Renttech SA: The latest digital welding technology and first validation facility in SA

Renttech South Africa, a company within the Bidvest Group’s Commercial Products division, with a solid background in the rental and sales of 22 recognised brands of welding and construction-related equipment, has become the first local validation facility which is able to provide a service to industry validating welding equipment according to ISO 17662 standards.

In close collaboration with the South African Institute of Welding (SAIW), Renttech has improved its processes to incorporate international testing standards for validation of welding equipment as required by companies accredited according to ISO 3834.

“In order to comply with the requirement of most big projects, construction companies need accreditation according to the ISO 3834 welding quality standards. With respect to welding equipment, ISO 3834 requires that all welding machines used must be validated to ensure that the actual welding current and/or voltage output delivered during welding accurately matches the parameter settings,” says Renttech’s Welding Product Manager Johan Bester.

“An external authorised inspection authority (AIA) certified our process for the delivery of performance certificates according to ISO 17662, the equipment calibration, verification and validation standard. This is also now incorporated into our ISO 9001 quality management systems via a formal scope change. All new equipment sold – as well as our rental fleet – now gets validated according to this standard before reaching the customer.

This is also an additional service that we offer clients for their existing equipment irrespective of brand, and we are in fact the first local company to provide this validation facility,” Bester advises.

The company has also recently launched its new UNIarc range of welding equipment, with a host of associated cost benefits and technical advantages for customers all aimed at reducing the time and cost per weld.

“For the past 3 years, we have been engaging with some of the best welding machine manufacturers from all over the world so as to improve and complete our range to suit the demands of our rental and sales markets.

UNIarc is a brand that has earned itself a reputation for reliability and performance in some of the harshest South African conditions over the last 20 years, in all sectors of the industrial market. With the rapid advancement of software technologies available today, we embarked on improving our existing offering to realise the benefits of these technologies for our customers; thereby further enabling them to drive welding and fabrication efficiencies,” Bester explains.

He continues: “Our challenge was to ensure that we made it easy and intuitive for the welder, while also unlocking benefits for the business owner. Some of the benefits include reduced fettling costs, reduced distortion, reduced material handling costs, more effective use of labour, and increased deposition rates in the various welding positions.”

Another key requirement was to further improve reliability, speaking to the need to reduce cost-of-ownership. Various technologies have therefore been added to protect the equipment from unstable input power, voltage drops associated with fixed line input power; as well as mobile generator power. Long extension leads as well as improperly-sized extensions were also factors Renttech had to cater for – as this is a reality in the construction and fabrication industry.

“On the back of these improvements, we have been able to increase our standard warranty from a 1 year to a 3 year parts-and-labour warranty on our 3 phase machines; and an 18 month warranty on our single phase units. All of this is backed up with parts and qualified technicians available across the country – ensuring minimal downtime,” Bester adds.

The final task for Renttech was to ensure that their advanced welding solutions and technology was still affordable to the majority of the market.

“The harsh reality is that South African fabricators are now competing for local projects with international firms which employ the latest technology to reduce their fabrication cost. We wanted to make a contribution to enable the South African industry as a whole to be more competitive, by harnessing the latest technologies whether they are one-man businesses or multi-national construction companies.

We believe we have achieved this without compromising quality. In fact most of our units offer more features than those of our international competitors at a very favourable price point,” he says.

He adds that, as with all Renttech offerings, their welding machines are sold “ready to weld”, with all of the necessary torch consumables and accessories, and integrated water-cooling as an option; but can also be offered as a tailored solution based on customer requirements.

“In addition, we see training as a critical element to get the new welding technology rolled out successfully into the workplace. We have, therefore, included our high-end machines into our trailer-based training centre, which is now available to customers wishing to get their welders upskilled and competent in the new welding technologies.

“In conclusion, Renttech SA is able to offer affordable and robust state-of-the-art welding equipment, technical assistance and process solutions to construction projects and fabricators in line with the latest methodologies and welding standards in both the sales and rental options,” Bester concludes.