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15 February 2008
RODUCT quality at Coastal Technicrete, a joint venture enterprise involving Technicrete and a black-owned Eastern Cape brick manufacturer, has improved so dramatically that the PE-based company has now been awarded the SABS-SANS 1058 quality mark for its concrete pavers.
The award followed 18 months of research and planning by Concor Technicrete experts who were specially assigned to the task of bringing product quality at the local company – Coastal Bricks – up to Concor standard. This began soon after the formation of the new BEE company almost two years ago.
“We have injected a great deal of financial and technical expertise into the company since we first got involved,” says a Technicrete spokesman. “This has included the installation of a laboratory and a formal quality control and management and control system, as well as test systems which did not exist before. We have also established training programmes for quality controllers and have conducted staff training sessions focusing on the importance of product quality.”
The result, says Technicrete, has been a dramatic improvement in the quality of the pavers coming off the manufacturing line. This has been achieved partly through the installation of a power screen which guarantees a consistent supply of improved quality crushed aggregate for use as a topping material for pavers. An immediate major benefit is an increase in the abrasion-resistance of the blocks.
Natural sand had previously been used for the purpose, but the only quality source in the area was unable to supply the required quantities due to high volume demand when the building and construction industry in the Nelson Mandela Bay area started to boom. This resulted in Plant 3 at the factory running sporadically for almost six weeks.
The new power screen was delivered and installed only three weeks after order, and has since provided the factory with a constant supply of fine aggregate. Other benefits are that waste has been reduced to a minimum, as oversize material is added back to the course aggregate used for the base material in the blocks; and the new equipment has given the company the flexibility to source materials from different suppliers as their supply and quality capabilities fluctuate.
Coastal Technicrete was formed through a partnership between Technicrete and the well-established local company, Coastal Bricks. Technicrete holds a 60% shareholding in the company, while the 40% balance is held by local PE businessmen. The acquisition followed an in-depth study by Technicrete of the Eastern Cape market.