VENTURES: Allweld: More Than Just Welding
Recent Western Cape Business News
SHOULD one think of Allweld Marine & Industrial as a welding company, that would be quite correct. But although welding and its related activities form the core of its operation, the company is much more than just that.
This Ndabeni-based company, which is more than 40 years old, also offers valve refurbishment, pipe work, metal spraying and heat treatment services. In addition it also has a full machine shop with a vast array of equipment that includes several milling machines, vertical and horizontal borers and lathes with taper attachments.
Allweld’s managing director Leigh Elves, who controls the shareholding, says so important has the machine shop become in the company’s business plan going forward that this year alone another R1 million and more will be invested in it to even better exploit business opportunities.
Allweld has come off a glowing financial year (2009) which saw an increase in turnover of R20 million, thanks largely to its involvement with the construction of the Green Point Soccer Stadium (see separate article).
“Although these successfully completed contracts may have been once-offs, the most important factor is that it provided the momentum we have been building up over the years with a very useful further boost”, Elves says.
More market opportunities are opening up and on-going, repeat business is increasing, making Allweld less dependent on jobbing work, although this still remains an important aspect of operations, Elves says.
For example, nowadays Allweld teams travel as far afield as the platinum mines in Rustenburg, gold mines on the Far West Rand, or coal mines in the Witbank area. This work mostly relates to Allweld’s expertise in specialised welding and project management.
The valve division is separate from its workshop and it can handle any size or type of valve including high pressure valves and ball and parallel slide valves. The company specialises in safety valves and is the preferred supplier to a local refinery for valve refurbishment.
Another growth area is the demand from boat-builders who are increasingly turning towards aluminium and Allweld’s expertise in aluminium welding. More than R600 000 has been earmarked as capital expenditure this year to better assist the companies that serve this market, according to Elves.
Work on oil and gas rigs in the ports of Cape Town and Saldanha is also increasing, especially so for heat treatment and the repair of chain gypsies and anchor fairleaders.
The company employs 45 permanent people but at times this figure can grow to more than 170, as with Allweld’s involvement on a recent contract at Mittal Steel in Saldanha. At times it can test and code, through its Allweld Solutions division, up to 500 coded welders, as it did with the last shut-down at the refinery in Milnerton.
Allweld Solutions is another example of value adding that the group provides.
Its new training centre, run by Simona Bovetti, is a great opportunity for all in the welding, engineering, marine and industrial industries, the company says.
Not only does it provide training but it can code up to 20 welders at the same time to almost any code. “We are committed to training our staff to the highest standards. We do not only train our students but we prepare them for the industry. Our training is one-on-one, of high quality and affordable”, says Bovetti.
Allweld has invested in building a 56 seat theatre/auditorium where it is able to give visual presentations and classes. The auditorium/theatre is also available for rental purposes. Another service at the training centre is its on-site training programmes. If one is not able to send employees to Allweld’s facility, it will go to companies and train them in the comfort of their own surrounding.
“There is a great shortage of not only qualified but competent welders. Training and qualifying staff will have a much bigger effect than we can ever imagine”, Elves says.
According to Elves the centre is fully booked far into the new year.
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