“Dickinson Group of companies’ strategy is to intentionally review alternative industries and complementary product and service offerings. By adopting this approach, the company continually introduces new and innovative technologies and solutions, which has enabled the company to survive and prosper for close to 110 years.” Taking this quest as a project during the year 2018, a number of initiatives were made, including the establishment of new business ventures, new business alliances and new products. This article will briefly review some of these developments.
The Group was founded in 1910 and has been trading for more than 100 years, having grown to be a leading provider of furnace and industrial services to the mining, metals smelting, mineral processing, petrochemical refining and thermal power generation industries. Headquartered in Vereeniging, South Africa, Dickinson Group of Companies began the year with offices in Zambia and People’s Republic of China together with a technical agency network covering Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ethiopia, DRC, and Kenya.
New Business Ventures
In order to increase the company’s geographic presence and to extend even more high quality niche products and services to clients in the region; Dickinson Group of Companies established the following new business ventures in 2018:
Dickinson-Menco provides a comprehensive range of turnkey electrical, mechanical, refractory and industrial projects and services to the Middle Eastern and North African countries, from its corporate head office in Egypt, supported by branch operations in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries and Saudi Arabia. This Egyptian headquartered joint venture with a leading electrical and mechanical contracting company; Menco Group combines the strengths of the two parent companies to extend their niche range of products and services into the targeted region.
Dickinson M&S Corrosion Ltd
Dickinson M&S Corrosion Ltd extensively extends the full range of M&S Corrosion Control products and services through the already existing, Dickinson Group of Companies service network across the African Continent. This subsidiary is a Zambian registered joint venture between two market leaders; Dickinson Group of Companies and M&S Corrosion Control (Pty) Ltd.
SA Platforms (Zambia) Ltd
SA Platforms (Zambia) Ltd is a Zambian registered company that extends a range of SA Platforms’ cherry picker products and services through Dickinson Group of Companies’ well established marketing platform in Zambia and DRC. The subsidiary is a joint venture with SA Platforms (Pty) Ltd that primarily focuses on improving access to equipment in the mining, metals smelting, mineral processing industries within the territory.
Dickinson-Forrest focusses on the extension of a full range of industrial services to the DRC. The DRC headquartered joint venture is a joint venture with Forrest Group of Companies, a leading, highly diversified market leader covering different sectors including Sustainable Energy, Public Works, Building, Civil Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Food processing, Finance, Health and Trading.
New Business Alliances
Dickinson Group of Companies works in close partnership with its customers to develop and package services that increase their productivity and performance while reducing their costs. As such, the Group has established strategic alliances with leading technology partners from countries around the globe below are some of the new strategic partnerships that were established this year:
Fives FCB and Fives Pillard
Earlier this year, Dickinson Group of Companies was appointed as a representative for Fives’ cement and minerals technologies in Southern and East Africa. Fives FCB is part of Fives Group, an industrial engineering Group that designs and supplies machines, process equipment and production lines for the world’s largest industrial groups including the aluminium, steel, glass, automotive, aerospace, logistics, cement & minerals and energy sectors. Within Fives, the Cement & Minerals business line specializes in the design, supply and installation of core process equipment and complete plants. The Group's expertise includes technologies in crushing, grinding, pyroprocess, combustion and gas treatment, as well as turnkey project management and customer services.
Fives Pillard designs and supplies combustion solutions which combine high industrial performances with sustainable development. These reliable and premium technologies improve product quality while reducing the operating costs & environmental footprint of the plants.
Dickinson Group of Companies has been appointed as an agent for Haldor Topsoe to promote, sell and strategically warehouse the dominant catalyst manufacturer‘s full range of VK Sulphuric acid catalysts in Namibia, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Haldor Topsoe is a world leader in catalyst manufacturing and technology. The company was founded 1940 with a vision to tap the potential of catalysis and scientific results and apply this to industry; this still stands and remains the backbone of the company. Haldor Topsoe A/S enables establishments in the chemicals, oil & gas industries to get the most out of their processes and products, using the least possible energy and resources. And we are the forefront of developing sustainable technologies.
Dickinson Group of Companies’ mining advisory services division in alliance with ADI-Industrial Services offers a full range of high temperature endoscopy and infrared thermography services to the metals smelting and mineral processing industries in Africa. ADI-IS is a service company, incorporated in Belgium, acting worldwide since 1994 and specialized in refractory lining survey of hot blast air circuit of blast furnace (cowpers) as well as others types of reactors including, glass ovens, kilns, heat exchanger, steamers and incinerators. The technologies allow for inspections in real time using endoscopy and infrared thermography techniques at operating temperatures from room temperature up to about 1500ºC.
Dickinson Group of Companies now offers a range of technical coatings for the steel industry in sub-Saharan Africa. This is in alliance with EMUREF; a Belgian company that was founded in 1988 specializing in the production of technical coatings for steel industry. The products are mostly aimed at protecting tanks & slag pockets, reducing the decarburization depth in the warming of the high carbon steel and reducing scale formation during the reheating of steel.
Dickinson Group of Companies is the appointed agent and representative of CUMI-Prodorite within Southern Africa. CUMI-Prodorite is a pioneer and market leader in the manufacture of acid proof cement and FRP fabrication systems. CUMI-PRODORITE's state-of-the art plant at Ranipet, manufactures a wide range of acid proof cement, polymer concrete products, anti-corrosives coatings and screedings ,construction chemicals, concrete repair & rehabilitation materials & FRP chemical process equipment, pipes and fittings for handling corrosives.
New Territories and Products
As a result of the different initiatives; Dickinson Group of Companies’ geographic presence and product range in the region was broadened to include the following countries this year:
Angola (an agent was appointed)
- Corrosion Protection: a full range of corrosion protection services to the mining, metals smelting, mineral processing, thermal power generation and petrochemical refining industries.
Acid Plant Services: the company has packaged a complete range of provides a complete range of highly specialized Acid Plant Services to the mining, metal smelting and mineral processing industries across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. The services are tailored to increase the productivity and lower costs for acid plants.
Throughout the year 2018 various changes were made to effectively enhance the group’s products and services including the following:
Studwelding of Floating Anchors: this is a faster method of attaching floating refractory anchors. The anchor division developed a methodology that employs stud welding for the installation of floating anchors in rotary kilns. All trails where successful and showed many advantages and benefits compared to the conventional methods of application.
Optimisation of Catalyst Screening Machine: the catalyst handling services division made several modifications on the company’s vacuuming based catalyst services equipment to ensure minimal damage to catalysts during the unloading and loading operations while maintaining highly competitive levels of productivity throughout.
Hot Repair Services offering: the company continued to develop its methods of hot repair services for furnace patching and electrode hole patching; Hot-In-Operation Furnace and Electrode Hole Patching. Repair works are done with minimal drops in glass levels and without having to take the furnace out of production. In fact, the technique has become a standard in the manufacturer’s plants. While the extensions cannot be done infinitely the service life of many furnaces has been significantly enhanced.