser and Processing
The name TW Tube Laser and Processing (Pty) Ltd might not be a household name yet. That is because the company was only established in December 2014, and started to supply clients with product in August 2015, but is now processing hollow sections, open structural sections such as H, I, angle and channel as though there is no tomorrow.
Building a business
At a time when companies are thinning the worker ranks, many people may be thinking about going into business for themselves. Freddie Visser, the owner of Stainless Plate Products, did that six years ago having previously worked for others. He recommends the latter.
Every braaier worth his “World’s best cook” apron wants the best accessories
It was not so long ago that we celebrated National Heritage Day (24 September), a public holiday in South Africa. The day is set aside for all South Africans to celebrate our rich heritage. Through various initiatives the day has been unofficially coined as National Braai Day.
Precision springs and metal shapes
Many products rely on the strength and durability of springs but, as Capewell Springs warns, it is important to ensure high-quality springs are selected in order to avoid premature spring failure, which could prove disastrous. The average mechanical watch movement for example – say, from a Swiss Rolex – contains around 135 individual parts.
Thinking inside the box
Businesses – both large and small – have been battling to survive and many smaller firms have gone under. Eskom has taken us to the brink of an economic shutdown. This is a classic case of putting the interests of the powerful before the interests of the people. South Africa’s economy is in for a tough time as the energy crisis worsens. We simply must break the Eskom monopoly, before it breaks South Africa.
Turning it on at Turntec Engineering
There is no coincidence when you have a surname such as Turner, you are a qualified fitter and turner/machinist, you are in the business of machining and the company name you choose is Turntec Engineering. Turntec Engineering was founded in 1995 by Derrick Turner because he knew there was a brighter world out there, as against working for a mine three kilometres underground repairing pumps, winders and locomotives.
Perfection Tool and Die embraces transformation
“Perfection is a goal every business strives for, but when it’s part of your name, you feel even more responsible for it,” says Filipe dos Santos, one of the members of Perfection Tool and Die, an Anderbolt, Boksburg, Gauteng based general machining shop which over the years has serviced industries such as the armaments, motor, plastic, coal mining and gold mining.
Chad-O-Chef braais and fireplaces
From spit-braais to potjies, shisa nyama and snoek-braais South Africans love getting together around a fire to cook some food, share some fellowship and more. All over South Africa there are braai buffs and grill enthusiasts who profess to be the best at our national pastime before the social occasion takes place, and even more so once a few alcoholic beverages have been consumed.
Racing is not a drag in this business
Fulrace Engineering specialises in the rebuilding of torque converters, fluid couplings and repair of transmission pumps, and these days takes automotive component manufacture and repair into the fast lane. The words “precision machining” conjure up images of machines and processes capable of holding tight tolerances in medium to high production part runs.
Morgan Advanced Materials increases focus on locally manufactured products in import replacement drive
Traction brush holders and slip ring manufacture among products designated under new strategy. Established for more than a century, the Electrical Materials business of Morgan Advanced Materials designs and manufactures a broad range of high performance solutions for rotary transfer systems, linear transfer systems and electrical carbon systems.
Rock solid dependability™
I take you back in time. In fact nearly five years. The world sat transfixed in front of their TV’s watching a news story unfold where 33 men were about to undergo an ordeal the likes of which few suffer, and fewer survive. The next time they saw daylight, they would be global heroes, and their lives would never be same.
Let there be light…
It is an old cliché but in the case of Lighting Innovations, a Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape based manufacturer that has recently made a multi-million Rand investment in a new manufacturing facility situated on Cape Road in Greenbushes Industrial area, the glare of South Africa’s power crisis could not shine more on this company’s products.
Finishing stainless steel blanks, tube and pipe efficiently
If you think about fabricating steps in order of process, you probably think about finishing as the last stage. Short of a final inspection and packaging, it is last. Furthermore, in many shops, finishing is an entry-level position, and although the process isn’t quite an afterthought, a nice appearance usually isn’t as critical as everything else that goes into a successful product—research, design, prototyping, testing, and so on.
Acquiring new business, machining bigger components and workpieces
Cannon Precision Engineering proves you can start in a garage! Machining bigger components was always on the horizon when Juan le Roux embarked on his own venture 20 years ago. But getting to that stage was not always an easy ride for this hands-on jobbing shop owner. However, Le Roux owes more than open capacity and capable equipment for his ability to transition.
