An ongoing success story starring First Cut and Special Steels

The relationship between First Cut, a leading South African provider of cutting, welding and grinding consumables and equipment, and Special Steels, a supplier of specialised steels and industry expertise to the engineering and manufacturing sector locally, continues moving from strength to strength. First Cut is the primary supplier of machines and consumables to Special Steels, with a strong relationship spanning some 20 years.

This is according to Eben van Eeden, Sales Manager at Special Steels, who explains: “Our company provides certified engineering steel grades, cut to length at competitive prices, used for mechanical and allied engineering purposes. We have a particular emphasis on low- to high-carbon and alloy steels. In addition, we have a strong focus on customer service, speedy delivery and minimising downtime – as well as value-added offerings,” van Eeden says.

Success based on mutual understanding and effective decision-making

“Special Steels has grown organically since its establishment in 2002, with a significant stockholding and an efficient logistics capability. We source our steel from top-quality international suppliers, and recognise that it is also essential to partner with a first-class supplier of machines and consumables. We have had this relationship with First Cut for almost two decades: they understand our requirements completely, and that we need machines which facilitate our company ethos and culture of speed, accuracy and quality.”

Reggie Chiliza, Machine Sales and Technical Manager at First Cut, adds: “Special Steels has given us a substantial amount of highly-valued repeat business over the years, and our relationship is built on trust and mutual respect. We also appreciate working with company management who know exactly what they want, and who make quick and effective decisions: an element of their business which has resulted in their ongoing success.”

Van Eeden notes: “This certainly is a relationship that works very well for both parties. Time is of the essence in the fabrication sector, and process efficiency plays an important role in our customers reaching their goals and achieving the desired productivity and profitability. In addition to supplying us with excellent machines, First Cut is also adept in its customer service.

Our machines work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the support from First Cut is outstanding. They willingly share their technical knowledge and expertise, allowing us to keep down-time to a minimum while ensuring that the service levels to our own customers remain consistently high. In return for this generous knowledge sharing, we gladly continue giving First Cut our ongoing business loyalty.”

Everising acquisitions complement installed base

This loyalty has manifested in the acquisition last year of five Everising machines: the H560HA, S250HB, H260HB, H460HB and P150ILA models, complementing Special Steels’ existing Everising installed base.

“The P150ILA is an ultra-high-speed billet saw with advanced inclined linear cutting action, using circular blades tipped with either tungsten carbide or cermet,” explains Chiliza. “The other four machines – the H560HA, S250HB, H260HB and H460HB – are fully automatic band saws, with particular specifications to suit different requirements and industry applications.”

The four band saw machine specifications are as follows:

  • The H560HA has a capacity of 560mm (round and hollow bar) and 610 x 560mm (square bar), a blade speed of 18 to 90 m/min and a machine weight of 4500kg.
  • The S250HB is a pivot-type machine for bundle cutting, with a capacity of 250mm (round and hollow bar) and 300 x 250mm (square bar), a blade speed of 20 to 100 m/min and a machine weight of 1460kg.The bundle cutting specifications are width 145 to 190mm and height 30 to 120mm.
  • The H260HB for bundle cutting, has a capacity of  260mm (round and hollow bar) and 300 x 260mm (square bar), a blade speed of 20 to 100 m/min and a machine weight of 1750kg The bundle cutting specifications are width 145 to 190mm and height 30 to 130mm.
  • The H460HB for bundle cutting, has a capacity of 460mm (round and hollow bar) and 460 x 460 mm (square bar), a blade speed of 20 to 100 m/min and a machine weight of 3030kg. The bundle cutting specifications are width 195 to 310mm and height 120 to 230mm.

“We are very pleased to have been able to grow with Special Steels in their business journey to date,” comments Chiliza.

“Our two companies share the common goals of offering top-quality products, maintaining high standards of productivity and and excellent, uncompromising customer service levels to customers. We look forward to continuing to partner with Special Steels, as their trusted long-term machine and consumables supplier, going forward.”