Vital Engineering: ensuring quality and safety standards don’t slip in the local and pan-African mining sector

“Electra Mining has definitely grown exponentially over the past few years in terms of the scale and variety of companies, products and solutions showcased”, was the observation by Glen Pringle, Technical Director at Vital Engineering, on visiting the show with members of his sales team last week.

The company has been a leading provider to mining (and many other industries) of a wide range of products – including non-slip floor gratings and walkways, safety handrails and stair treads – for almost 80 years now.

“This year’s show was well integrated, with many innovative indoor and outdoor stands; as well as new local and international companies represented. It is good to see a strong focus on automation and condition monitoring, as well as on safety,” Pringle continues.

He adds that the well-attended show is a positive sign, which also seems to indicate a prevailing attitude of “cautious optimism” – despite continuing concerns about governmental policymaking and how this will affect the country’s key economic sectors such as mining, steel and manufacturing (not to mention the exchange rate) moving forward.

“Even though the South African mining, steel and manufacturing sectors are under pressure, things are looking promising in sub-Saharan Africa, with many positive developments and projects.

Thanks to our broad range of reliable, low-maintenance and cost-effective products, we have been able to provide consistently good quality and safety to the local and pan-African mining sector,” he asserts.

Apart from Vital’s flagship product lines – such as gratings, expanded metal, hand railings and stair treads – the company also offers a wide range of innovative ancillary products. An excellent example of this is its Vitaclamps grating panel fixings.

Vitaclamps are applied from above, and not underneath like traditional fixings; which leads to improved safety as well as substantial cost savings, by reducing the installation time and the need for scaffolding.

“A further positive aspect is that these – and the vast majority of our other products – are locally manufactured. Going forward, South African procurement legislation will require mines to procure 60% of their products and services locally; which is certainly advantageous to local manufacturers,” he comments.

However, procuring locally should not mean a compromise on safety, as Vital Engineering’s products are produced according to the strictest local and international safety standards. Vital is also recognised internationally for the quality, functionality and suitability of its products, which are frequently specified by international mining houses on pan-African projects.

“We are recognised – and specified – because of our uncompromising and absolute dedication to safety and quality,” he says.

“We also work hard at ongoing research and development, and our clients should ‘watch this space’ for innovative new products soon to be launched,” Pringle concludes.