Passion for performance: Rubber Engineering Africa’s recipe for success

Rubber Engineering Africa (Pty) Ltd. was founded by owner and Managing Director, Nandha Moodley who has worked in the industry for approximately forty-two years and has proven to be a stalwart in the South African rubber and polyurethane roller industry.

Rubber Engineering Africa’s story begins with the merging of two major players in the rubber and polyurethane roller industry, which presented Nandha with the prospect of venturing forth on his own. However, in the midst of this process, he was approached by an international company to merge with them locally in South Africa and become part of their corporate structure.

‘Several years after the merger, an opportunity arose where I was able to buy one of the branches and return to working independently,’ Nandha recounts. ‘The branch in question was underperforming, so it was a gamble but I felt that it was worth the risk.’ It was undoubtedly a risk well taken.

Its core business is the manufacture of rubber and polyurethane covering of rollers. These rollers are used for a myriad of industries including printing, packaging, textiles, steel and many other industries. It specialises in bowed rollers, also known as banana or expander rollers, which is used for the stretching of fabric cloth, paper and other products in high and low speed machines. The company also has an inhouse engineering division that has the capacity to manufacture new rollers as per drawings or samples supplied by the customer, as well as to repair existing ones. It also has a balancing machine, which enables us to do balancing under the same roof.

‘This has been our core business right from the start. We know what we do exceptionally well and we want to keep it this way,’ Nandha explained. He attributes a great deal of the company’s success to the experience and dedication of his staff – some of whom have been in the industry for almost 45 to 50 years. ‘We also have state-of-the-art equipment; an excellent management structure – from the top all the way to the bottom; and meticulous systems and processes, which focus on quality control and enables us to have a very professional setup. This, I believe, keeps us ahead of the game,’ he added.

Nandha says that quality control is one of the most important aspects of the business, with every job being placed under the scrutiny of its operators and quality controllers. ‘Rubber is made from in the region of 10 to 15 ingredients; all of which are imported. In spite of these ingredients being very expensive, we have opted not to compromise by using cheap or inferior raw material instead,’ he elaborated. ‘I am proud to say that we don’t have returns and we have very minimal internal scraps.’

He continued, ‘Within our business, emphasis is placed on quality and service, with trust taking centre stage. Admittedly, price has become a sensitive issue within the market, but we educate our customers about the benefits derived from opting for quality as opposed to quantity.’ Nandha says that the company has proven to be dependable, if a customer needs a product within a particular timeframe, it is able to deliver on time.

Over the years, Rubber Engineering Africa introduced international expertise and methodologies to its factories, thus enabling it to expand its operational capabilities. The company stands strong today, with its factory based in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal and a staff compliment of forty-six people who service the country in all nine provinces, as well in Africa. ‘We are proud of the inroads that we are making into Africa,’ he said, ‘we have gained recognition with more and more enquiries coming in from all over the continent.’

Rubber Engineering’s “Passion for Performance” slogan has proven to be its recipe for success, especially when passion can be defined as being the energy of putting all of you into what you do.

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