MPS - future lies in investing in innovation and skills training

. Posted in News / Events

In a bullish market, with a volatile rubber price, Polymer Lining Systems, a division of Mining Pressure Systems (MPS), is focusing on innovative new technology and pioneering techniques to shore up its offering to the mining and construction industry, says Fred Crabbia, managing director, MPS.

With the market still reeling from an economic crisis, many projects have been suspended; the exchange rate has also made export an expensive option. Therefore, an unpredictable rubber price at the tail end of a recession presents a challenge to a project engineer. “As rubber is more resistant to acidic material and the better choice for protection,” he says, “this can make pricing difficult.”

Since 1991, MPS has established itself as one of the foremost BEE suppliers of piping solutions to the mining industry. However, over the years an extended network of companies has strategically taken the group’s operations beyond mining to include the supply, fabrication and installation of steel components.

In this regard, Polymer Lining Systems has made its mark in the industry through its unique services, which include - rubber-lining of tanks, pumps and steel pipes, offered to local or international specifications. A capacious yard and warehouse, as well as exceptional handling facilities, means the Polymer Lining Systems team can confidently tackle even the largest pipe sizes and tanks.

However, the division’s service is not limited to straight piping, Crabbia explains, but is often tasked with the basic fabrication and abrasive material used for bends and joints, as well as fittings. Building on its reputation for technical excellence is what drives the company to add value for its clients.

“We’re currently investigating innovative ways to rubber-line chutes, conveyers and tanks that house acidic or abrasive material,” he explains. “We’re always pushing the boundaries to see what can be rubber-lined, finding a product’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s how we reach new ways in improving PLS’s products.”

A shortage of skills and a lack of qualified artisans, Crabbia says, remains one of the challenges facing the local industry. To keep its core service strong, PLS have developed a mentoring programme to foster skills development in-house and guard against staff turnover. “Our aim is to enhance workplace performance and raise competency levels,” he says. “As part of the MPS group, we understand that an investment in our people is an investment in our future.”

Coupled with a strong work force, he also believes that research and development at PLS will lead to technological developments - with products that can be smarter, more cost-effective, as well as being durable and safe. “PLS’s focus is on lining different facets of piping and expanding our current product offering,” he says.

“We’ve seen a lot of growth potential for PLS’s growth in companies looking to salvage and restore existing pipes in order to save costs. If the rubber price drops, he says, it will be far more feasible for project engineers to regard rubber-lining as a viable alternative,” he concluded.

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