Kaefer in South Africa, a division of the German industrial insulation and thermal solutions multinational, celebrated 100 years of innovation and sustainable growth during a partner-focused innovation day this month, which also saw the handover of the local division to incoming MD Ben Garrad.
Outgoing MD George Wardrope, who worked for Kaefer for 25 years, emphasised the importance of showcasing the latest innovations from Kaefer and its suppliers to clients and industry.
“We see the sharing of partnerships and innovations as an important part of the business, which is to improve efficiency and the value provided for clients. It fits in with the Kaefer group’s strategy, which emphasises the efficiency of our own processes and products and ensures efficiency gains for our clients through heat and energy efficient solutions.”
Garrad said the company’s partner strategy supported its growth, and it saw its suppliers as key partners as it broadened its services and introduced new services.
“With the foundation laid by George and the deep relationships we have with clients, partners and industry professionals, we have a bright future together,” he said.
The innovation day highlighted the focus on increasing the value for clients by making services and solutions more efficient, while being safer and doing work on site faster and more efficiently, he added.
The company’s local experts were sent on a tour, during which they observed the new and emerging technologies, renewable energy, waste heat as a resource, gas and energy solutions. New corrosion and insulation technologies are areas where Kaefer is aiming to provide services, according to Garrad.
Additionally, Kaefer also showcased its Digital Project Management Solution (DPMS), which uses tough and intrinsically safe smart tablets to provide project supervisors with mobile real-time, on-site project management tools.
The aim was to connect data used and produced on site with the people and processes that use it, whether they were on site or off site. The tablet was also used to scope work on site and served as a materials and people management and scheduling tool, said Kaefer DPMS global roll-out manager Fernando Cozzoli.
This solution leverages Kaefer’s ‘Lean’ strategy, which emphasises the reduction of waste through effective management, and the software and functionality conforms with the way that it manages its own projects.
The company started pilot trials of the DPMS at the South African Petroleum Refinery (Sapref), in KwaZulu-Natal, six months ago and had started trials of the solution at State-owned utility Eskom’s Majuba, Matimba and Tutuka power stations, highlighted Kaefer ‘lean’ planner at Sapref Keene Pillay.
The DPMS system can be used for any of the services Kaefer offers. Kaefer aims to have 400 projects running worldwide within the next year.
“The DPMS capabilities range from ‘request’ through to invoicing and the solution integrates customer and subcontractor processes to provide a solution that improves visibility, control and efficiency of project execution,” said Cozzoli.
Being part of an international group provided the company with advantages in terms of support for the latest technologies and best practices, added Wardrope.
“However, we must not sell ourselves short as there is lots of innovation in the country and our international partners are often impressed with the way we operate. “We have kept up with innovation and changes. We will host more innovation days in the future,” he concluded.