Focus set on intellectual support services

14th August 2020

Hard-facing solutions provider Rio-Carb is altering its business model to focus more on providing intellectual support services and is employing its own engineers to assist customers in all aspects of liner fabrication application.

Rio-Carb director Thomas Reib says the company can now provide a complete solution to the materials handling sector.

“An exciting new initiative is our ‘We Speak Engineering’ programme, which allows us to communicate, educate and assist customers and all other industry personnel to better understand our products, applications and possibilities.”

This means that Rio-Carb has added engineering support to the company’s manufacturing and fabrication abilities, which Reib states will give the company the edge over its competition – also allowing it to be more internationally competitive.

This adds to the company’s expertise in hardware, which has been the company’s main focus since it was established in 1971.

Reib clarifies by pointing out that the company’s founder, Martin Maine, at the time was working with global miner Rio Tinto. He identified a growing demand for better materials handling processes, specifically by introducing hard-facing liner plates and cladding of wear services to improve operational cost, durability and productivity.

With extensive knowledge and experience in welding, Maine established Rio-Carb as the premier local manufacturer and supplier of wear-resistant liners. The company also became a leading local specialist fabricator of wear-resistant liners, plates and pipes.

“Our product line of abrasion-resistant chromium carbide alloys, cladded onto weldable mild steel plates, provides unrivalled strength, wear resistance and adaptability in hard-wearing industries. This includes mining, earthmoving and other heavy minerals handling industries.”

Meanwhile, Reib mentions that, while the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown has negatively impacted the local economy and many companies, Rio-Carb started an initiative last year which has assisted the company in mitigating these challenges.

Early last year, the company launched its own ‘Vision-2020’ programme. It was designed as an overall corporate drive plan and put in place to combine “the strength of our past knowledge, with the foresight of a more marketing focused business model”.

He explains that the programme was an instant success, and in addition to growing its markets and product offerings, last year was a record year for the company. “This gave us a significant advantage when the pandemic hit, and as much as we had to regroup, the company was in a strong position despite the adversities.”

Reib adds that the company’s commitment and investments in engineering and local manufacturing contributed to the company being able to maintain its strong position.

“We are basing our business on engineering resources, local manufacturing and unrivalled product performance and quality. As much as price is important, our customers have indicated that those core qualities take preference,” he explains.

Looking forward, the company hopes to remain a market leader in supplying hard-wearing materials handling surfaces, and to expand further into the Southern African market.

“Our long-term goal is to establish Rio-Carb as a global supplier of hard-facing solutions, and gear the company to be locally compliant, yet less dependent on our fragile local economy,” he concludes.