Abrasives manufacturer Klingspor says its advanced Germany-based research and development (R&D) department sets the company apart from its competitors, as it provides the stainless steel industry with technology that promotes efficiency in the manufacturing stage and for end-users.
Klingspor points out that the uses of stainless steel are diverse owing to its favourable properties, like corrosion resistance. The basic requirement for achieving a satisfactory result is selecting the correct material for the intended application.
“When designing our products, we understand that it is critical for products to be designed to specification and to make the work of our clients easier and more efficient. We invest much time in developing products so that they are relevant to our market,” says Klingspor sales manager Brent Strydom.
As a result of Klingspor’s R&D being undertaken in Germany, the company has acquired global knowledge on the products that are used with stainless steel. The Klingspor R&D team consists of business developers, scientists and information technology specialists who test and subject the products to trials before they are made available to the market.
Strydom adds that the precision in the devel- oping stage of Klingspor’s abrasives technology has enabled the company to provide solutions from the manufacturing process to the time it reaches the end-user. This has also ensured market share in the manufacturing stage and end-user application.
Further, Klingspor can eliminate two or three processes in the manufacturing stage, which is a long-term benefit for the customer.
“Our business developers come to South Africa from Germany to gain a better understanding of the country’s market. This enables them to develop products specific to South Africa to holistically cater for the needs of the industry,” says Klingspor external sales executive Fred Hefer.
The company also believes that it is important to invest time in training the distributors of its products so that they can gain an understanding of and knowledge about the products before they sell them.
“We invest a significant amount of money in the training of our distributors because it is through distributors that we gain access to the market. We train them so that they are informed about our product and can present it well to the market. A minimum of one day a week is devoted to training. Sometimes, training takes place two or three days a week, depending on demand. Our training is free and we understand that the more we invest in training, the more people get to know our brand and become aware of what sets it apart from its competitors,” explains Strydom.
Klingspor assigns a technician to facilitate the technical and practical training, while staff members who are well informed about specific products present theory.
“The training has yielded impressive results for us. After training, we follow up with end-users, who use our products, on their effectiveness with regard to application. We have also seen improvement in our sales, as they are constantly increasing owing to the thorough understanding of our product,” Hefer points out.
Klingspor South Africa also exports its products to neighbouring African countries. The company says current and future construction projects in Africa present an opportunity for the company to tap into new markets.
Klingspor’s abrasives products for stainless steel range from fibre discs, abrasive mops, abrasive sheets, grinding discs and metal finishing wheels.