After several expansions at its Atlas Road, Elandsfontein, Gauteng facilities StrucMAC ran out of space to increase its engineering complex. A decision was taken to build one that will see the company more than double the existing under roof space.
We have always housed our flame, profile and plasma cutting facility offsite up the road in a 1 500 m² building. The purchase of the Skoda motivated us to develop the site, and we have now erected a 3 600 m² building with 30 ton crane capacity. The extra space that the new building has afforded us made us realise how chaotic it is in our existing facility, which at 4 000 m² is not small.
The profile cutting division includes a plasma cutter, a Mardicraft flame cutter and a Messer CNC flame cutter.
This has prompted us to identify problem areas such as workflow and bottlenecks. As a result we are currently erecting another 3 600 m² building alongside the existing new one. Once the new building is completed in a couple of months we will be able to organise our business into two distinctive areas – large and heavy engineering components and sub-assemblies, and a light to medium area.
This has to be completed relatively quickly because arriving soon, besides the Prima Power laser, is a new Sanco SHM-13040R horizontal borer, a second new Sanco SHM-11025R horizontal borer and a Waytrain WA –530HA, which is a big double column fully automatic band saw with a cutting capacity of 530 x 530mm. All of these new machines are being supplied by WD Hearn.
New Shot Blasting Capabilities
Additionally we are adding shot blasting capabilities to our service offerings. The shot blasting facility is being erected in the vicinity of the two new buildings so we can easily accommodate the large components and sub-assemblies that we manufacture.
WD Hearn have also recently installed an AnYang CNC flatbed lathe with a 2000mm swing and 650mm turning diameter x 3 000mm length.
Our goal is to be one of the top shops that others can benchmark themselves against. We don’t want to be regarded as a mom-and-pop shop.
Not Just About Machines
Although we have accelerated our capacity and capabilities to be more productive, the company is not just about the machines. I have to pay tribute to my staff, many of whom have been with me for over 10 years. Their knowledge and experience is going to be hard to replace in the future. For example, my youngest boilermaker is 55 and the oldest 69. Machines don’t replace that expertise and skill that they have built up over many years.
While the company has derived more work from its diverse capability, as one might expect, there have also been process advantages from the crossover, which was not anticipated. Our market niche is the manufacture of large and small parts and assemblies using a variety of materials and customer-supplied components. These include heat exchangers, pressure vessels, skid mounted assemblies, bases, forgings and castings, most of which require extensive fabrication and machining.
StrucMAC has a number of CNC turning centres on their floor.
As Andre Hattingh, Founder of StrucMAC explains, “Although I would agree that thinking smart has been a tradition for StrucMAC since its inception in 1995, the thinking big was a more gradual development. We can now control our own destiny by keeping work in-house and processing our own engineering. Using our own machines effectively keeps lead times short and costs down.”
“The job shop is a make-it-best-you-can environment where almost every new job represents new process challenges. It’s also an environment where profit or loss hinges on how efficiently the shop can get a job done.”
For further details on what StrucMAC can offer you, call us on 011 822 2399.