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Crushtec Chronicle – Riding the storm and coming out stronger

To say that 2014 has been a difficult year would be something of an understatement. The global economy remained generally stagnant while within the South African business sector we were faced with our own unwelcome challenges.

The year had barely begun before the platinum industry ground to a halt, owing to industrial action which took five months to resolve. This had a knock-on effect on the mining industry as a whole, and prompted many operators to hold off on investing in new equipment.

Companies in the engineering and metal industries were dealt another blow with the onset of the NUMSA strike which lasted a further five weeks. This impacted our own production and sales and seriously affected many of our suppliers. A further aggravation was the devaluation of the rand by some 30%, which has directly influenced the cost of imported products and components.

However, under the captaincy of CEO Sandro Scherf, we not only weathered the storm but came out of a trying period relatively unscathed.

“We were able to navigate our way through a difficult period without retrenchments or scaling down our operations, and took the opportunity to take a long, hard look at our process methodology,” says Sandro.

“During this period, 10 major projects were initiated, including the Pilot Premio Loyalty Programme, a landmark initiative for the industry. In addition, our management and field teams have worked very hard with Sandvik to review and improve upon our service offering.

“We also embarked on the development of new products to cement our standing as the leading innovator within the industry, providing customers with the best quality products at competitive prices.”

This will be spearheaded by the introduction of our range of wear part castings sourced from world class foundries and produced to original equipment manufacturer specifications. The components, which will be branded RocResist, will provide operators with a viable alternative to OEM parts and ensure that they do not have to opt for after-market suppliers, whose inconsistent quality and source of product can do more harm than good to expensive machinery.

Despite its difficulties, Sandro believes that 2014 should be remembered for some significant milestones, especially the sale of newly-introduced products into local and export markets.

“One of these was the purchase of the revolutionary Sandvik UH450E cone crusher by Danoher Contracting. The machine, which arrived in mid-October, is the first of its type to have operated outside Scandinavia and can deliver a quality sized product at 300 tonnes per hour.”

Turning to locally-built products, the TwisterTrac VS350has found a ready market in Australia, while the DoppiaTrac tracked double roll crusher has proved to be highly successful in processing urgently-needed coal to Eskom specification.”

Turning to the new year, Sandro is looking forward to making even greater strides in further improving the quality of our services and products, with major emphasis on training.

“We are hard at work on an additional draft of innovations and improvements. Interested in a Pilot Crushtec International sand washing plant? Just watch this space!”