Sep 14, 2012
Local welding company stresses importance of unified approachBack
Cape Town|Allweld Solutions|Education|Industrial|Spesmet Technology|Welding|Africa|South Africa|Local Manufacturing|Mining|Transportation|Western Cape|Du Plessis
© Reuse this
He claims that current training initiatives in South Africa are unable to deliver suitably skilled welders within the required timeframe, while there is an increased availability of skilled welders from other regions of the world.
This will result in more foreign welders being contracted to work in South Africa, says Du Plessis.
Further, he states that volatile exchange rates result in South African products being less competitive in the global arena.
“Low levels of productivity and a lack of capital investment in modern welding processes also contribute to making local manufacturing less competitive,” he explains.
Spesmet Technology is active in the petrochemicals, power generation, construction, mining, automotive, transportation, engineering and fabrication industries, and Du Plessis notes that each industry has its own challenges.
“In the power generation industry there is a lack of knowledge about welding among senior decision-makers and, in the construction industry, there is a resistance to changing to modern welding technologies,” he says.
Spesmet Technology takes a simple approach to finding solutions to these challenges, he adds.
“Our main focus is to understand the challenge, after which we design and implement a permanent solution to mitigate the challenge.
“Further, we offer in-house welding training and education for our clients, as well as seminars that offer training to the whole industry,” says Du Plessis.
On May 16, Spesmet Technology and Cape Town-based marine and industrial engineering company Allweld Solutions held a one-day seminar in Maitland, in the Western Cape to help industry participants improve their efficiency and save welding fabrication costs by using five steps.
These steps are: determine the welding costs, determine which factors affect costs, do cost calculations, reduce welding costs, and choose processes and consumables that improve welding efficiency.
Du Plessis points out that events such as the seminar are important, as a unified approach is needed to quantify and analyse the welding skills shortage in the country, besides other challenges.
“Once the shortage is quantified, training institutions and the business sector should embark on a multiyear plan to deal with the shortcomings in the welding industry through training," he suggests.
Meanwhile, despite the challenges, Du Plessis is optimistic about the future of the welding industry.
“I think the industry as a whole is still growing. With government’s planned infrastructure spend, there are opportunities for all industry role-players to become involved and grow the industry in the Southern African region and further into Africa,” he concludes.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other SA Institute of Welding News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...