Within the next 12 months, temperature sensor manufacturer Endress+Hauser Pyrotemp plans to locally manufacture 75% of all temperature sensors sold by Endress+Hauser in South Africa, Endress+Hauser Pyrotemp GM Chris Gimson revealed at the inauguration of the manufacturer’s new production facility, in Benoni, Gauteng, on August 21.
Endress+Hauser Pyrotemp serves as an Endress+Hauser competence centre for high-temperature applications and manufactures a range of thermocouples, resistance temperature detectors and thermowells.
It already manufactures 50% of all temperature sensors sold by Endress+Hauser in South Africa.
Endress+Hauser Production Centre for Temperature MD Wilfried Meissner said the production centre provided the global group with an opportunity to broaden its worldwide production network and to be closer to its customers in South Africa.
Further, Endress+Hauser group CEO Klaus Endress told Engineering News that the facility made it possible for the group to react to customer demands in the region in a more flexible manner.
He stated that temperature sensors should ideally be produced locally, as different regions required different standards in terms of such sensors.
He said the facility would be of benefit for customers in many African countries.
The Endress+Hauser group has invested about €2-million in the establishment of the facility, which includes 1 100 m2 of production space and 420 m2 of office space. A further €2-million is being invested in equipment for the facility.
Meissner noted that a portion of the equipment investment would still be spent in early 2013.
Equipment that is still to be delivered includes a gun-drilling machine and supporting equipment, which is being imported from precision mechanical engineering company Mollart, in the UK, and a machining centre, which will be imported from Japan.
Endress+Hauser Pyrotemp was established in 2007, when the Endress+Hauser group acquired a majority interest in Boksburg-based Pyrotemp Services.
The company had a small manufacturing facility in Witfield, Boksburg, but, owing to space constraints, moved to the Apex industrial area, in Benoni, in May 2010. Thereafter, the facility was expanded and the redesign of the offices was completed in May this year.
The facility has already received ISO 9001 accreditation, while ISO 14001 and ISO 19001 accreditation was expected to be obtained in early 2013.
Further, the facility’s calibration laboratory is also expected to soon become ISO 17025-certified.
Meanwhile, Endress commented that it was important for businesses to invest “thoughtfully” in products, equipment, training, processes and fit-for-purpose buildings on an ongoing basis.
He added that investment could also lead to job creation. Endress stated that this was of particular importance for a country like South Africa, where the unemployment rate stood at nearly 25%.
Endress+Hauser Pyrotemp employs 24 people.
Gimson noted that, given that temperature sensor manufacturing was a very manual process, Endress+Hauser had been fortunate to retain the skills it had when it acquired Pyrotemp Services.