Renttech, the South African onsite sales and rental specialist for welding and cutting; lifting and rigging; tools and construction equipment has centralised its Gauteng operations into expanded premises in Wadeville. African Fusion attends.
Renttech SA’s Johan Bester; Jannie Bronkhorst; and MD, Gerrit van Zyl,.
“Renttech’s success in the market rests of the highest levels of integrity, performance and customer service. Our vision for the future is to reach a new ‘high’ in customer support and service. Our brand new, centralised sales facility in Wadeville promises to bring our Gauteng customers greater convenience and the widest available range of equipment in the market,” says Van Zyl.
With the largest fleet of welding rental equipment in South Africa, Renttech South Africa services a wide range of industries, from petrochemical to pulp and paper, power generation, manufacturing, mining and engineering. The company’s welding portfolio includes the renowned Harris, Lincoln and Uniarc ranges of metalworking products, which are backed by high levels of product expertise.
The company’s in-house technical know-how was on display at the launch of the new sales outlet, where customers and guests were able to get a feel for the equipment through live demonstrations and interactions.
“Our sales specialists are known for their expert advice and in-depth knowledge of each item of equipment. This is the result of a long-term commitment to ongoing training and a company-wide focus on customer service,” says Bester.
Apart from the Harris range of products used in the brazing, soldering, welding, cutting and gas distribution industries, Renttech provides industries with Uniarc welding machines and plasma cutters, engine-driven welding packs, MIG/MAG torches, TIG torches, CO2 welding machines and wire feeders, Hypertherm plasma cutters and CNC machines. Renttech SA also distributes Air Liquide industrial gas.
Having been involved in a number of high-profile projects in the petrochemical sector, Renttech provides on-site support and easy accessibility to critical equipment, such as power generation, welding, pneumatic power tools such as the Kuken brand, and personal protective equipment (PPE) during refinery shutdown periods.
“We offer high levels of service during shutdown projects, providing on-site technical support and easy access to industry-critical equipment, such as generators and welding power sources – with the aim of minimising downtime,” says Van Zyl.
The company’s range of diesel-driven generators range from 5.0 kVA up to 1 000 kVA, and include an extra heavy-duty ‘rental spec’ series for extreme conditions.
Also specialists in lifting and rigging equipment, Renttech South Africa’s Unilift and Kyoto ranges include chain blocks, lever hoists, rope winches, chain slings and rope slings; as well as shackles, endless round slings, pneumatic winches and cargo securing systems. The company’s own ISO 9001-accredited manufacturing division, Kelmeg, also produces high quality webbing and endless round polyester slings.
Packaged welding solutions
Increasingly, Renttech is offering packaged welding solutions and support to projects across the southern African region. Citing a project in Beira and Matola, Jannie Bronkhorst says Renttech is currently involved in the construction of bulk storage tanks for diesel, petrol, Jet A1 fuel and LPG storage spheres in Mozambique. “The job is to install a jetty offloading system to take fuel off the ships and to construct the bulk storage and road loading facilities. Ultimately, product coming in will be offloaded into the tanks and then loaded into road tankers for distribution all over Africa,” he explains. Renttech is supplying solutions for fabricating the storage tanks, which range from 5 000 m3 for A1 jet fuel to 20 000 m3 for some of the bulk diesel and petrol tanks. “In the past, these would have been joined using stick electrodes (SMAW), and perhaps with some semi-automatic solid-wire or flux-cored gas metal arc welding (GMAW/FCAW) processes. But with productivity and costs under pressure in today’s markets, the use of mechanisation and higher productivity processes is essential,” Bronkhorst tells African Fusion.
The chosen solution involves mechanised electro-gas welding (EGW) for all of the vertical seams and automatic girth welding (AGW) – which uses the submerged arc welding process – for the horizontal floor-to-floor, floor to shell and shell to shell welds. “The global specialist in these systems is All Time, which is the largest Lincoln distributor in mainland China. Lincoln equipment is used for all the power packs and their submerged arc wire and flux consumables are preferred for the AGW process. All Time manufactures the carriages and the EGW tractors and supplies a special low-slag, CO2-assisted flux-cored EGW wire for this very high-deposition rate process,” he adds.
Four of Renttech’s technical support team have received training from All Time on the process. The equipment has now been supplied and training by Renttech staff in Mozambique is about to begin. “This is a big success for us in the southern African market,” Bronkhorst says. “What we are trying to do is to move away from operator skill, which is lacking all over the world, and to rely, instead, on solutions that offer better consistency and quality, while significantly improving productivity and lowering costs,” he explains.
“Through projects such as these, Renttech is demonstrating that it has changed from being an equipment supplier to being a welding specialist with solutions expertise,” notes Van Zyl.
Bester continues: “We have a host of products that are not well known in the southern and South African markets, such as orbital welding systems for tube to tube welding, CNC plasma cutting systems and gasless flux-cored wires, for example. There are many applications where these solutions make economic sense. Following the market, our focus has shifted towards increased productivity. We no longer simply supply machines and commodities. We strive to understand client needs, the scope and priorities of their projects and we explore the full range of options to see which best matches the project budget and the productivity and quality requirements. Then we propose the technology that, on balance, is likely to give the best result,” he says, adding, “with the prevailing economic and labour issues we face today, the more modern welding processes often prove to be more cost effective and reliable.”
Says Van Zyl: “I think the margins in today contracting arena are so low that there is almost no room for error. Using technology and automation in this context improves predictability and reduces risk. While we have always provided 360° solutions, we now see mechanisation as a growth area.”
"We recently signed a distribution agreement with BUG-O, an ideal product for easy-to-implement mechanisation of long welding runs where repeatability is a key factor. Instead of using 4, 5 or 6 welders, one operator or welder can manage a whole job,” adds Bester.
Also new, Renttech has introduced a cold wire pencil feeder from TBi for gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW or TIG). “ This is a simple way of improving the productivity of the manual TIG process. TIG welding with rods is a slow process that requires high-level skills. This pencil feeder helps to make TIG welding more accessible and, by eliminating stop starts and irregular manual rod feeding, deposition rates and weld bead quality can be improved,” he says, adding that it also enables the process be integrated into robotic welding systems.
“We see many European companies becoming active in South Africa, so our local companies have to compete with them in terms of productivity and quality. They are better exposed to the latest technology and they are not afraid to use it,” Bester suggests.
“But our business is not just about welding,” notes Van Zyl. “It relates to everything surrounding steel. We have identified a host of areas to bring costs down, while improving productivity and quality. Renttech can offer technology solutions for all aspects of a project: productive solutions that reduce risk and promote successful delivery,” he concludes.