Company becomes first validation facility in South Africa

6th September 2019

Welding and construction equipment-related supplier Renttech South Africa has become the first local validation facility which is able to provide a service to industry validating welding equipment according to ISO 17662 standards.

Renttech is a company within the Bidvest Group’s Commercial Products division, and has a solid background in the rental and sales of 22 recognised welding and construction-related equipment brands.

In close collaboration with the South African Institute of Welding (SAIW), Renttech has improved its processes to incorporate international testing standards for validation of welding equipment as required by companies accredited according to ISO 3834.

“In order to comply with the requirement of most big projects, construction companies need accreditation according to the ISO 3834 welding quality standards. With respect to welding equipment, ISO 3834 requires that all welding machines used must be validated to ensure that the actual welding current and/or voltage output delivered during welding accurately matches the parameter settings,” says Renttech welding product manager Johan Bester.

He notes that an external authorised inspection authority certified its process for the delivery of performance certificates according to ISO 17662, the equipment calibration, verification and validation standard.

“This is also now incorporated into our ISO 9001 quality management systems through a formal scope change. All new equipment sold – as well as our rental fleet – now gets validated according to this standard before reaching the customer.

“This is also an additional service that we offer clients for their existing equipment irrespective of brand, and we are in fact the first local company to provide this validation facility,” Bester advises.

He adds that the company has also recently launched its new UNIarc range of welding equipment, with a host of associated cost benefits and technical advantages for customers all aimed at reducing the time and cost for each weld.

“For the past three years, we have been engaging with some of the best welding machine manufacturers globally so as to improve and complete our range to suit the demands of our rental and sales markets.”

UNIarc is a brand that has earned itself a reputation for reliability and performance in some of the harshest South African conditions over the last 20 years, in all sectors of the industrial market.

“With the rapid advancement of software technologies available today, we embarked on improving our existing offering to realise the benefits of these technologies for our customers; thereby further enabling them to drive welding and fabrication efficiencies,” Bester explains.

He continues by mentioning that Renttech’s challenge is to ensure that it made it easy and intuitive for the welder, while also unlocking benefits for the business owner. “Some of the benefits include reduced fettling costs, reduced distortion, reduced material handling costs, more effective use of labour, and increased deposition rates in the various welding positions.”

Bester explains that, another key requirement was to further improve reliability, speaking to the need to reduce cost of ownership.

Various technologies have therefore been added to protect the equipment from unstable input power, voltage drops associated with fixed line input power as well as mobile generator power.

Long extension leads as well as improperly sized extensions were also factors Renttech had to cater for – as this is a reality in the construction and fabrication industry.

“On the back of these improvements, we have been able to increase our standard warranty from a one-year to a three-year parts-and-labour warranty on our three phase machines; and an 18-month warranty on our single-phase units. All of this is backed up with parts and qualified technicians available across the country – ensuring minimal downtime,” Bester adds.

The final task for Renttech was to ensure that its advanced welding solutions and technology was still affordable to the majority of the market, he points out.

“The harsh reality is that South African fabricators are now competing for local projects with international firms, which employ the latest technology to reduce their fabrication cost. We wanted to make a contribution to enable the South African industry to be more competitive, by harnessing the latest technologies whether they are one-man businesses or multinational construction companies.”

Bester notes that Renttech has achieved this without compromising quality. “In fact, most of our units offer more features than those of our international competitors at a very favourable price point.”

As with all Renttech offerings, its welding machines are sold “ready to weld”, with all of the necessary torch consumables and accessories included, and integrated water cooling as an option, but a tailored solution based on customer requirements is also offered.

“In addition, we see training as a critical element to get the new welding technology rolled out successfully into the workplace. We have, therefore, included our high-end machines into our trailer-based training centre, which is now available to customers wishing to get their welders upskilled and competent in the new welding technologies.”

In conclusion, Bester mentions Renttech SA is able to offer affordable and robust high-quality welding equipment, technical assistance and process solutions to construction projects and fabricators in line with the latest methodologies and welding standards in both the sales and rental options.