Global electrical, automation, mechanical and consumable products provider Elquip Solutions aims to ensure that its customers have access to quality tools and equipment by ensuring that its personnel are trained and certified to offer quality service.
In its effort to bring such expertise to South Africa, Elquip Solutions internal sales engineer Daniel Cox attended a key training course by two of the company’s international principals.
These training courses are a substantial investment by Elquip Solutions in its staff and also to ensure customers receive the latest technical expertise and product knowledge.
“It is important that we not only supply the best products and solutions, but also ensure our clients have been provided with the relevant expertise to use our tools and equipment to maximum effect,” says Elquip Solutions MD Mike Cronin.
In 2015, Cox attended a two-week course at Elquip’s international tool supplier Hoffmann, in Germany. Moreover, in April this year, Cox attended a week of intensive training in New York with nondestructive testing (NDT) equipment leader Magnetic Analysis Corporation (MAC), which is one of Elquip’s international principals.
At MAC, Cox’s training focused on the MultiMac, an NDT device that detects defects in newly manufactured steel tube. In 2015, he completed Level 1 operator training. This year, Cox’s goal was Eddy Current Level 2 certification, which qualifies him to set up MultiMac. Eddy current testing is a noncontact electromagnetic testing technique used for the inspection of conductive materials without the need to remove nonconductive coatings.
In tube mills, new steel tube is passed immediately beneath the eddy current coils of the MultiMac. Signals from the coils are fed to a computer where smart software picks up eddy current spikes caused by welding defects.
While he spent most of his time in lectures taking in all the formulas and trigonometry, Cox was also required to get ‘hands on’.
“In MAC’s workshops, we saw how the systems are assembled,” he explains. As a bonus, he was also given the opportunity to acquaint himself with other advanced MAC NDT equipment.
Cox successfully completed a closely-invigilated practical end-of-course examination, during which he had to pick up defects in test pipe. In the future, he is looking forward to completing Eddy Current Level 3 certification, which covers aspects such as MAC’s Ultrasound and Rotary NDT equipment.
With this training behind him, Cox will be responsible for maintaining MAC installations in South Africa. “I am now able to help our customers’ shop floor operators set up their MultiMacs correctly and sort out any operational problems they might have,” he explains.
Hoffmann made a successful entry into South Africa when Elquip took it on in early 2015.
Hoffmann’s key sales tool is its innovative and extensive catalogue of the 100 000 various tools it supplies. In South Africa, customers place orders for tools which Elquip imports, allowing South African customers to source high-quality tools from Hoffmann at affordable prices.
“Hoffmann stocks all of the major tool brands – those brands that every artisan or technician wants to have,” says Cox. By approaching the world’s best tool manufacturers to manufacture specifically for it, Hoffmann accesses vast experience and expertise for the benefit of its customers.
In addition, Hoffmann also has its own extremely competitively priced in-house brands, Garant and Holex, comprising premium- quality and industrial tool ranges respectively.
Cox’s training at Hoffmann instilled excellent product knowledge. “I got to closely examine the tools and was able to compare the quality of Hoffmann’s premium brands,” he says.
Cox adds that Hoffmann’s catalogue is a major tool on its own. Far more than simply a list of tools, it is also a source of application knowledge.
“For example, if you are cutting a certain grade of steel, the catalogue will specify the correct tool for the job,” he adds.
Now equipped with even greater knowledge of Hoffmann’s 503 leading brands and a sample case, Cox is ready with in-depth technical knowledge and advice for Elquip’s customers, as they buy the world’s best tools from Hoffmann.
“Daniel seized both the MAC and Hoffmann training courses as valuable learning opportunities, with great energy and enthusiasm. I am looking forward to seeing our customers benefit tremendously from his enhanced knowledge,” concludes Cronin.