DDSA CEO and drector Hannes Goosen reports that, the company has grown its sales by 30% this year over the sales achieved in 2007. He attributes this to the fact that furnace companies have expressed a need for improved technology ,safety, and taphole practice especially in light of the efficiency demand placed on the companies in South Africa as a result of the energy crisis. He adds that the most significant interest has been shown from the steel, ferrous, and non-ferrous industries.
"The growth of the company has not only been significant in the local market; since the beginning of the year the company has been able to establish itself as a global player," With special permission from our holding company to supply equipment outside our license territory says Goosen.
He reports that the company has reached an advanced stage in its order for Chinese company Henan Sunshine through the local subsidiary of Italian engineering company Tenova, Tenova Pyromet, for the supply of two diesel driven stoking and charging cars.
DDSA reports that the company has completed the engineering work and fabrication of the two CHM 50 Furnace stocking and charging machines . The machines are scheduled to be shipped to China in October, from where the equipment will be transported to Henan Sunshine. Commisioning of the equipment is expected to be carried out in November. DDSA acquired the order through working with local engineering company Tenova Pyromet.
He adds that the company has also received orders for companies in Kazakhstan, through the technological arm of diversified miner Xstrata, Xstrata Technologies, in New Zealand, and in Russia through enginnering company Bateman Engineering.
Although the company is a subsidiary of Dango & Dienenthal GmbH, which is located , based, and has manufacturing facilities in Germany, DDSA has done a number of projects for Dango & Dienenthal Maschinenbau GmbH and Dango to assist with the increased demands placed on the companies in Europe.
Goosen reports that the company has finished the engineering work and fabrication of a number of machines for Samancor's Meyerton production plant in southern Johannesburg.
He says that the project needed to be executed in three separate orders.
The first order was for equipment for the ferrochrome smelters from M1 to M5: the order was placed last year with supply and installation still ongoing.
The second order, an order for equipment for three machines related to furnace M12, was also placed last year with supply and installation carried out towards the end of October
The final order, an order of equipment for three machines related to furnace M14, was placed last year with supply and installation expected towards the end of November.
Samancor initiated the project as part of the upgrade of its existing furnace infrastructure at the production plant.
Goosen says that although the company has performed well this year, the company has had to deal with a number of challenges that affected many companies in the industry.
The foremost challenge that the company needed to overcome was the energy crisis, which affected many companies in the industry.
The worst effects of the crisis were felt at the beginning of the year when State-owned power utility Eskom had to initiate a load shedding programme in order to meet the demands placed on the utility. Goosen reports that the company's production was not adversely affected by the crisis, however, he says that the company had to invest significant capital in the acquisition of a generator set which was powerful enough to run the production facility. He adds that, during the worst time of the crisis, the company only lost 2000 man hours of production time.
The other crisis that has had a significant effect on the company is the skills crisis.
"The skills crisis is having a significant impact on the company as there is very little artisan training being conducted in the country, which is the backbone of the industry. As a result, the company has had to train a large portion of its work force to be competent in a number of areas, so there is little room for specialisation," says Goosen.
He adds that the company takes an unconventional approach to artisan training in that the training is hands on and is conducted all-year round as a worker is busy with or completing a project.
To view a video in which Dango & Dienenthal South Africa CEO and director Hannes Goosen discusses the current performance of the company and its future outlook in the industry, go to www.engineeringnews.co.za and click on ‘Video Clips'