Local company completes flooring contract

4th April 2008 By: Desislava Tzoneva

Manufacturer of gratings, stair treads, pressed floors and safety handrails Vital Engineering has completed the installation of gratings and accessories at petrochemical company and producer of fuel from coal Sasol's Project Turbo and at Sasol's research facility, Vital Engineering MD Dodds Pringle tells Engineering News.

The two projects covered an area of about 15 000 m2, which had to be covered with grating, and be completed within a short time frame.

Vital Engineering's supply of products and systems for this project amounted to more than R5-million.

More than 350 workers were employed at the height of the project, although this number has since been reduced owing to the introduction of more systems, which streamline the production processes.

Following the proper evaluation, through a review process of client requirements, a number of alternative options for improved safety features, including fully serrated non-slip grating surfaces with steel quality of at least 300 WA, were offered to the client, says Pringle.

Vital Engineering sourced raw materials for the two projects from the company's local mills, with which a strong partnering arrangement for continuity and supply volumes has been arranged.

Pringle says that the project, which was awarded based on the company winning a tender process, was completed on time, despite the short time frame allocated for the project's completion.

A number of new developments were employed on these projects.

The barcode tracking system, a reporting system for all work-in-progress, was developed. The barcode tracking system offers accurate reporting regarding the status of orders, and provides accurate periods of delivery.

The management decision-making process, as well as Vital Engineering's ability to control all aspects of the company's internal supply-chain management, were also improved.

A further improvement in the use of Vitagrid gratings at Sasol's facilities has seen the reduced number of accidents owing to slippage on plain-type grating surfaces. A reduction in these types of accidents significantly improves resultant downtimes, claims and man-hour losses.

Vitaclamp, a fixing clamp, improved the time frame for the gratings installations, and reduced the need for additional scaffolding, often needed for traditional underfloor fixing units.

Pringle says that some of the company's projects in the pipeline include supply of gratings materials to the petrochemicals, power-generation, mining, food and beverage, as well as civil and structural sectors.