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Winder Controls celebrates 50 years of innovation and service excellence

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Supporting innovation and focusing on agile provision of solutions to its clients has ensured the ongoing success of shaft-hoisting specialist Winder Controls.

This has led to a large installed base in multiple countries, with significant growth from our humble beginnings 50 years ago, says MD Tim Keegan.

Winder Controls is unique in its ability to provide flexible, effective solutions to its clients. While being large enough to comfortably take on the significant bonding and risk requirements of large projects, the company remains committed to maintaining a dynamic approach to problem-solving and specialised solutions.

Keegan states that 2023 has been a significant milestone for Winder Controls, saying: “We are most grateful for the support of our clients, and while celebrating our 50 years of experience in the design, manufacture, supply, installation, commissioning and servicing of high-quality hoisting and associated equipment, we reflect on the depth of our rich mining history.”

History and association with the Siemag Tecberg Group

Further to targeted mergers and acquisitions, Winder Controls today comprises the best elements of the original Winder Controls, Blane & Co. Engineers, and Siemag South Africa.

This combination seamlessly integrates the company’s industry-leading technical excellence in electrical and automation engineering, mechanical engineering, and hydraulic engineering, while retaining and building on decades of installed product base and specialist knowledge in the hoisting industry.

The company’s association with the Siemag Tecberg Group has broadened its product base to include state-of-the-art rope-handling equipment, pressure exchange energy recovery systems, specialised winder brake callipers, and other equipment.

Engineering and management collaboration has ensured global knowledge transfer and ongoing interaction with global clients.

Highest ethical standards

The company’s management team fiercely pursues its commitment to maintaining the highest ethical standards.

“While this has at times led to challenges, we are very pleased to have experienced the support of our clients in this endeavour and are confident that this is a critical element of conducting a sustainable business in the modern world,” comments Keegan.

Being European-based, the Siemag Tecberg Group requires all processes to be audited and in line with International Financial Reporting Standards. “Our management and governance systems are pitched at the highest level with a focus on transparency, compliance with the principles and practices of King IV, and diligent segregation of duties,” says Keegan.

The company also places significant focus on its SHE initiatives with a strong safety team ensuring the wellbeing of its personnel as well as compliance of its operations with all legislated and client requirements.

Stakeholders

In addition to providing effective solutions to their clients, Winder Controls places high value on its employees, the requirements of shareholders, and the communities in which it operates, with the company managing to retain 100% of its personnel through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have experienced significant peaks and troughs in the hoisting market over the years. Our strategic decision to focus primarily on an excellent core of technical skills has enabled us to ride out the storms on the basis of delivering invaluable expertise to our clients,” stresses Keegan.

As a certified ISO 9001:2015 company, Winder Controls continually strives to enhance its client service and experience by implementing improvements to its systems and tools.

Multiple equipment brands and single point responsibility

“We are not exclusively committed to any one make of equipment, and since we have thorough technical knowledge of multiple equipment brands, we are able to implement complex solutions utilising our clients’ preferred equipment brand, so as to facilitate standardised spares holding and training of mine personnel,” explains Keegan.

The company’s in-house electrical manufacturing facility, large machining and assembly capabilities, and industry leading in-house services department further enhance its ability to offer a focused, specialist product line through a single point of responsibility.

Developing industry experts

The company has played a significant role in the training and experience of many current industry experts, and ongoing training of personnel is far in excess of CPD and other legislated requirements.

Theoretical training includes formal qualifications, short courses, and equipment or subject specific training, while practical training includes internal technical procedures, trade test  and safety related training.

The company also offers a range of specialised training courses for client personnel in terms of complex engineering theory, as well as operation and maintenance of its equipment.

Solution philosophies

Winder Controls is able to add significant value to pre-feasibility and feasibility studies by offering upfront project analysis services, duty cycle optimisation, solution philosophies, and equipment specifications to address a wide range of client project parameters.

Its in-house tools further allow the company to offer network studies as well as complex analysis of mechanical and electrical components and systems.

At the forefront of technology

Winder Controls has consistently stayed at the forefront of changing technologies without compromising its ability to work on legacy systems. Cutting-edge products from supply chain partners ensure that the company not only keeps up with, but also develops new trends in the hoisting industry.

“We are acutely aware of the need for energy-reducing solutions and are extremely proud of our contribution to our clients in terms of significant energy-reduction projects involving pressure exchange systems, as well as retrofitting large legacy winders with modern energy-efficient drive systems,” says Keegan.

Keegan states further: “We actively maintain our ethos of development and are proud to have launched several cutting-edge new products in the last two years alone.”

These include the company’s newly developed, energy-efficient drive solutions, electromechanical Clamping & Lifting Device (CLD), high-tension friction winch, and SAMS (Strain Analysis & Monitoring System) live online strain monitoring system.

“Our focus is on solutions provision and systems integration, tailormade to address our clients’ specific requirements.

While we have introduced a degree of modular engineering where appropriate, our projects are predominantly custom engineered to address all operational needs of our clients,” explains Keegan.

Throughout the company’s history it has developed a reputation for innovative engineering, which can be seen in the many products in existence today as a result of Winder Controls’ ingenuity.

New equipment, refurbishments

As the mining industry moves forward, Winder Controls is able to offer the latest new equipment, while maintaining its focus on refurbishments, upgrades, and relocations of used hoists.

This aspect of the business provides a cost-effective solution to major projects, while retaining the suitability and reliability of existing machines, including new systems and components where appropriate.

Exceeding Level 4 B-BBEE requirements

Winder Controls has repeatedly exceeded the scorecard requirements for its Level 4 B-BBEE rating and focuses on all elements of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) scorecard as applicable to large enterprises.

“While we fundamentally believe in equality of opportunity, we simultaneously recognise the need to assist in areas previously disadvantaged in terms of training or resources. We are a proudly South African company with a significant local shareholding.”

Keegan adds: “Furthermore, we are proud of the diversity we have achieved internally, and we are excited to be a company that makes a difference in our country.”

In conjunction with its clients, Winder Controls is acutely aware of the needs of South Africa, and specifically the needs of the communities nearest to its areas of operation. Over many years it has played a significant role in several ongoing community development projects.

Contributing to country and communities

Community projects include the installation and upgrade of water and electrical systems at schools and clinics, development of sustainable subsistence farming of vegetables, provision of IT equipment and electronic teaching media to schools, training of individuals for future careers, creation of employment for disabled and disadvantaged individuals, and more.

Through its local B-BBEE shareholder, Shalamuka Capital, Winder Controls also contributes significantly to the education of teachers and pupils in disadvantaged rural schools.

In conclusion, Keegan states: “We stand strong in our belief that our people are not merely our greatest asset, but rather form the essence of the company.

In line with our stated vision, we will continue to be one dynamic team, growing together across multiple disciplines to keep the hoisting industry turning.

Through our technical and service excellence, Winder Controls is committed to continually providing the best client experience in the winder industry.”

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