Bell Equipment, which boasts almost seventy years in complex engineering, heavy fabrication, and machining for its own material handling equipment, has announced its intention to offer these specialist services to all industries in South Africa
This will be available through Bell Heavy Industries (BHI), a newly formed division that has been established in light of the current scarcity of companies providing these vital services locally in the country.
Bell Equipment’s group business development director, Stephen Jones, explained, “South Africa has seen a huge reduction in engineering companies, and, in response, we have strategically positioned our South African manufacturing facility to fill this void by providing project engineering and contract manufacturing through BHI.
“The growth of Bell as a well-established mining, earthmoving, and agriculture equipment manufacturer, both domestically and in terms of exports around the world, is a testament to the skills available and the quality of products that we make in Richards Bay. We’re confident in our ability to expand into other industries and believe this will benefit not only the manufacturing sector but the whole country.”
The company’s 45,000 sq m undercover manufacturing area in Richards Bay complies with the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System and welds to the internationally recognised ISO 3834-2 Appendix 10 standards.
It is well equipped with specialist machines including both horizontal and vertical computerised numerical control (CNC) machining centres, 5-axis boring machines, laser cutters, high-definition oxyfuel and plasma cutters, bending brakes, and advanced welding technology. A blasting plant, phosphating tanks, sealed spray booth, galvanising bath, and an automated powder coating installation are available to take care of surface treatments.
At Richard’s Bay Bell has a team of more than 800 machinists, welders and assemblers who have all benefited from the company’s own training centre.
“This is complemented by our highly skilled team of welding, quality, and industrial engineers, along with onsite calibration facilities, equipment to perform material checks, and a number of highly specialised co-ordinate measuring machines,” added Jones.
“Together with our strong focus on process development, BHI can guarantee consistent quality to customers. BHI can also tap into a wealth of group resources, notably a team of over 100 South African design engineers, enhancing its suitability for local manufacturing across diverse industries.”
The manufacturing operation of Bell Equipment is 55% black-owned and 24% black women-owned, contributing to B-BBEE scores and creating localisation opportunities for local customers.
“Over the years we have established a global supply chain with access to world-class suppliers. Procurement staff are well skilled in international logistics and our strategic sourcing department has strong commodity expertise, which ensures stringent input cost control,” concluded Jones.
“We have always maintained that manufacturing has massive transformation potential for the South African economy and employment, so we are optimistic about this new division and will be actively engaging with those looking for the expertise we now offer outside of our traditional market segment.”