“By setting up a vertical integrated supply model, we have created an in-house supply chain that greatly boosts our efforts to be the lowest- cost producer in this market segment,” states GM for AGI manu-facturing Dawid Bisschof.
With more than 20 000 m2 under roof, the site has become the first in the industry to unite four main businesses into one building, namely glass processing, extrusion presses, powder coating, and bulk finished products.
With separate distribution outlets near each business unit for trade and retail customers, as well as stockholding facilities that ensure the continued and reliable supply of both production materials and finished goods, Bisschof believes the facility negates the problems that typically face their industry, that of incon- sistent materials supplies, long turnaround times and the resulting cost impact.
“We finalised the grand plan for this project in September 2005, moved into the building in April 2006, and are now 75% towards the targeted turnover, with final completion having taken place in April 2007,” says Bisschof.
“The benefits are vast and far-reaching,” he continues. “From giving us much greater control over our business as a whole, there will be big cost benefits resulting from the reduced travel and shipping involved. This growth platform will also provide us with significantly increased capacity and allow much shorter delivery times, no matter how big or small the order.”
In brief, the glass processing plant cuts and tempers local and imported glass for both internal processing, and direct sale to customers. In the finished products plant, a variety of showers, doors, frames and mirrors are assembled and stocked, while the extrusion plant functions 24 hours a day, seven days a week to produce aluminium profiles ranging in length between 6 500 mm and 7 250 mm. Finally, the powder coating plant includes an environment-friendly, chrome-free aluminium conversion process which incorporates degreasing, acid pretreatment, and Aludine conversion. Aludine is a chemical pretreamtemnt for aluminium before varnishing.
“The new powder booth can do a colour change in 12 minutes, compared to the two hours previously required. AGI Aluminium can now produce 120 000 m2 of powder- coated aluminium profiles a month, up from 30 000 m2 prior to construction of the new plant.
“With over 300 employees on site, we are now well positioned to continue growing our business and also help markets downstream from us to develop.”