StrucMAC Engineering continues to lead the digital transformation journey for heavy & precision engineering in South Africa
Established in 1996 as a precision engineering company, StrucMAC Heavy Engineering began its journey to be one of South Africa’s leaders in heavy engineering in a 100m² facility, with only 5 employees. Today, the team at StrucMAC proudly celebrates 25 years in business and boasts a state-of-the-art 14 800m² manufacturing workshop and 200 employees. StrucMAC is proudly leading the path of digital transformation and community development in its sector.
With many other smaller firms closing down, there was also an influx of employment seekers on the doorstep of StrucMAC as they were one of the very few organizations in this sector that managed to stay open. The skilled labor was there, the work was there. There was no reason not to seize the opportunity to grow – especially in the mining industry in which StrucMAC has become the go to service provider for the past few years.
Impressive as this incredible growth has been for StrucMAC, it did not come without its challenges. With over 25 years of active service, StrucMAC has seen it all when it comes to engineering challenges from the smallest pieces of machinery that need servicing to the big 70-ton dump truck buckets, there has been no project too challenging or too complex. Despite the harsh impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at StrucMAC was able to use the challenges brought on by the pandemic as an opportunity to re-think how they operate and maintain output while keeping their employees employed, productive, and of course, remaining profitable as a company.
The Drawing Office Manager at StrucMAC, David Emmett, shares that the growth the company has seen over the recent years can proudly be attributed to the staff commitment to learning, skills development, and the early adoption of the latest technology solutions that help them do what they do best.
“We make use of the most modern and up-to-date digitised production systems, professional planners, machinists, and artisans, and a quality system developed over 25 years to ensure excellent service, quality, and quick project turnaround” – David Emmett
Maintaining a competitive & profitable advantage
The increasing price of materials, machinery, equipment and skilled labor are a harsh reality for any organization in this industry. What sets one apart from the others becomes evident in how StrucMAC reacts to these obstacles. Emmett shares that while everyone can buy materials at the same price, what sets them apart is how quickly and efficiently they can turn around and supply products. It’s very difficult to continue improving amid the unstable state of the economy. The biggest challenge of all in this space is finding ways to give your customers value for money while ensuring the same level of precision, quality, and service.
The industry continues to evolve and adapt to global innovations and increased demand. Staying at the forefront of technology has become a critical component of the organization, helping StrucMAC maintain its competitive advantage through innovative thinking, the use of modern machinery and tooling, and investment in workforce skills.
People and processes meet technology
8 years ago, and with only 1 Autodesk Inventor license, David Emmett couldn’t collaborate with his team to review the drawings submitted by customers. The opportunity then quickly presented itself for reverse engineering, where instead of only viewing the drawings submitted by customers, the team at StrucMAC was able to get sample parts from them and accurately measure and draw them up themselves. By doing so, they opened up the opportunity to design and manufacture aftermarket parts for equipment and vehicles. This change led to the organization’s bigger adoption of Autodesk design solutions, as they quickly realized the valuable contribution to the businesses processes that helped them deliver outputs quicker, with more accuracy and less time spent on the reworking of designs.
And while buying design software may be an easy transaction, the adoption and implementation thereof are not always as easy or smooth. Emmett, a proud Autodesk Inventor advocate, shares that this was not the case at StrucMAC. He introduced the team to the larger Autodesk tools available to them in the Autodesk Product Design and Manufacturing Collection.
This change opened a variety of new possibilities in the way of employment for new draughts people skilled in Autodesk software, also skills development training for existing staff, and a new profitable window of opportunity in draughting components for equipment, vehicles, heavy machinery, and maintenance services.
“I use Autodesk Inventor because it’s simple, quick, and easy to use”- David Emmett
The next step on this exciting digital transformation journey for StrucMAC is data management, a crucial component for an organization like StrucMAC who has exponentially grown over the past few years, not just in project size but also in company size where lots of pieces of information are flowing between employees. The importance of Common Data Environment (CDE) is clear in the type of work we do and having a data management system in place helps to generate drawings quicker and easier by referring to older models, something we look forward to achieving with Autodesk’s solutions and with Baker Baynes.
The overall long-term goal for StrucMAC is to better streamline workflows and processes. With Autodesk Advance Steel also in their catalog of drawing products, the draughters at StrucMAC strive to diversify their drawing skills and optimize and automate cutting and processing through their advanced machinery. The team’s passion shows in their commitment to excellence.
The future of StrucMAC Heavy Engineering looks digitally transformed and well equipped for Industry 4.0, and with an Autodesk Gold Partner like Baker Baynes by their side for technology adoption, renewals, technical support, training, and implementation, StrucMAC believes they are well prepared for the future of manufacturing and Industry 4.0.
StrucMAC believes in a bright future for South Africa. We are committed to making South Africa a better place for all. We believe in creating sustainable employment and making a difference in the lives of our employee’s families. We strive to be a world-class engineering company. We are committed to the future of South Africa and building up our communities.