Rofo Engineering – keeping it local

Rofo Engineering’s factory in Wadeville, Gauteng’s industrial hub.

By: Kelly-Ann Prinsloo – writer

Rofo Engineering has spent 30 years perfecting its high quality, local manufacturing processes

Rofo Engineering has a proud three decade history of manufacturing high-quality, locally-produced stainless steel products for the southern African plumbing industry.

Rofo Engineering, a privately owned company located in Wadeville, the industrial hub of Gauteng, specialises in the manufacture of drains. However, the company’s expertise extends past drainage systems to incorporate the manufacturing of grease traps, stainless steel fabrication and machining.

Made to order
Something else Jovo Bardak, owner of Rofo Engineering, specialises in is general engineering. Bardak’s daughter, Tanja Bardak, who is a sales representative at Rofo, confirmed that the company can manufacture to customers specifications. Rofo prides itself on compatibility and workmanship.

100% South African
All of Rofo Engineering’s products are constructed from stainless steel and manufactured on the premises. Rofo’s entire product range is manufactured at the factory in Wadeville, and all of the company’s raw material is locally sourced. Jovo Bardak said, “There’s a lot of control in sourcing local products”. Keeping the operation local means that Bardak and his staff have total control over the quality of the material used to produce their products.

Rofo is not alone in the local manufacturing business – many South African companies are attempting to move away from the practise of importing products. One of the main reasons for this, besides the Proudly South African rhetoric, is cost and supply dependence. The exchange rate is not always in favour of the rand and sourcing local raw materials, instead of importing foreign goods, can positively influence a company’s ability to satisfy customer demand. Customer service is not only measured in delivery, but in time in full with no errors.

Another reason Rofo prefers to keep its operation local, is lead times.

The time between ordering the raw material and receiving is much longer if that product has to be shipped or trucked in from another country. Also, for a relatively small operation like Rofo, importing raw materials or products is simply not financially viable. “Our products are locally designed by us and we manufacture them. I have no intention of importing,” Jovo Bardak said.

Importing products also brings with it another set of problems: adherence to standards. The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) prescribes the standards to which all goods sold in South Africa must adhere and imported goods do not always adhere to those standards.

It also costs a lot in research and development for companies to find foreign importers that conform to SABS codes and standards and is able to supply at the same quality and cost repeatedly.

Read more about this feature in Plumbing Africa September page 82.

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