R/€ = 15.36Change: -0.04
R/$ = 14.45Change: -0.02
Au 1069.61 $/ozChange: 3.46
Pt 840.00 $/ozChange: 1.50
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Jul 27, 2012

Automotive components manufacturer diversifies business focus

Engineering|Natal|Port|Port Elizabeth|Pretoria|Africa|Components|Control Instruments Group|Conveyors|Design|Industrial|Pi Shurlok|Projects|Safety|System|Testing|Training|transport|Africa|Americas|Asia|Europe|Germany|Japan|South Africa|Manufacturing Facility|Pi Shurlok’s Facility|Automotive|Automotive Electronic Components Manufacturer|Components Manufacturer|Contract Manufacturer|Equipment|Immediate Available Manufacturing Capacity|Manufacturing|Manufacturing Capacity|Manufacturing Costs|Nonautomotive Components Manufacturing Sector|Product|Products|Strict In-house Electromagnetic Compatibility Testing Equipment|Dion Hardy|Infrastructure|William Murray
© Reuse this

KwaZulu-Natal-based automotive electronic components manufacturer Pi Shurlok, which is owned by JSE-listed Control Instruments Group, plans to diversify into the nonautomotive components manufacturing sector.

Pi Shurlok business development manager William Murray tells Engineering News that the company’s strategic move to diversify is in response to the global economic downturn in 2007 and 2008.

The economic crisis led to a slump in business and motivated the components manufacturer to reassess its focus on automotive components and branch out into the nonautomotive electronic components sector by becoming a contract manufacturer for a broader range of original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Murray reports that the company’s focus on quality compliance and standards certifications throughout its manufacturing processes has enabled it to expand into the nonautomotive electronic components industry with ease.

“We have designed our engineering processes to be fully aligned with the procedures and practices of the various automotive OEMs. We have advanced product quality planning teams who are responsible for undertaking quality assessments, failure modes and effects analyses to help identify potential failures, based on similar past experiences and production-part approval process procedures,” he says.

Further, the company has strict in-house electromagnetic compatibility testing equipment to ensure that the products are not susceptible to outside influence and that they do not emit any electromagnetic influences.

The tests are based on automotive industry specifications as outlined by German safety monitoring agency TÜV and the German Association of the Automotive Industry, besides other specifications.

The lessons learnt from automotive industry specifications and Pi Shurlok’s lessons are applied to each new task being handled, says Murray.

Production Capabilities
Pi Shurlok GM Dion Hardy states the company aims to retain its quality standards, as well as reduce manufacturing costs and rationalise its activities to increase manufacturing capacity, while also extending its customer base in the industrial market, where it is seeking more business opportunities.

The company’s OEM component supply currently constitutes about 60% of its business, with the balance being components supplied to the non-OEM automotive sector.

The manufacturer plans to reach an equal 50% ratio between its automotive OEM supply and its non-OEM supply by diluting the non-OEM supply with nonautomotive components.

“Pi Shurlok’s immediate available manufacturing capacity is 47% and, as a result of its existing and established infrastructure, new production programmes can be implemented in a short time with minimal investment,” says Hardy.

The low- to medium-volume manufacturer provides a niche supply of electronic components for domestic OEMs and eight international clients in Europe, the Americas and Asia, including Japan.

Pi Shurlok exports about half of its components to the international market.

Manufacturing Facility
The company’s manufacturing facility, in Pietermaritzburg, comprises three separate flexible assembly plants and has a combined floor space of 8 300 m2. The facility includes surface mount device facilities, antistatic floors, cleanrooms and wave soldering equipment in inert environments.

There are four component production lines that populate circuit boards using component cassettes in a pick-and-place method. This is done by a fully automated or semi-automated system, depending on the component being manufactured.

Hardy notes that the more complex circuit boards manufactured by the company may contain more than 1 600 components each.

The automated production lines produce between 10 000 and 50 000 units a year, while the semi-automated lines produce up to 300 000 units a year.

