Vital Engineering is an established manufacturer of safety handrails, floor gratings and expanded metals, which has supplied bespoke components to both plants that included 100 000 m² of grating panels per power station, as well as some 70 km of hand railing and over 8 000 stair treads.
Dodds Pringle, MD of Vital Engineering, says this project represents the largest gratings, handrail and stair tread supply contract to be undertaken in Africa.
[quote]“We are extremely pleased that Vital was well ahead of schedule in meeting our capacity guarantees for both power stations. In addition, we are proud to have reported a 0 – 0001 % NCR (non-conformance report) on both plants, out of a total supply package of over 8,000 tons of product.”
“This related to revisions after the products were already delivered on site. This commendably low NCR rate, I believe, is testament to Vital’s high manufacturing standards, our total quality management (TQM) philosophy and strict adherence to systems management,” says Pringle.
Vital Engineering, established in 1939, has built a reputation for its uncompromising attitude towards quality in the industries which it serves, including petrochemical plants, materials handling projects, mining, power generation, process plants, food, beverage as well as civil and structural engineering.
The company’s range of non-slip walkways, stair treads and safety hand rails are manufactured using a variety of materials to match design specifications, including galvanised steel, stainless steel, fibreglass and aluminium.
It also has extensive experience in the supply of components to power stations both locally and internationally, that include combined cycle, gas, nuclear, hydro and fossil fired stations in South Africa, Hong Kong, China, Turkey, South America and more recently into Africa.
The high grade 350 WA steel used for the Medupi and Kusile projects had to conform to stringent Eskom specifications; as well as project contractor specifications, in this case MHPSA (Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa).
To further ensure the highest quality possible, various tests and procedures, including load testing and welding grade testing, were undertaken by Vital Engineering.
Pringle explains that a high-strength and quality, hard-wearing product has long-term cost saving implications for the client because maintenance cycles are significantly reduced. More critical, however, is the performance of this product which ensures a high level of worker safety on site.
“Most suppliers feel that eliminating lost time injuries (LTI’s) is the responsibility of the erector or contractor,” he argues. “At Vital we see safety as our top priority, ensuring not only that our products conform to the design specifications of the client but are manufactured with the highest grade material,” says Pringle
Going the ‘extra mile’ is part of Vital’s modus operandi, offering a number of ‘back office’ value-adds that the company sees as being part of the normal course of business, to ensure client satisfaction.
To ensure proper fitment on site, Vital Engineering undertakes full pre-trail layouts of flooring before the product is released to site. This serves to minimise any downtime or installation delays.
“Vital is proud to have delivered 200 000 m2 of a high-performance, quality product – with minimal NCR’s – ahead of schedule for Eskom’s new power generation plants. Our extensive experience, high-grade materials and qualified welders have all contributed towards a successful project completion,” Pringle concludes.