First Cut and Messer Cutting Systems: a sharp, cohesive and longstanding synergy

Teamwork works best when it is built on a solid foundation of trust. Such is the foundation of the partnership between First Cut and Messer Cutting Systems. With over 67 years of industry experience, First Cut is a leading South African provider of cutting, welding and grinding consumables and equipment. Messer Cutting Systems – with headquarters in Germany and active in more than 50 countries – is a global supplier of cutting-edge solutions for the metalworking sector. Since 2019, First Cut has been working with Messer Cutting Systems – after First Cut took over the local distribution agency and to manufacture Messer welding electrodes locally.

What has transpired is a strong relationship built on connection and cohesion. However, First Cut and Messer Cutting Systems have a history going back much further than 2019.

A decades-long relationship 

Messer had been in South Africa for a number of decades, under the name Messer Griesheim, and manufactured industrial gases.

The company subsequently changed its name to Messer Cutting Systems. When First Cut took over its local distribution agency this was a great move for both companies, given the great synergy between the two entities.

“We have had a great partnership over the years – selling Messer’s capital equipment, and doing some complex installations,” says First Cut’s National Sales Director Stuart Beck.

“Messer Cutting Systems is a highly respected and accredited global cutting industry company, which believed that First Cut would do justice to their brand locally. As First Cut is synonymous with providing quality products and service, we were definitely up to the task, and we took on the existing Messer customer base and have worked hard to grow since 2019.”

Family ties with a ‘safety first’ approach 

Beck refers to Messer Cutting Systems as a being like “family” to the First Cut team; and as such, he talks with fondness about their regular visits to South Africa – and really appreciates the product updates and remote training sessions which the supplier also conducts. 

“They are just an absolutely amazing company to work with,” Beck enthuses. 

Of significance in galvanising this excellent partnership was the Compressed Gas Safety conference in Johannesburg in 2022. The launch of the patented leak-proof oxyfuel S.A.T. (Safety Advanced System) at this conference was a game-changer for compressed gas safety and for First Cut, and has had great traction in the mining and welding sectors.

First Cut’s initiatives with other distributors and the development of new products for the mining and industrial sectors has been pivotal in their relationship with Messer Cutting Systems, as they both continue to work together to strengthen overall market offering.

“We have for example invested in stock and in ensuring we have all the correct local and international safety, quality and other industry accreditations. We see this as an investment in our customers,” says Beck. “Having the right stock and the right international accreditations is huge for the product range we offer and the customer base we want to tap into.” 

Beck cites the BAM oxyfuel code when giving an example of a highly-regarded safety accreditation which Messer Cutting Systems holds.

“When you sell oxyfuel, and there is an area of concern, these are assurances which put your mind at ease – particularly when third parties are involved in terms of risk and liability,” he says.

“This is where Messer Cutting Systems has accreditations and quality assurances in the background to mitigate risk. It is all about having a ‘safety first’ approach, and is also a benefit to our customers.”

Never compromising on safety and quality 

Messer Cutting Systems’ oxyfuel technology has taken pride of place in First Cut’s welding offering and in particular, regulators remain the most popular items and a benchmark product.

Running through some of the specifications of these top sellers, Beck highlights the oxygen/ acetylene regulators – sold in both single-stage and double-stage – as well as the Constant 2000 cylinder pressure regulator for nitrogen (with outlet pressure gauge), which works at maximum pressures of 10, 20 and 50 bar.

“When a customer comes to us with an order for a regulator, we also have to ask them if they have hoses, torches, nozzles…all of which we supply. Having a Messer Cutting Systems range in our product portfolio ticks every single box – and the safety and quality aspects are also always impeccable. We look forward to representing this excellent company for many years to come,” Beck concludes.