Technology is critical for the modern company. Leveraging the power of technology enables exponential jumps in productivity and quality ensuring that companies are able to meet their business objectives.
For Thos Begbie & Co, the investment in the Novacast Foundry Technology software has improved yields in its castings, contributing to cleaner production, says the company’s chief executive, Eugene Rossouw.
Modelling software not just for show
The solidification modelling system, a relatively new innovation taking hold in the foundry industry, improves yield in castings and ensures the free flow of the molten metal, “giving a better integrity casting”, he explains.
“The software technology that we have chosen after looking at the different available technologies is Swedish technology … that is readily adaptable to our application. The software was purchased from Sweden using the MCEP funds.”
The bigger benefits of the software will be felt in the longer term, which Rossouw says will result in higher-quality castings at a lower cost, making Thos Begbie more competitive.
Thos Begbie, located in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, produces a range of cast and machined engineering products mainly for the mining industry. Products include copper cooling elements, furnace spares, composite metal castings, centre lathes, electrical components, and busbars.
They also offer various services such as pre-assembly of components, reconditioning, flow testing and pressure testing.
“Our market is global. Our products are found in about 60 countries around the world to which we regularly export. We pride ourselves in that there is not a furnace in Africa that does not have Thos Begbie equipment inside of it,” Rossouw says.
“On a competitive basis, we compete with the Japanese, the Koreans, the Chinese, the Europeans, the Americans, and the South Americans.”
As manufacturers, Rossouw says the company faces challenges, especially with contract funding. This forms part of an export credit finance scheme that enables manufacturers to finance their products in the export market.
Accessing such finance has proved difficult for most manufacturers because of strict criteria required to secure working capital.
However, Thos Begbie is forging ahead, drawing on the MCEP initiative to get involved in improving technologies and environmental footprints, according to Rossouw.
“As a South African company, it’s heartening to see the innovation the dti has had through the MCEP and how it’s marketing and promoting it to get investment back into making South Africa a competitive manufacturer.
“On that basis I’m really excited and I’m very, very pleased with the attitude and approach the dti has had to us, South African industry,” he concludes.