Ensuring quality customer service even during power outages forms part of Metric Automotive Engineering’s sustainable business strategy. The company recently invested in an uninterruptable power system (UPS) at its state-of-the-art technical facility in Germiston to ensure just this.
While the company has always had its own standby generators to provide power during load-shedding or utility outages, Metric Automotive Engineering operations director Andrew Yorke explains that this was still not ideal.
“The short delay between utility power failing and the generators kicking in could have negative effects on our workflow,” says Yorke. “The brief stoppage of our sophisticated machines could lead to damage to major components which are in the middle of a high-precision machining process.”
He notes that this could not only damage components but invariably resulted in delays due to the unexpected rework required, which all involved additional costs. The new UPS system – which includes two separate UPS units – provides an effective solution to these challenges.
“Both UPS units are fed by a specialised solar inverter system, giving us a bridging system that allows our operations to continue unimpaired,” he says.
The one UPS provides uninterrupted electricity supply to the critical machinery at Metric Automotive Engineering, powering the four crankshaft grinders, the seven reboring surfacing machines and the CNC lathes. The other UPS supports the administrative side of the business, ensuring that there are no server outages. This facilitates smooth and continuous access to information and communication.
The company’s self-sufficiency has been further enhanced by the implementation of an extensive rainwater harvesting system to collect water for all its cleaning processes. Yorke explains that some 60 000 litres of water can be harvested from a single substantial downpour of rain.
“This water is stored in tanks above and below ground, from where it is supplied into the operation by pressure pumps,” he says.
With 50 years of experience, Metric Automotive Engineering is South Africa’s most comprehensively equipped diesel engine component remanufacturer. It refurbishes large diesel and gas engine components and offers services such as cylinder head remanufacture, cylinder block line boring, milling, honing and boring. It also grinds camshaft and crankshafts, assembles engines and conducts dynamometer testing.