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Nov 21, 2008

New machinery makes company globally competitive

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New equipment installed at diversified construction company Tubular Holdings is helping the company become globally competitive, says Tubular Holdings MD Tony Trindade.

Trindade says that the company’s increased investment in computerised equipment enables the company to be more cost effective and to handle bigger capaci- ties. The workshop environment is also much safer. It also reduces material wastage on the shop floor and enhances the quality of production. “The equipment helps the company deliver on its contracts on time, as well. All these factors help to make it globally competitive, which is the future for the structural steel fabrication sector,” he adds.

The computer numerically controlled (CNC) equipment, from machine tool manufacturer Peddinghaus, was installed and commissioned in Tubular Holdings’ Witbank workshop at the beginning of this year.

The new Peddinghaus machinery installed includes a gas cutting couper ABCM 1250, a BDL 1000 beam drill and cutter, a BDL 1050 beam drill, a Speedsaw 1250 beam cutter, a Bandsaw 1 270 beam cutter, an Anglemaster angle iron cutter and a Plate Master plate cutter.

The total value of the machinery and the construction to accommodate the machinery is about R120-million.

Trindade adds that a number of smaller fabricators, which Tubular Holdings subcontracts work to, have also invested in new, computerised machinery, since working on Tubular Holdings’ systems.

Steel Fabrication Boom
Trindade comments that the large number of government infrastructure projects under con- struction have made a fair amount of fabrication work available. “The Tubular Holdings group is positive about its steel fabrication sector for at least the next five years.

The South African fabrication sector is growing in capa- city and becoming more cost effective, which compensates for the high cost of raw materials. Most companies are investing in new CNC equipment, and that helps to be globally compe- titive, despite the high prices,” he adds.

Trindade says that with the investment in new machinery, and a very loyal group of skilled staff, Tubular Holdings is growing year-on-year.

The company has good training facilities, provides bursaries and takes in a number of engineering students yearly.

Tubular Holdings is currently working on structural steel contracts for platinum produ- cer Anglo Platinum, valued at about R250-million. The projects started in April 2008 and are on schedule for completion at the end of April 2009. About 2 100 t of structural steel is being used for these projects.

At chrome-miner Asa Metals’ Dilokong mine, Tubular Holdings is working on the furnaces and a structural steel building for the mine. The project, valued at about R150-million, started in March this year and is scheduled for completion by March 2009. About 2 600 t of structural steel will be used for this project.

At cement producer AfriSam, Tubular Holdings is working on the steelworks for the mill and ancillary buildings. The project, valued at R110-million, started in May 2008 and is scheduled for completion by the end of this year. About 2 200 t of steel will be used for this project.

Edited by: Laura Tyrer
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