In 2019, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions South Africa proudly celebrates 60 successful years of engineering excellence in Africa.

This milestone bears testament to the diversified industrial group’s enduring commitment to delivering exceptional, premium-quality, holistic solutions to its valued customers.

Through its expert business units – Minerals Processing, Materials Handling and Process Industries – thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions has kept its promise of commitment to digital transformation, offering the latest technologies and innovations to industries including mining, power, petrochemical, cement and agricultural.

Comminution specialist Minerals Processing offers customers a wide range of crushing and grinding technologies tailored to bespoke plant process requirements.

To meet Africa’s growing demand for energy, Minerals Processing created a dedicated Power & Energy Division, which delivers efficient innovations such as turnkey biomass-fired plant solutions, from boiler supply to building the complete plant around the boiler.

The Materials Handling BU delivers exceptional pit-to-port solutions for efficient bulk handling solutions, with equipment such as drum reclaimers, stackers, travel cars, ash spreaders, conveyors and ship loaders.

The Process Industries Division comprises expertise and technology in the electrolysis, polymers, base chemicals and fuel storage sectors, as well as modular solutions for chemical and fertiliser plants.

Safety at the forefront

This year, thyssenkrupp once again earned the country’s highest safety award – the NOSCAR. “Health and safety are no-compromise zones at thyssenkrupp,” states Christo de Beer, manager: Quality Management, Health and Safety, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions South Africa.

“The sought-after NOSCAR and Winner of Sector awards in our achievement portfolio echo the fact that thyssenkrupp operates as a tier-one company and is a serious competitor within the various industries we serve.”

There is no greater testament to the company’s commitment to safety; the awards display that thyssenkrupp leaves no stone unturned in its efforts to implement all necessary measures in order to maintain safe workplaces, as well as to prevent accidents, occupational diseases and occupational health hazards.

Venturing into Africa

In line with its drive to expand its presence in Africa, in a bid to get closer to customers, thyssenkrupp has set up offices in Morocco, Mozambique, Tanzania and, most recently, Ghana.

“thyssenkrupp is focused on developing exceptional skills in Africa for Africa, to further grow the continent, countries and local communities,” says Philipp Nellessen, CEO: South Africa & Sub Saharan Africa, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions.

“We are able to tap into our global network to deliver to Africa our combined technologies, coupled with our extensive local knowledge and experience.”

He highlights the current modular chlorine plant project in Tanzania as a prime example of successful global-local collaboration.

Building ties that last

thyssenkrupp’s passion for community development and empowerment to assist in alleviating high unemployment and the skills shortage faced by the country, spurred the opening of its groundbreaking Technical Training Academy in Q4 2018.

thyssenkrupp’s investment into the academy, of nearly R20 million, includes an 831 m2 workshop that houses state-of-the-art equipment such as lathes, milling machines, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical simulators, as well as all practical models required for the technical training.

The 483 m2 first floor is equipped with high-end tools to conduct, simulate and annotate certain principles and circuitry within the classroom environment. The academy offers excellent technical training programmes aimed at developing and upskilling exceptional candidates for thyssenkrupp’s workshop and site team environments.

The academy boasts customised programmes developed in-house in accordance with thyssenkrupp standards, which will be presented using a blend of e-learning, classroom training, as well as practical applications.

“Since its inauguration, the company has vastly developed, expanded and diversified, and this is only possible thanks to the steadfast commitment of our highly skilled employees to whom I extend my sincere gratitude!”

Nellessen said at the official opening. In 2019, thyssenkrupp saw a 100% pass rate for apprentices coming out of the programme, with all third-year apprentices from the training facility at its service centre achieving a 100% pass rate on the first attempt of their trade tests!

During the trade tests, the apprentices – four mechanical fitters, two boilermakers, a welder and a machinist – were also assessed on their theoretical and practical acumen. Upon successful completion of the trade tests, each apprentice was issued with a detailed report of the assessment results, as well as a trade test certificate.

“We are extremely proud of our apprentices,” states Willie Potgieter, apprentice programme manager: Artisan Training at thyssenkrupp’s Technical Training Academy.

“These excellent results bear testament to their hard work and dedication, and are also a good reflection of in-depth knowledge-, skills- and experience-transfer between the facilitators and the apprentices. There is no doubt that their future career paths hold infinite possibilities.”

Prepared to make a difference

Upon leaving thyssenkrupp’s Technical Training Academy, successful participants will be armed with vital work experience and knowledge so that they will be able to make an economic difference through the quality of training they received.

By developing employees internally to feed the company’s development pipeline, thyssenkrupp is also looking beyond the here and now. Due to thyssenkrupp’s diverse product range, it is imperative that the company invests time and energy in training and nurturing apprentices to fulfil their roles within the workshop and field service environments.

This includes ongoing training on new and existing equipment and processes within the thyssenkrupp field of expertise – yet another way we see thyssenkrupp contributing effectively to the sustainability of the industries it operates in.

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