VR Laser showcases new factory

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VR Laser Services, specialising in steel plate processing and specialised fabrication, has officially showcased its new factory in Johannesburg, which was set up as the company was running out of space at its previous facility.

“Over the past five years we have grown the business and we have broadened our services”, said VR Laser Chief Operating Officer Benny Jiyane at the company’s open day on Friday. “As you grow you obviously need more space and capacity”.

The company has doubled its factory size to 22 000 square metre, including six laser cutting machines, plasma cutters and various sizes bending presses. Its 1 500 metric ton press brake is the biggest in Africa.
“The order pipeline is good,” Jiyane said. In fact, VR Laser is looking to open a facility in the United Arab Emirates within the next six months. Orders from the region will be fulfilled at the new facility.

VR Laser’s clients include military equipment manufacturers, mining equipment manufacturers, rail equipment OEM’s and various commercial entities. The company has exported various components to a number of countries abroad.

Approximately 60% of VR Laser’s work is defence-related and 40% commercial, which brings in sustainable business as the two revenue streams have different demand cycles. The commercial side also includes underground mining equipment and VR Laser has a strong relationship with Barloworld Equipment, especially regarding the manufacture of underground mining vehicles.

Jiyane said that VR Laser’s greatest attraction is that if offers cost effective specialised steel cutting and fabrication under one roof. OEM’s do not need to invest in specialised cutting equipment as VR Laser has a multitude of machines to process the steel and the capacity and skills in place to fulfil some of their requirements.

As VR Laser manufactures products for clients all over the world, standards are world class and internationally compliant, with ISO 9001:2008 certification. In addition, VR Laser is registered and compliant in terms of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) requirements and is a Level 4 Contributor in terms of BBBEE.

Jiyane said that recently the Defence Minister of Benin visited VR Laser and was impressed with what he saw. “He was quite impressed to see that in Africa we have facilities and skills to fulfil some of their requirements”. Jiyane added that the factory receives many international visitors who are surprised that world class facilities exist in Africa.