Diversified industrial engineering group PSV’s subsidiary, African Cryogenics, is gearing up to increase its operating capacity through an investment into a 7 000 m2 manufacturing facility, which is under construction and expected to be completed at the end of this month.
African Cryogenics joint MD Allan Sparrow tells Engineering News that, in addition to providing its customers with improved products at faster turnaround times, the company also wants to generate new business to assist the gases and chemical industries in diversifying their operations.
PSV CEO Abie da Silva says the company currently works from three different sites in Gauteng and required the additional capacity.
“We were operating from three different locations as a business and were therefore not able to target our customers as an entity. The new R40-million facility not only enables PSV’s acquisitions, Rand Air & Gas and Cryoshield, to combine and create 50% more capacity but also enables African Cryogenics to get its products delivered in a shorter turnaround time.
“The cryogenic industry is vast and we, being a major fabricator in South Africa, want to take advantage of lost opportunities. We can now pursue work that we previously could not because of a lack of infrastructure,” he says.
“We already manufacture and service road tankers to international standards. With our new facility, we will improve on our competitiveness. Owing to demand and change to local legislation, we are able to fabricate cryogenic vessels to European standards, enabling us to use thinner materials and be more cost effective in the market,” Sparrow notes.
African Cryogenics will also manufacture its road tankers with superinsulation materials with full vacuum, instead of the traditional perlite. The lighter insulation will allow for a higher carrying capacity.
The new facility will incorporate an in-house grit blasting and painting system with an extracting system budgeted at around R2.5-million. About R7-million was budgeted for new overhead cranes.
African Cryogenics joint MD John Winterton adds that the company is considering the manufacture of high-technology pressure vessels to further diversify its business.
The company also uses unique technology for the drying of transformers. It has developed two systems – one for dehydrating oil and the second for dehydrating the windings of transformers to lower the moisture content. It can also supply carbon dioxide storage vessels and filtration systems to the beverage industry.
“In the short term, we want to get the facility up and running with minimum delays and supply customers with improved products at competitive prices. We want to get more involved in meeting customers’ requirements and in servicing their existing fleets in the shortest time. We want to add value to their business.
“In the long term, we will consider exporting to the African market. There are strong necessities in the African market for cryogenic equipment that is currently imported from Europe, with little maintenance or service backup,” Winterton concludes.