World Power Products, South Africa’s leading sheet metal fabricator, is a smart and dynamic company that adapts with the times to ensure the sustainable and on-time delivery of world-class products and service solutions.
Since its founding in 1963 in the south of Johannesburg by the late Peter Bahlig as a parts production and repair business, World Power Products has, under the capable leadership of Bahlig’s son, Mark, and Managing Director, Jan Görtzen, developed into a specialist sheet metal manufacturer. High-precision, custom-designed sheet metal products and components account for 70% of the company’s production with the balance focused on standard line items including standard mild steel and stainless steel enclosures and cabinets (all manufactured on company premises), as well as locks and hinges.
While the electrical industry is World Power Products’ primary market, the company’s predominantly Gauteng-based customer portfolio straddles a wide range of sectors including electronic, mining, petrochemical, power generation, telecommunications, automotive, aviation, medical, military, materials handling, hydraulics and industrial storage.
The company owes its success to a forward-thinking and proactive management team. When Görtzen took over the reins three years ago, ably assisted by Factory Manager, Igmar van Rie, they immediately recognised the need for change. “Transformation was crucial to ensure that in a protracted tough economic environment, we maintain our position and competitive edge as one of South Africa’s leading players in sheet metal manufacture,” state Görtzen and Van Rie. “To effectively meet economic pressures and industry challenges, we analysed every aspect of the business in order to identify what processes can be streamlined, where we can work smarter, where we can improve efficiencies and where we can save both time and money so that we could offer our customers the best value for their money.”
Transformation was based on the company’s prestigious history and strengths. World Power Products’ more than 50 years of experience in sheet metal manufacturing presented a solid foundation that was pivotal to the company’s ‘reinvention’, the term used by Görtzen and Van Rie to describe the company and the staff’s inspiring three-year journey of transformation.
CNC laser cutting, punching, bending, MIG/TIG welding, powder coating, assembly, gasketing, CHC milling and turning, plating, tool making and die casting and plastic injections were originally spread out over five different factory sites. These expansive value-adding capabilities set the company apart from its nearest rival. So, in order to gain better control over and streamline these processes, consolidation was one of the first steps in the company’s evolution. “Consolidation of the entire business on two adjacent properties has given us better control over our processes which has resulted in faster turnaround times for our customers,” says Van Rie, adding that the turnaround time for large volumes is within an impressive two to three weeks.
“Skilled personnel are fundamental to producing quality products and delivering high levels of service,” continues Görtzen. “We implemented training programmes to develop a highly qualified team of experts armed with the necessary knowledge and know-how to take care of any project, from design to final delivery. Görtzen also points out that training not only benefits the company and customers through quality work but also improves the lives of individuals.
Innovative thinking is encouraged by management and Görtzen and Van Rie reveal that product development has resulted in a new range of standard enclosures which will be aimed at the entry level market. “We are also expanding our market footprint into the renewable energy sector,” adds an upbeat Görtzen.
In closing, Görtzen says that during reinvention, they successfully implemented the five methods to energize productivity and efficiencies namely eliminate, optimate, renovate, coordinate and consolidate. “World Power Products has emerged as a lean, highly efficient and reliable sheet metal fabrication partner that sustainably delivers quality products on time at competitive prices.”