The welding industry is more stable, compared with other industries, such as civil engineering and construction, says mainstream industrial plant and equipment rental company Afritech Equipment Solutions projects manager Mornay Nortje.
He tells Engineering News that demand for welding equipment and consumables has been steady and showing an upwards trend in the past year.
The company ensures that it keeps its product offering on par with international trends pertaining to the technological advancements in the welding industry, Nortje notes.
Afritech Equipment Solutions offers clients on-site turnkey equipment and consumable solutions that vary from mobile diesel welding units and welding consumables to related personal protective equipment (PPE).
Meanwhile, Nortje believes that the future of the welding industry generally seems healthy, although it will be subject to factors such as government budget allocations to infrastructural spend, foreign investment allocated to greenfield and expansion projects as well as skills development by government and the private sector.
“One of the major challenges that the industry faces is a loss of skills – this is applicable to not only the welding industry but also the South African economy in general. “This could be mitigated by ensuring that succession plans for individuals, from supervisory level upwards, are in place.”
Further, as a member of the Southern African Institute of Welding, Afritech Equipment Solutions prides itself on being the official importers and distributors of leading brands in welding products.
Nortje adds that the Dura-Arc range of welding equipment and consumables is the company’s home brand that has been specifically designed and developed for African working conditions and is manufactured to “world-class specifications”.
Afritech Equipment Solutions was awarded a contract in September last year to supply State-owned oil company PetroSA’s Mossel Bay gas-to-liquids refinery, in the Western Cape, with welding equipment and consumables.
This included managing and maintaining all the equipment, consumables and PPE requirements during the refinery’s October 2018 major shutdown.
The company completed the shutdown without requiring any downtime on any of the supplied plant and equipment, and maintained a perfect health and safety record, Nortje highlights.
Afritech Equipment Solutions is working on a project for integrated chemicals and energy group Sasol’s Natref refinery, in Sasolburg, in the Free State. It is supplying the required mobile diesel welding units, compressors and various other petrochemical-specification equipment to the main mechanical contractor.
The company is also supplying diesel generators to the heat treatment contractor.
Meanwhile, the company aims to target new market segments and much focus will fall on the mining sector.
The company will also move its main works from Roodekop, in Germiston, to a 10 000 m2 facility in Boksburg, early next month.
“The new premises are centrally located, with easy access to the national freeways such as the N17, to Sasol Secunda, in Mpumalanga; the N3 to Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal; the N12 to Emalahleni, in Mpumalanga; and the R29 to the Vaal Triangle, in Gauteng. “It is ideally situated to cater for the industry sectors in the mentioned regions,” Nortje points out.
The company aims to maintain its high standard of service and quality offering that its clients have become accustomed to and to become the leading name in the supply of niche welding equipment and associated products, he concludes.