Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  25 Nov 2009

VENTURES: Fabrinox Catches Shine In Engineering


Recent Western Cape Business News

FEW could have foreseen that when Fabrinox was founded in 1993 that it would grow into the Western Cape’s leading manufacturer of sheet metal components with many of its products ending up in highly competitive foreign destinations.

But so it is. Today the Paarl-based company occupies – and fully utilises – 5 000 sq m of undercover premises, stocked with a wide array of modern state-of-the-art equipment, employing some 110 staff.

At the helm of Fabrinox is MD Andre Visser, who has become the controlling shareholder in the company since he bought out the shares of then partner Johan Beyers in August last year.

There is no doubt that he is relishing his job. Although Fabrinox is a formidable player in the jobbing market for sheet metal products (mainly stainless and mild steel, as well as aluminium) where staff and equipment are employed 24 hours a day, six days a week, he says going forward much more emphasis will be placed in the one area where competitors “can’t really compete with Fabrinox – our expertise and service delivery records in sub-assemblies and projects entailing under-license manufacturing”, Visser says.

And this is where much of the company’s focus is at, including capacity expansion and a broadening of its service delivery. “We are further increasing our manufacturing innovation and we have become so adept at it that increasingly clients involve us from the very start in their design and development phases of new projects”, Visser explains.

Some customers are local and quite a number foreign, involving blue-chip names.

He says work for these companies is of a repetitive nature and excellent business relationships have been formed with the individual companies. All the work carried out for these organisations are of a confidential nature and Fabrinox takes extreme precautions to maintain the integrity of the projects.

Guided through the factory one observes all kinds of equipment that allows for laser cutting, bending, rolling and robotic tig and mig welding and so on – the tools required to provide a comprehensive service to ISO 9001 requirements.

But, says Visser, this is not enough. Capacity expansion will mostly go towards broadening the company’s supply chain management offerings: in other words, increasing engineering processes to enhance forward integration. Visser tends to be rather mum on this, most likely because he doesn’t want to give too much away for competitive reasons.

These are the plans going forward, basically meaning that the market can expect Fabrinox increasingly appearing in new engineering activities.

Throughout all of this we will stick to the recipe that has so far worked well for us and our clients: a stable cost structure, low turn-round time and the reduced risk of manufacturing for our clients”.

It will also aid to reduce the need for high stock levels, expensive capital equipment and to assist our customers to focus on their core business and to be competitive”, Visser says.

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