The 2018 Sassda Columbus Stainless Awards considered 189 entries from 53 companies and the judges were pleased with the locally originated nature of the submissions.
The overall winner, ND Engineering, was consistently impressive with a variety of projects in a number of different categories. As a result, not only did it achieve winner status in the manufacturing innovation and duplex stainless steel categories, but it was also the first runner-up in the welding category and won merit awards in both the export and agro-processing categories.
ND Engineering’s managing director, Elvis Green, points out that over the last two years, the company has chosen to be mindful of the external factors that have plagued the industry but also actively focusses on internal improvements to negate the affects.
“To counteract this, we have invested in new equipment and most importantly, we have created a stable environment in which all team members are comfortable and able to express themselves, without having to shoulder the burden of these tough economic times. Overall, we have made a concerted effort to be positive and decided to expand when our competitors are downsizing, with the intention of filling some noticeable capacity voids.”
Antonini Darmon Architects won the architecture, building and construction category, and their entry was described as “an outstanding example of the use of stainless steel to create a beautiful architectural ‘signature’, true to form and function, which makes dramatic use of reflectivity and demonstrates an understanding of stainless steel’s characteristics”.
Commenting on the winner in the business excellence category, Fabrinox, the judges said: “This award is justly deserved in light of this company offering sustained high-quality and customised services to the stainless steel industry for 25 years.”
The runner-up, Sello’s Gutters, was also applauded as a great example of how transformation and a willingness to offer better service and to collaborate with fellow local suppliers, installers and service providers can have an all-round positive effect.
A new addition to the awards was the most transformed category, which pays homage to companies that have embraced change within their business structures, with Sky Hill Heavy Engineering taking the prize.
“Through training and equity partnerships, the company has transformed from a Level 5 B-BBEE company against the new codes in 2016/2017 to a Level 1 B-BBEE company today. Black females now own 30% and black males 21% of the company. The company is indeed transformed and has achieved this very rapidly,” the judges commented.
The Sassda Columbus Stainless Awards are held every two years.
Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) for the information and images provided.
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