Oak Engineering – Building on strengths established from a work-hard ethic
In 1981, with great anticipation, Brian Gardner opened Oak Engineering in a small room at the back of a café in Germiston, Gauteng, with only a single second hand conventional Colchester lathe and a Bridgeport mill. Now, 34 years later Oak Engineering occupies a 1300m² factory in Greenhills Industrial Estate, Tunney Ext 6, Germiston, Gauteng, employs 29 staff and has a shopfloor that is occupied by six high end Okuma CNC machine tools.
MAN Diesel & Turbo South Africa invests further in South Africa
MAN Diesel & Turbo South Africa, the compressor and turbine blade manufacturing subsidiary of European multinational MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, based in Augsburg, Germany and one of the world’s leading providers of large-bore diesel engines and turbo-machinery for use in marine and power station applications, has been gearing up to seamlessly transform the local operation into a Center of Excellence.
In high gear with Mitre Engineering
For many manufacturers productivity is measured by the volume of parts cranked out in an hour or day, and keeping costs down for customers, which means chipping away at setup and machining times while maintaining tolerances. On the other side of the coin, there are shops filling small orders for large-diameter, high quality gears, which often take days or weeks to machine and cost thousands of rands.
Size doesn’t matter
Tucked away in a relatively small 350m² facility in Centurion, Gauteng is a company that thrives on the pressure of supplying a demanding industry. The company is a contract machining operation that specialises in producing complex, high-precision parts for the avionics and electronics industry that have applications in air, land, security, marine systems and defence markets.
Vala Moya talks the torque
In a short period Vala Moya has built a reputation for machining complex components and products for the torque and tension technology industry, with batch sizes ranging from one-off to a couple of hundred. With the equipment that the company has invested in, larger batch sizes are possible but these orders are not common.
Bromley Sports keeps leading athletes at the top of their game
When not hurling himself down bob-sled tracks at 90 miles an hour on a small high-tech sled, Kristan Bromley designs and manufacturers sleds for 22 nations preparing for the next Winter Olympics, including Britain, Norway, Russia, Switzerland and Korea. He has one world championship under his belt, two overall world series titles, numerous British national titles, and is three-times European champion.
Doing it the Weir way
Weir Minerals Africa has procured their castings from local foundries or imported them from Weir Minerals foundries located elsewhere in the world since 2006. This arrangement worked well in some respects, however, it also had its drawbacks. First and foremost, the company did not have sufficient control over the quality of material used or the processes employed at the contracted local non-Weir Minerals foundries.
Multitasking to increase your efficiencies
In the case of Strucmac, the company has built a job shop business based on flexibility and breadth. It’s a business designed to handle parts, sub-assemblies or complete products for its clients. In a multitasking operation, a milling cutter can machine a rotating workpiece. Combining milling and turning techniques has many advantages, but only relatively recently have multitasking machine tools allowed this process to display its full benefits.
A plan comes together at G.E Patterns & Foundry
Scaled up and ready to grow. Around the world one dream unites foundry owners, regardless of their experience or specialty: greenfield capacity. Much can be accomplished with a clean slate. However in going this route, constraints such as cost, market opportunities, plant infrastructure, inaccessibility and local zoning rules are limiting factors to a foundry’s growth opportunities.
S&D Precision Toolmakers celebrates 40 years in business
A job shop, based in Vereeniging, Gauteng, is delivering a variety of high accuracy components including (but not limited to) tooling, dies, jigs, impellers and gears to the petrochemical, defence and mining industries. However, S&D Precision Toolmakers has also been manufacturing gear cutters, with an emphasis on the rack-type (Maag, Sunderland) and disc-type (Fellows) cutters, since the 1990s.
Scientific Engineering is more than a metal basher
The management team at Scientific Engineering has seen the manufacturing landscape change greatly over the last 25 years, including the company’s manufacturing processes and the product mix. Scientific Engineering (Pty) Ltd has been around since 1966 as a leading manufacturer of laboratory and scientific equipment in Southern Africa.
Not just a service centre
Strategic alliances and partnerships will always form the basis of a sound future for a company. However, developing your own opportunities and not just waiting for RFQ’s to come in the door via the Group structure should steer the company toward becoming proactive and discovering new business.
Steelbank unwinding the way forward
To maintain a manufacturing sector in this country, industry must continually improve upon efficiency. Manufacturers and processors can and should specify new machines that run at high speeds and allow quick setups, which are two essential ingredients for efficient operation.
