Falcon Engineering, a local stainless steel design and manufacture company at the forefront of brewery equipment in SA, has just completed a contract for the design and fabrication of three 3090hl stainless steel storage tanks for South African Breweries (SAB) Rosslyn. "The win is a significant milestone not only for Falcon Engineering, but for the local stainless steel fabricator industry as a whole which is struggling to compete favorably against formidably bigger international players," explains Clarrie Parkins, founder and managing director of Falcon Engineering.
"Falcon Engineering delivered a turn-key solution from design to installation, completing the three storage vessels on time, within budget and meeting international quality standards. The three tanks – 5.2m in diameter by 18.5m long – took four months to design and manufacture. A full three days were needed to transport them from Falcon's plant in Germiston, near Johannesburg, to SAB Rosslyn, Pretoria with the assistance of Telkom and Eskom to manage the movement of telephone and power cables along the route. The vessels were installed on site with the help of a 200-ton crane.
"This project is a good example of what South African stainless steel fabricators can achieve if given the opportunity by clients. Traditionally overseas stainless steel manufacturers have been more competitive on price, design and conversion costs than South African companies. They are more automated, hence have lower labour costs and are able to buy massive volumes of stock which pushes down unit costs. However, this is changing and South African companies are making tremendous progress to close the gap and reclaim their competitive edge. SAB's decision to support a South African outfit is a tremendous show of faith in our capability," explains Parkins.
Falcon Engineering is currently investing millions into machinery upgrades, automation as well as design technology. Parkins adds that the company will retain its labour force and support job creation in South Africa, albeit with a more skilled workforce trained on the new technology.
"As an industry, it is vital that we invest in the necessary technology and new processes to regain our competitive edge and support South Africa's industrial growth as a whole. Players are coming to the table, including material suppliers, to ensure that the South African stainless steel industry remains competitive. We need to be innovative in how we manage labour, quality, design and capital investment in order to progress," he urges.
The three tanks manufactured for SAB have a joint capacity of 927 000 litres of beer – enough to fill 18 average-sized swimming pools and to keep thousands of beer fans satiated for many, many months.
Falcon Engineering: Tel 011-455-4900 or