This year, rope and lifting technology specialist Pfeifer Group opened another branch office in the US, in Houston, Texas, which will see the rope and lifting technology specialist continue to grow its business in conjunction with the group’s other US existing branch, which was launched in 2008 in Hampton, Virginia.
“Our American subsidiary has grown strongly in recent years and sales have more than doubled since 2013. The demand for crane ropes and wire rope terminations is still good – despite the difficult situation of the offshore industry in Texas. Therefore, it has been decided to expand into the strongest growth region,” says Pfeifer MD Michael Pels.
The new branch – launched in May – will primarily benefit customers in the south of the US and in other parts of the country, far from the existing location on the east coast. “Our main customers are crane fleet owners in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana, as well as customers from the offshore sector, which are mainly located between Houston and New Orleans.”
The new building is about 1 000 m2 in size, and more than $1-million has been invested. It serves as the sales and logistics centre for the products and services of the rope application technology business unit. A range of steel wire ropes are stored and assembled into lifting and boom hoist ropes for cranes and construction machines. Once construction has been completed, Pfeifer will be hiring to fill the required job positions. Altogether, the family-run company group employs about 1 400 people globally. The company expected the new location to be fully operational by June.
The new service centre has already been presented by Pfeifer at the ConExpo, in Las Vegas, which is the largest construction machinery trade fair in North America, where it takes place every three years, most recently having attracted 128 000 visitors from 150 different countries. This year, Pfeifer was represented for the first time, manning its own booth at ConExpo. It plans to continue to expand its presence in the American market.
South African Presence
In South Africa, Pfeifer has three reference projects that it has worked on. In 2015, the company was involved in the pedestrian bridge in Mzamba, in the Eastern Cape. The suspension bridge was designed by students from the Carintha University of Applied Science, with assistance of Pfeifer’s technical department and Austrian architect buildCollective.
After manufacture at Pfeifer’s factory in Memmingen, in Germany, the pair of PG suspension cables, complete with swaged-end fittings, were shipped to South Africa. Each cable was coiled onto a wooden reel to facilitate installation, each reel weighing about one metric tonne. The cables, together with the wooden decking and steel hangers, were installed by the students and local volunteers.
Pfeifer also worked on the Cape Town stadium in 2009. Under the direction of Pfeifer, the joint venture between speciality contractor for tensile architecture Birdair and Pfeifer was responsible for the installation of the roof trusses for the stadium.
The roof structure comprises a suspended roof consisting of ring and radial cables as well as radial open-web girders. This substructure carries the roof cladding, consisting of laminated safety glass on a steel grating, as well as the interior translucent membrane.
Lastly, in Durban, the company worked on the Moses Mabida stadium, also in 2009. Its scope of work comprised the turnkey construction of the stadium roof; and the workshop design, supply and installation of the cable and steel structure, the membrane, claddings and the cable car.