Boiler management, consulting, engineering and quality-assurance services provider GM Boiler and Steam Consulting Engineering (GMB) will continue to expand its business this year to include the manufacturing of boilers and boiler components for plant and production industries.
Last year, the company registered a 7% growth in operations that specifically focused on manufacturing, says GMB business partner Rosharon Morgan.
“GMB’s core business is the service and repair of boilers, as well as installations on steam lines. However, we have ventured more into manufacturing, and this demand has required more from our business,” she suggests.
She mentions that the company’s vast knowledge and experience in the boiler industry enables it to expand into manufacturing, and provide its maintenance and refurbishment services.
Morgan points out that the company’s expertise in refurbishment services has become increasingly important for the maintenance of second- and third-hand boilers, as these are government-regulated products, and companies in the industry using these products can potentially become negligent if they do not adhere to regulatory requirements.
“Subsequently, we could also provide our new and old customers with customised solutions that assist with the efficiency of their production lines.”
The company has manufactured items for the food and beverage, agriculture, chemical and government sectors. She highlights that the company has also ventured more into the food and beverage, and agriculture sectors as these sectors accounted for about 22% of the company’s business last year.
The company supplied products, such as hot water boilers, heat exchangers, boiler arches and hoppers, tanks, steam line fabrication and chain grate frames, to the above-mentioned sectors.
Moreover, Morgan confirms that the company has received an “influx of requests” for the manufacturing of boilers, boiler components and hot water tanks locally and from neighbouring countries.
“Customers are also looking for innovative streamlining of production flows, which requires more intense maintenance plans.”
Meanwhile, Morgan says GMB was involved in a number of refurbishment projects last year, one of which was to design and install a steam line at a local agriculture factory.
The project is about 90% complete, and the project could result in GMB obtaining certified drawings for the project, which could potentially grow the company’s intellectual property.
The project did involve a relevant challenge, as the initial line was altered after completion by the customer, which fell outside the scope of the original engineered drawing. She stresses that this is potentially risky for customers, owing to incorrect material and specifications not corresponding with the signed-off design drawing.
Despite this challenge, solutions beyond the customer’s requirements were provided, which later assisted the customer in expanding on production without further changes, she adds.
Further, Morgan emphasises the need for training and knowledge in the industries that use boilers.
Consequently, the company has established the Galel Training and Development Centre as a sister company to GMB, which is present on the same property as GMB in Johannesburg, Gauteng. The accredited training facility will provide training for aspirant skilled and qualified boiler operators and welders. This will increase the number of skilled operators and welders not only for GMB, but also others in the broader industry.
The training centre was founded in 2015, and has undergone intensive accreditation processes in accordance with education authority the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority standards.
Morgan confirms that the centre will be taking in students and rolling out training this year.
Morgan says the company’s aim is to provide qualified boiler operators for customers as a cost-effective initiative. The company has also acquired new equipment while freeing up space in its current workspace, and has added extra facilities and welding equipment to its training school.