South African hoist and lift and company Wesant is increasing the capacity of its manufacturing facilities by upgrading and increasing its capital machinery, streamlining its production line, says Wesant founder Digby Wareing and the Wesant engineering team.
The company is expanding its cross-border operations and is adding more facilities to its current factories. It is also preparing an apprenticeship programme and training centre so that it can provide the industry with qualified, experienced lift mechanics.
Two changes to industry standards from Europe which will be changed soon in South Africa are Unintended Car Movement and the EN81-28 guideline for communications with entrapped persons anywhere in the lift or shaft. As South Africa tends to adopt these regulations, one can expect this to have an influence on certain items in manufacturing in the near future, the team reports.
Wesant personnel are kept informed of all such changes by attending international conferences, which enables the company to prepare solutions in time for changes to the South African regulations.
The company manufactures its lifts to the latest regulations and independent inspectors inspect all lifts before they are put into operation. They are also regularly serviced to maintain safe operating standards.
The company says there is increased interest in environment-friendly lifting solutions, access control, emergency back-up power solutions and solutions with minimal space requirements, as well as quick delivery.
Further, investors are also concerned with the bottom-line of developments and want to maximise on useable space within their buildings. Increased awareness of environmental challenges, clients having to grow their businesses sustainably and curtailing the impact of load-shedding are key drivers of demand patterns.
Meanwhile, the company’s largest single unit built this year is an attendant goods hoist for the Durban Ice Rink, in KwaZulu-Natal. The rink is being revamped and will be one level higher than it was before, which posed the problem of getting the 4.5 t Zamboni up 9.5 m in a small site in North Beach.
The site is still under construction and the unit has not been installed yet, but Wesant has completed the manufacturing of the hoist. The lift is 5 m deep, 2.8 m wide, 2.4 m tall and will travel 9.5 m. The lift’s rated capacity is 8 t, but the positive drive machine can lift double this weight, for safety reasons and for future heavy-lift uses. The machine has a total mass of 2.5 t.
By keeping stock of the best components from China and Europe, Wesant believes it is in a strong position to supply standard-size lifts within short lead-times.
“We typically carry stock of 1000 kg unit machines and control systems, guides, safety gear and governor buffers, besides other components, so that our engineers can design the car and match the components, ensuring the unit complies completely with current regulations and is ready for delivery within 4 to 6 weeks.”
Regarding modernisations, the company can maintain existing guides, where possible, and replace the car to fit within the guides and, in so doing, reduce replacement time.
“As building methods improve and construction times decrease, we are under pressure to provide custom lifts in the shortest amount of time possible. The ability to offer clients safe, efficient equipment in the minimum amount of space and time is important, and is a strategic advantage for us,” concludes the team..