With firm commitment from the South African Government, infrastructure projects continue to gather pace across the country. However, with skills shortages a continuing challenge, many of these initiatives would not be possible without the expertise of companies like Aveng Manufacturing.
Part of the Aveng Group, Aveng Manufacturing manufactures and supplies steel and concrete products to the construction sector and delivers a range of services and engineered solutions to mining and construction clients, in addition to rail construction and maintenance services for the transport sector.
Providing new skills and employment opportunities in South Africa, requires investment of course and in August it was reported that Aveng Manufacturing DFC had upgraded its facilities to maintain a competitive advantage in quality and productivity.
The investment was further proof of the company’s ambition “to be a leading supplier of products, services and solutions to the mining, construction, water, power and rail sectors across the value chain locally and internationally.”
The company’s railway interests include Aveng Manufacturing Infraset – a business unit that manufactures a diverse range of pre-cast concrete products in compliance with the requirements of SANS using the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system.
Aveng Manufacturing Infraset has attained a tall reputation for quality which comes from a heritage stretching back to 1928. The business manufactures products across 4 units: Infrastructure Products; Railway Products, Poles and Masts; Landscape Products; and Building Products and has factories located in South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In 2007, the business began to manufacture concrete roof tiles, having invested heavily in a modernistic, fully automated plant at its Rossway factory in Midrand. The site is responsible for the production of 2 popular lines: Sunset, a bold roll tile, and Horizon, a flat shingle tile.
Infraset also has a focus on manufacturing products for the infrastructural market, these include: reinforced concrete pipes, culverts, manholes, toilet shells and bespoke pre-cast products.
Among Infraset’s portfolio of high profile projects, the division has supplied pipes and culverts – in addition to traffic control barriers and facade panels, for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project.
Aveng Manufacturing’s Landscape Products business has evolved to become a market leading manufacturer of concrete paving blocks, embankment seating and erosion control retaining wall systems.
The latter product was deployed with great effect in 2007, when heavy seas threatened to KwaZulu-Natal coastline. Infraset’s coastal-dune retaining wall system, Waterloffel, was able to fend off nature’s worst excesses and has been recognised as an essential repair product for damaged beaches, estuaries, river banks and stormwater outlets.
At present there is great demand across South Africa for railway improvements, with mining companies in particular, requiring efficient transportation routes to the nation’s major ports.
Aveng Manufacturing’s Railway Products division is responsible for a variety of pre-stressed concrete sleepers for main lines and sidings, ranging from 18.5 tons to 30 ton axle loads. Among the projects the division has supplied, is the high speed rail network between Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The division has license agreements with Abetong Teknik (Sweden), Walter Bau (Germany) and Sonneville International Corporation (USA), and has the technical capacity to design and establish sleeper factories internationally.
Another area of rail expertise comes in the shape of Aveng Manufacturing’s Lennings Rail Services, based close to Johannesburg but one of southern Africa’s leading rail track construction and maintenance contractors.
Lennings has over a number of years built a strong footprint across the region, working on major rail projects in South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.
The company also provides a range of track maintenance services and possesses an impressive fleet of equipment which is typically manufactured by Aveng Manufacturing. Among its array are ballast tampers, regulators, screeners and undercutters, track renewal and rail handling trains, rail grinders, flash butt welding machines and vehicles for ultrasonic rail flaw detection, track geometry measurement, overhead maintenance and track utility purposes.
Away from railway work, Aveng Manufacturing has also established itself as a major player in the mining sector. Indeed, the Duraset name is renowned throughout the industry for its supply of engineered support solutions, which includes R&D activities and manufacturing.
The company manufactures a wide range of steel rock reinforcement tendons known as roofbolts, as well as cable anchors and stand-up support products – all manufactured to ISO 9001:2000 standards.
Another important component of Aveng Manufacturing is the company’s Steeledale brand, which has become a major manufacturer of wire and welded mesh products since its inception in 1969.
The products serve a variety of industries including construction, engineering, mining, security fencing and agricultural industries.
Steeledale operates factories in Johannesburg and Meyerton and has additional support and distribution centres in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein, which help to export finished items as far afield as Ghana, Angola, Mozambique, Australia and South America.
Expertise and creative skills have been a cornerstone of Aveng Manufacturing Steeledale’s success, as the website pronounces: “Our strength has been our ability to innovate, which is why we are the leaders in mesh and wire manufacture in South Africa. We have also been supply partners to numerous high profile contracts in the past, namely: Eskom Power Stations, Lesotho Highlands Water Project, Mossgas, The Mozal Aluminium Smelters as well as 2010 World Cup stadium construction and freeway upgrades.”
Innovation and investment again cast Aveng Manufacturing in the spotlight in August, when it was announced that Aveng Manufacturing DFC had upgraded its factories to maintain quality and productivity.
An automated welding line was installed at the company’s Vent-O-Mat valve plant to improve the execution of welding sequences on stainless steel components used in the manufacture of guides and airtight thin-walled floats.
The company was also reportedly looking to open a new paint plant, which will be for Insamcor production only.
The latest factory upgrades and machine installations follow a major productivity improvement programme carried out between 2006 and 2010 – the company invested over R30 million during the first 2 phases of its capital expenditure programme.
In September 2013, Aveng Group delivered its Annual Report, with Acting CEO Kobus Verster acknowledging the challenges ahead for both the Group and Aveng Manufacturing:
“Aveng has faced a challenging year and our South African construction business has overshadowed resilient performance across other group operations.
“We expect public sector infrastructure spending to remain subdued in South Africa and are therefore targeting growth in other markets as a priority. Aveng Grinaker-LTA, Aveng Mining and Aveng Manufacturing are targeting opportunities across the African continent.
“Financial year 2014 will be a year of consolidation and repositioning as our operations strengthen their focus and optimise their performance.”