Forget caravanning – lets go camping with our 4×4 trailer
Just a few years ago Frantel Holdings’ entire business was focused on aluminium gravity die casting making the company’s success and profitability extremely susceptible to a handful of clients in the petrochemical industry, an area that the company was founded on in 2004.
Vereeniging Foundries reaches 50 year milestone
When Wilfried Kappmeier and George Whittal sat talking over a cup of tea just over 50 years ago, planning their new venture of owning and running their own foundry, they could not have envisaged that their company would reach the milestone of 50 years in business.
When Claudio Ferrari (Mechanical Engineer) and Sietse Walma van der Molen (Industrial Engineer) purchased Budget Sheet Metal in 2007, with the support of Ketti van der Molen, an economist, and Sigrid Ferrari, an analyst, they knew they had a challenging task ahead of them. Earning a reputation for innovation and quality is a difficult task.
Boschpick Engineering upgrades foundry operations to increase capacity and productivity
It sounds like a law or accounting firm when you say Boschpick Engineering is run by Peens, Peens & Peens. But you couldn’t be further from the connotation or perception associated with these professions when you visit or engage in business with the company.
Machining from an early age
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.
Proficiency to diversify leads to growth for AAA Laser
AAA Laser recently expanded its equipment capabilities to facilitate its continuous growth. The multi-capable forming and fabricating company has drawn on its ability to diversify to grow and prosper. When Greek immigrant Dimitri Anastasiu left Greece in 1991 he had no idea that he would end up making South Africa, his choice of a holiday destination at the time, his home and run a very successful engineering business.
How Larcol Pressings reinvented itself
Larcol Pressings used to be a general engineering shop that relied on just about any work coming in through the door. In fact when the company was established it did not have a single client – just the will, hope and dream of two immigrants from Germany. This isn’t really a solid foundation for growth but somehow the company has survived and this year celebrates its 41st anniversary.
A partnership that really works for Sigma Wear Parts
The company specialises in the manufacture of high integrity castings and the manufacture of atomized stainless steel shot and grit and low carbon steel shot. “I suppose it was inevitable that I would get involved in the foundry industry from an early age. My late dad Terry Ryan was a foundryman all his life and through his influence I started to work in the foundry industry from the age of 14,” said Eddie Ryan.
Machines are only part of the story at Warren’s Way
“In order to survive in today’s competitive marketplace, general engineering workshops must find ways to cut costs and increase productivity – all without sacrificing quality. People don’t like to accept second best at all. You have to exceed the customer’s expectations, or they’re going to go somewhere else,” said Warren Petersen, Managing Director of Warren’s Way Engineering.
Growth through the new and old
Nine out of ten business owners of privately run companies really don’t know or understand what they have done to be successful, and in most cases, they have not developed a succession plan for the business. Through shear hard work and dedication to the business it has generally grown and become a prominent entity. Continuing his legacy is far from the owners mind.
Mac Brothers conquers Burger King
Mac Brothers Catering Equipment, one of the largest independently-owned catering equipment manufacturers in South Africa, has recently been awarded a contract to supply equipment and services for the roll-out of Burger King in South Africa.
A tale of two worlds under one roof
The company, which has roots in mould and die making, offers CNC punching, bending and guillotining, welding and assembly as well as the original toolroom machiningfor customers.With its recent purchase of a Hurco VM20 vertical machining center Ingmar are now able to offer more than fabrication related services.
Somta Tools to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2014
A company that began business manufacturing chisels, toolbits, reamers and twist drills with a complement of about 20 employees is now a specialist in the design and manufacture of high performance, standard and custom carbide and high speed steel cutting tools for…
Copalcor Group streamlines itself
For decades brass and copper have been used in a variety of industries. From plumbing to aerospace, from hardware to the automotive industry and beyond. The challenge lies in finding a supplier with the skill to identify and produce the best solution for your specific requirements.
Paramount aims to leave opposition trailing
Paramount Trailers officially opened its new manufacturing facility in October 2013. They invested R150 million in a state-of-the-art facility in Kliprivier Business Park, which is situated next to the R59, the busy link between Johannesburg and Vereeniging.
Rapid Allweiler foundry starting to pump out castings
Rapid Allweiler celebrated its 80th birthday in 2012 becoming part of a select group of companies in South Africa that have proved that consistent quality and service lead to longevity. Established as a general engineering business in Booysens, Johannesburg in 1932, the company continues to grow from strength to strength.
