On 24 May, more than 30 SAIRAC members headed to the HC Heat-Exchangers factory in Isando to see how this successful company manufacturers its products and runs its business.
The list filled up quickly when the South African Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (SAIRAC) announced a site visit to the local HC Heat-Exchangers factory.
Robert Kruger, managing director of HC, welcomed everyone with open arms to the facility and kicked things off with a bit of a history lesson on how the company started and how it grew to the power-house it is today, boasting almost 400 staff. He explained how the company outgrew its Robertville premises and the elaborate process of moving the entire operation to Isando in a very short space of time.
After Kruger’s introduction, guests were split into small groups and assigned to an HC ‘tour guide’, who took them around the factory. The small groups ensured that everyone could have all their questions answered and learn all they want about the interesting manufacturing set up.
Starting with the office block where the admin staff and engineering department is housed, the tour followed the various processes and assembly lines inside the factory – from powder coating to coil manufacturing and finally to the completed bespoke products, ready to be shipped off to the client. It was clear to see that management is very hands-on and always busy improving processes and efficiency to ensure top quality products.
Kruger also made mention of the R&D department, which is where the real magic happens. It’s very important for the company to always find better ways to do things and create products specifically suitable to the African market as a whole.
Throughout the day, guests were treated to the amazing coffee of the HC on-staff barista, who ensured everyone had enough energy for the detailed tour.
After the tour, guests enjoyed boerewors rolls braaied by HC staff outside the factory.