Rosond boasts fully-fledged manufacturing and workshop facilities

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Drilling technology leader Rosond has fully-fledged manufacturing and workshop facilities at its Midrand head office to service its extensive surface and underground mining operations all over South Africa. It includes a mechanical workshop, a hydraulic fitter workshop, a boilermaker shop for steel manufacturing, and an engineering shop to manufacture small-scale spares for all Rosond’s machines, explains Jorge Da Silva, General Manager.

This is the repair and maintenance destination for all Rosond’s machines, from both its surface and underground operations. In addition, it also manufactures its own drill rods specifically for underground mining applications. A well-equipped warehouse supplies and stores all spares needed for a quick turnaround time for all repairs and maintenance, while a skilled technical team maintains workflow and throughput.

In addition to its complete Midrand facility, Rosond also has the capability and flexibility to carry out regular maintenance and attend to minor breakdowns on-site. “It is a value-added service solution we offer to our major clients,” highlights Jorge. “Basically, all the machines from our underground operations are directed to Midrand for any work.”

Rosond used to manufacture original equipment up until a decade ago, but then partnered with Comacchio of Italy to introduce its leading drilling technology into the South African mining industry. It repairs and maintains all imported equipment, and still manufactures the mini-Rocor diamond drill for underground exploration.

Jorge reveals that the Merseta-accredited Midrand facility has a total staff complement of 45, of which 31 are workshop staff and 14 support staff such as forklift drivers. The workshop staff comprise 16 fully trained artisans, 11 mechanics, a welder, and two qualified boilermakers and two fitters. “We also have trainee artisans in the process of qualifying for their full trade test and potential future employment in the company,” says Jorge.

Rosond has a programme in place to ensure that as many of its artisans as possible are exposed to training at the Comacchio facility in Italy. Jorge, who has been at Rosond for 31 years to date, started his career as a trainee fitter, left to work in the industry for about six years, and then returned to take up the mantle of General Manager: Works for all of the company’s operations.

Jorge attributes the ongoing success of Rosond to its flat management structure and focus on staff development and empowerment. “I have been privileged to have been part of Rosond’s development from what it was at the outset to what it is today.”

He points to an employee who joined as a cleaner, progressed to become a forklift driver, and today is a qualified fitter. Rosond is also proud to have its first woman welder as part of its workshop team. “It is great to be part of that and see our expertise being shared among everybody. It has definitely placed Rosond at the forefront of the industry.”

Commenting on the latest trends in the mining industry, particularly related to drilling equipment, Jorge says that while there is a tendency to repair and refurbish older equipment to cut costs, major mining houses favour investing in the latest technology in their pursuit of zero harm. “Once we have introduced the new technology, it gives us a foot in the door to offer our maintenance and support services. Procuring drilling machines is an expensive undertaking, so having a proactive maintenance plan is line with many of our clients’ requirements and safety standards.”

Another trend is to automate and digitise drill rigs, with has the advantage of making surface exploration and mining operations much safer and less prone to any accidents or fatalities. “The mining industry has committed to working smarter and not harder. As a drilling technology provider, we are clearly part of this revolution,” says Jorge. “We live in a digital world, and Rosond has been sufficiently forward-thinking to ensure it has these new skillsets onboard.”

Jorge concludes: “As a company, we have always prided ourselves on being an innovator, so we never fall behind. It is a great company to work for. What I enjoy about it is if you do come up with new ideas, management does not shoot you down. It is all discussed with the executive team and full input given so collaboration is optimised and strengthened across the entire company.”

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