General machining and light fabricating shop steps up – GJ Smal Engineering
GJ Smal Engineering is a general machining and light fabricating shop that serves a variety of industries but with companies serving the mining and related industries making up the bulk of the order book. The extent of the client list and with close to 6 000 drawings of various components on hand.
Lusafrica executives constantly look at their operation to ascertain where they can be more productive
The latest equipment – an Inductotherm VIP Power-Trak and two 120 kilogram bodies –has increased capacity and productivity in its bronze melting department.
Setting new capabilities in machining at U & L Engineering
Rebuilding and reconditioning is an important line of business for users of construction, earth-moving and agricultural equipment. For the equipment owners and operators, rebuilding makes economic sense, particularly with regard to the hydraulic components.
Bringing it all together – Gear Pump Manufacturing
Machining operations complemented by the development of in-house foundry at Gear Pump Manufacturing. Gear Pump Manufacturing (GPM) is located in Cape Town, South Africa.
50th Anniversary highlights Malleable Casting’s progress, achievements
While there have been numerous changes in the foundry industry through the past several decades, Malleable Castings has been a reliable presence in this changing industrial sector. The Activia Park, Gauteng based foundry is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, with a rich and innovative history.
Bekker Steel expands and moves home
With the recent surge in plate and sheet work, there has been a huge demand for plate processors to come to the party and deliver. One such company doing just that is Bekker Steel, based in Vereeniging, Gauteng.
Passionate and motivated in believing they are second to none
A machine shop finds a winning strategy as it learns that being competitive demands attentiveness, understanding, and the resources to be available for any type of opportunity.
It’s not just about waterjet cutting
Easy Way Gadgets’ operations in Vereeniging, Gauteng have evolved as the company has steadily grown since its inception in 2006. The company occupies four facilities in the Duncanville industrial area, giving it 2 000m² of manufacturing space, eight times the size of when the company opened for business.
The final proof
It is estimated that the first bread was made around 10,000 years BC or over 12,000 years ago. Dale Automation can boast that its equipment processes 8.5 million loaves of bread and 1 700 tons of chicken a day.
B&K Foundry celebrates five-year milestone
This Carletonville, Western Gauteng foundry servicing the stainless steel castings market was established five years ago. “When we started B&K five years ago our research indicated that there was more than enough room and call for a new foundry to operate in the stainless steel castings market and time has proved this to be true.”
Drives, motors, couplings and geared units for industry
Siemens Mechanical Drives manufacturing and assembly facility in Isando, Gauteng, is the heart of the Drive Technologies Division. The Drive Technologies Division products are used in the manufacturing industry, process industry and energy/infrastructure.
Raising the bar
Dress up any truck with a slick paint job, banks of bright lights, and gobs of chrome accessories and you’ll grab the attention of just about anyone anywhere you go.
Kennametal South Africa expands its footprint
One of South Africa’s leading suppliers of tooling, engineered components and advanced materials consumed in production processes, Kennametal South Africa, has recently completed a move to Boksburg East Industrial Sites, Gauteng that sees the company increase its area under roof by 300%.
True to its Swiss heritage, Ulrich Engineering makes money the old fashioned way: By earning it. This shop does so by manufacturing many different, some being complex parts, on its various CNC machines smarter and efficiently. The company also does not specialise in manufacturing components for any particular industry or machining a specific material.
Jaws for every chuck
Ways to boost operating efficiency shouldn’t stop at the machine tool.
Shops also need the right cutting tools, toolholders, and workholding. For many shops, the addition of new metalcutting technology is all about buying machine tools, with cutting tools, toolholding, and workholding dealt with as afterthoughts.
Electro-Rail on the fast track
Judging from recent activity, Electro-Rail (Pty) Ltd has been making good on its commitment to make whatever strategic capital equipment investments are necessary to improve service to customers.
Time to cut the old technology loose – Fabrication shop shapes its future
With its 15-year-old machine no longer meeting its needs, Tegmul Engineering has invested in capital equipment to make the company more competitive.
Shop constantly re-invests for the future
In a shop that turns out over 10 000 components in a month the pressure is always on to complete the orders and keep clients happy.
PTF Manufacturers – A specialist machine shop for the pump and valve industry
To ensure prosperity the company has followed a strategy of continual investment in new equipment and capacity.
Viking Foundry thrives in new facility
The future looks bright for the Germiston, Gauteng based mixed metal foundry. The company’s recent move into a new building has freed up plenty of space to expand and organise production flow.