While significant pressure is placed on companies which undertake and execute major products in the manufacturing and mining sectors, their success is heavily dependent on the capacity and reliability of their suppliers.
Projects of this nature are often lengthy in nature, requiring long-term equipment rental. The provision of a programme which focuses specifically on long-term rentals therefore meets many industrial customers’ requirements; and may prove to be the difference between being ‘just another’ supplier to the industry and a preferred supplier.
Leading compressor hire company Rand-Air recently supplied a XAHS186DD Atlas Copco compressor to drilling company Round One Drilling Solutions on a long-term basis.
Jason Greeff, Operations Manager at Round One Drilling Solutions says that the service that Rand Air provides is vital to the industry:
“One of our challenges at Round One Drilling Solutions is the remoteness of the locations where our geotechnical drilling operations take place. During our foundation drilling contracts for Eskom power lines, we encountered very difficult mountainous terrain. It became very difficult for our teams to transport the large, high-pressure compressors that we required into these areas. A significant amount of time was spent trying to get equipment on site at the expense of drilling time. After some research and discussion, Rand-Air offered us the plant rental option which they offer,” says Jason.
This project saw Rand-Air importing a specialised low-volume, high-pressure compressor from Belgium for the customer. Jason points out that this meant they received a far more compact compressor, weighing 1.8 tons; as opposed to the 6 ton-plus machine which they previously had.
Louwrens Erasmus, General Manager of Rand-Air, points out that the long-term rental option is tailored to the relevant customer and industry; and he adds that the package consists of a fixed monthly rental fee, which suited the client as they are then able to project a budget in advance. The option also entails a full maintenance programme, provided by Rand-Air.
Another feature of the project was that Round One Drilling Solutions was able to reduce production costs despite using a smaller machine.
When we used the new compressor, an immediate result was the noticeable ease of moving such a light compressor, which could still deliver the high-pressure performance that we require for our drilling. Our team now spends far less time moving equipment and more time drilling, which has upped our production by between 25% and 30%.
In addition, the fact that the compressor has a smaller motor meant there was more efficient diesel consumption. The net overall effect was an increase of 30% production and 50% less diesel usage,” Jason comments.
These substantial operational improvements demonstrate the importance of the relationship between the client and supplier, and what can be achieved when both have a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the project.
“To date, our dealings with Rand-Air have only been positive. No matter whether you have a large corporate or a small entrepreneurial company, Rand-Air’s team has the ability to make you feel that you are their only customer. This is an experience you do not always receive from a conventional rental or industrial hire company.
We have experienced that Rand-Air’s team have always been understanding and accommodating of our company’s requirements, and have provided a top-class customer service and experience,” says Jason.
In summary from Rand-Air’s perspective, Louwrens adds that while there is a real requirement for long-term rental programmes in industry, Rand-Air looks forward to providing the market with the peace of mind and added value which IPR customers such as Round One Drilling have experienced.