Pi Shurlok’s facility follows lean manufacturing principles and a just-in-time delivery method, while the 220-strong staff complement follows the cell assembly structure.

The linear cell assembly structure places each staff member in charge of a range of tasks when moving between the cell structures and specific client instrument clusters.

This enables staff to acquire various skills, as well as familiarise themselves with the hardware, software, mechanical, illumination and visual aesthetic elements of the manufactured products.

Murray says that although it was a challenge for South Africa-based companies to be awarded contracts by global businesses in the past, Pi Shurlok has had significant success in acquiring contracts because of its modern facility and well-entrenched design and manufacturing processes.

The component manufacturer’s use of available government incentive schemes, such as the Motor Industry Development Programme and the Automotive Production and Develop- ment Programme, provides further value-add for its customers and has greatly supported the drive to localise more products in the South African market, he adds.

Plastic Injection Moulding
A further value-add for Pi Shurlok is its on-site plastic injection moulding facility, established in September last year, which produces plastic parts for specific customer instrument-cluster programmes.

Hardy notes that, previously, it was difficult and costly to import plastic components or transport them from the company’s plastic moulding facility in Port Elizabeth.

As a result, the manufacturer invested in a fully automated in-line plastic injection moulding plant to cater for the instrument cluster’s plastic-component needs.

Pi Shurlok was recently awarded a high-volume instrument cluster production programme by a large Pretoria-based automotive OEM.

“We are one of three global manufacturing sites for this new vehicle platform,” says Hardy.

The plastic injection moulding facility features individual automated dryers for each material type, a fully integrated material feeding system, robotics installed for the extraction of the moulded part, as well as conveyors.

The facility also features two 300 t KraussMaffei plastic-processing machines imported from Germany: one exclusively for use with polypropylene homopolymer materials and the other exclusively for use with polymethyl methacrylate materials.

“As a manufacturer for local and inter- national OEMs, it is imperative that we deliver a 99.6% first-time pass rate for our components, says Hardy.

He adds that the company, therefore, works in accordance with the IPC-A-610E inspection standard for the acceptability of electronic assemblies and the IPC 7711/7721 Rework, Modification and Repair of Electronic Assemblies Training and Certification Programme.

“For our own integrated projects, we have formal technical and commercial baseline management processes in place. These include design verification testing, acceptance test procedures and field trials, which use actual target vehicles and environments to test the components,” says Murray.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Transport & Logistics News
A Paramount Mbombe 6 armoured infantry vehicle undergoing winter trials in Kazakhstan
South African private-sector defence group Paramount announced on Tuesday that it had started production at its new armoured vehicle plant in the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan. The start of production was marked by a visit to the plant by Kazakh President...
Up to 60 people were injured when a substation near Pinedene train station in Centurion exploded on Tuesday morning. ER24 spokesperson Pieter Rossouw said initial reports indicated it was a train crash, but this was incorrect.
Zambia expects to clinch $1-billion in Chinese investment and loans at this week's China-Africa summit in Johannesburg, a presidential spokesperson said on Tuesday. Presidential spokesperson Amos Chanda said Zambia was expected to conclude deals with China in...
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Latest News
Construction company Murray & Roberts (M&R) on Tuesday said board members Mahlape Sello and Royden Vice would be excluded from any discussion and documents relating to the investigation of the October collapse of a support structure of a pedestrian bridge being built...
The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) is not sitting by idly while National Treasury and the Department of Energy mull over the various options for the country’s controversial 9 600 MW nuclear build programme. While Energy Minister Tina...
While a resurgence in manufacturing in Africa has been popularly touted as the silver bullet that will accelerate the continent’s economic growth prospects, The Economist management editor and columnist Adrian Wooldridge has suggested that Africa’s industrial...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
NICK CHRISTODOULOU As about 58% of data stored by organisations is dark, they must identify this dark data to expose risks and valuable information
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
BRIAN VERWEY Effective management, review and administration of non-core elements can improve business operations and increase revenue and decrease unforeseen risks
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96