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Sep 07, 2007

Gasket company strives for African growth

Engineering|Africa|Components|Copper|Design|Industrial|Marine|Mining|Petrochemicals|System|Technology|Africa|Democratic Republic Of Congo|Zambia|Automotive|Equipment|Manufacturing|Petrochemicals|Product|Products|Rubber|Service|Services|Solutions
Engineering|Africa|Components|Copper|Design|Industrial|Marine|Mining|Petrochemicals|System|Technology|Africa|Democratic Republic Of Congo|Zambia|Automotive|Equipment|Manufacturing|Petrochemicals|Products|Rubber|Service|Services|Solutions
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Gasket manufacturing and distribution company Gasket Manufacturing Corporation (GMC-South Africa) has put a system in place that will improve the company’s penetration into the African market, reports Gasket Manufacturing MD Mark Stöger.

“Since the merger with IE Gasket & Pressing, and Paramount Engineering in March last year, Gasket Manufacturing has established Gasket Manufacturing Zambia. The company mainly serves the Copper-belt through a distribution centre in Kitwe, and a production facility in Lusaka,” says St�ger. He adds that the company hopes to establish a footprint into Africa through its market sectors.

St�ger adds that the company serves, besides others, the mining, petrochemicals, chemicals, marine, and industrial sectors. The strategic growth areas in this regard are the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria.

St�ger comments that the company is also hoping to serve the South African market better. “On September 1, 2006, we acquired a company called Gasket & Allied Services, in KwaZulu-Natal. Gasket Manufacturing KwaZulu-Natal has a manufacturing and distribution centre in Pinetown that will service the KwaZulu-Natal province.

“On March 1, 2007, we acquired a company called Gasket & Packing Technologies, in Cape Town. Gasket Manufacturing Cape Town, has a production and distribution centre in Cape Town. This company will service the Western Cape, the Northern Cape, and the Eastern Cape,” says Stoger.

In a previous interview with Mining Weekly (September 8-14, 2006), St�ger explained that company was in the process of expanding its product base through a corporate restructuring programme. “The company has an injection-moulding section, which processes both plastic and rubber. The plastic injection-moulding capacity is 20 t to 320 t.

“The eccentric pressing divisions of the two companies have been combined to make it a far more capable pressings division, handling from 1 t to 150 t in capacity,” says Stoger.

The company’s computer numerically controlled (CNC) engineering division consists of CNC lathes and milling machines, which are all network linked and are either computer-aided design- (Cad-) driven or computer-aided machine- (Cam-) driven. All design work is carried out in-house on modeling software and then transferred to CNC machines on Cad or Cam software, where automated equipment creates the tooling that is required by production. Tooling will be controlled in-house, giving a tighter control of quality and production time.

Following the merger, the engineering arm of the business manufactures CNC-machined and -milled components for various industries. It is technology-driven and manufactures many products, which are sold along with the sealing range. Joint MD Gavin Broadfoot reports that Gasket Manufacturing Corporation has been in the industry for a long time, and the company’s success is due to its commitment to producing automotive and industrial gaskets, in conjunction with the good standards of customer service. He adds that technology is enhanced by an association with overseas suppliers, and by involvement with original-equipment manufacturers. “It is has relationships with international brands that ensure that the company holds a strong position in the industry. GMC has been appointed as the official distributor of Amorim Industrial Solutions for cork rubber in sheets, rolls and strips. The company holds the Sigraflex Hochdruck distribution agreement in Southern Africa, which includes graphite foils and graphite sheets,” remarks Broadfoot.

“At present the new materials stores have in excess of 300 t of stock and we currently produce in excess of two-million components a month,” Stoger said.

The company has also placed an order for three new gasket-manufacturing machines from Italy to the value of R 3-million. The machines are expected to be delivered by the end of November 2007. Further, the company is busy completing its ISO 9001 certification.

Edited by: Laura Tyrer
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