Jendamark India now boasts not one, not two, but three assembly halls to handle growing projects for customers. Our newest addition at the Pune head office includes a tech centre and display area featuring the Dobot collaborative robots.
This year, the manufacturing, assembly and design team celebrated the unveiling of their new mural. The giant artwork at the department entrance was created to spotlight the importance of the technical trades in growing Africa’s industrial sector and depicts Jendamark’s pride in our artisans.
Jendamark’s sales and service office in Penzing has been expanded and upgraded to provide a warm and welcoming base from which to serve our European customers.
Plans for the opening of our USA office are at an advanced stage, and we look forward to welcoming and serving our North American customers in the near future.
Jendamark and Rubicon have been working together to serve our customers since the dawn of this millennium. The Covid-19 pandemic saw the partnership tested as we found new ways to overcome the ensuing supply chain problems. We asked the director of new business for the Rubicon Group, Dylan Schnetler, about how the partners rose to the challenge.
Q: When it comes to this partnership, what does each business bring to the table?
A: Rubicon supplies Jendamark with different technologies that add value to the solutions Jendamark builds for their customers. Our role is to keep Jendamark abreast of the latest technologies in the automation space. Once the tech is adopted by the Jendamark engineers, then Rubicon’s role is to ensure competitive pricing and secure supply both during and after the project. Our roles are complementary. By adding value, we enhance the offering and assist in growing Jendamark’s business, which in turn grows our business.
Q: During the pandemic, there were massive global supply chain issues. Tell us about the nature of these challenges and how you overcame them.
A: We had significant supply chain challenges due to component shortages globally and also stress on the logistics chain. This had both cost and timing implications in ensuring that Jendamark could meet their project timelines. Rubicon has a comprehensive automation offer, so we could always look within the group at alternative product sets to overcome these issues. With Jendamark’s support, we could motivate with supplier management teams to prioritise our shipments and their importance. Siemens products were a prime example, where we could leverage both historic and forward-looking demand to pre-empt stock at Rubicon specifically held for Jendamark.
Q: What is the most important thing when it comes to supporting Jendamark customers?
A: The most important aspect of this longstanding relationship is trust and transparency. Both Rubicon and Jendamark have always taken the approach of working together as a team to win for the mutual benefit of both companies. It is this foundation that leads to excellent communication between our companies on all levels and it starts from the top down. In addition, both companies are very proud of the fact that we originated in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) and are truly local companies. We have embraced and not been intimidated to take our vision and ambitions to the global market.
Q: Do any stand-out projects come to mind?
A: The ELSD assembly line project for a customer in the USA. Jendamark had challenges with implementing vision systems that struggle with changing light conditions even when a fixed light source is introduced. A lack of support from suppliers in assisting with these issues was also a major concern. Rubicon proposed the Cognex vision system, which has now become an in-house standard at Jendamark, as it is more stable and easy to set up. Rubicon provides training and support to ensure the successful application of these solutions.
In an interesting twist, Rubicon is now implementing Jendamark’s ODIN Manufacturing solutions at its new inverter production facility in Cape Town. Rubicon chief product officer Nick Roche says:
“We’re looking at how we can improve the previous production methodology with the goal of better efficiencies, better production quality and higher throughput. We believe that the ODIN technology fulfils these requirements and are looking at installing a proof of concept trial. Should that be successful, we will consider a larger investment in a full roll-out of the technology across the production facility.”
After purchasing the controversial Seaview Lion Park in October last year, Jendamark has quietly set about transforming the revitalised Seaview Private Sanctuary into a haven of environmental conservation and upliftment that extends into the communities who live near the park boundaries.
Currently, the Sanctuary is in the process of being redeveloped as an outdoor eco-retreat for the company’s employees and customers. To this end, all the big cats have been rehomed, a dam has been constructed and various free-ranging wildlife species have been introduced.
Jendamark operations director Siegfried Lokotsch says that, while the park will not be open to the public, it is important that the wider Seaview community – including the informal settlements of New Rest and Zweledinga – benefit from it.
“Wherever Jendamark operates, we always try to involve the community and make a difference.”
“It’s important for us to give back not only to the animals but also to the people nearby.”
Creating awareness about taking care of the environment and keeping the surrounding area free of waste is an important first step,” says Lokotsch.
Five people from the local community have been contracted to carry out bush clearance and maintenance activities in the Sanctuary, while two more have been employed to do daily roadside litter clean-ups and assist people making use of the two municipal waste transfer sites in the area.
Seaview ward councillor Jason Grobbelaar says the relationship between Jendamark and the municipality began in January this year when he received a call from Lokotsch about the state of the Zweledinga waste transfer site.
“There was lots of dumping around the overflowing waste skip. I mentioned the issues to him that led to the surrounding litter and that it had been reported and would be attended to. I did not expect his next message: ‘Anything I can help with?’, which is where this journey started,” says Grobbelaar.
After securing permission from Nelson Mandela Bay municipal officials, Jendamark sponsored an additional skip for each of the Zweledinga and New Rest sites, as well as informational signage indicating what may or may not be dumped there.
“The assistance provided by Jendamark is filling the gap, as the municipality does not develop informal settlements where they will be moved to a new location in the near future, which is the case for Zweledinga,” explains Grobbelaar.
“It also closes the gap where the municipality at times battles to service the area over weekends and public holidays, or when truck breakdowns occur.”
A sporting chance
Residents of the two informal settlements, who number around 800 in each, are also benefitting in other ways.
After Sanctuary custodian Jo-Ann Meiring noticed a young girl pouring paint in the dirt to outline a rustic netball court, the Jendamark team returned to lay and paint a permanent court, complete with hoops and inspirational signage. Two mobile action soccer nets were also sponsored, turning the court into a flexible sporting arena that is used daily by both young boys and girls in the area.
Zweledinga netball manager Jane Manisa says, “We are truly grateful for the wonderful and magnificent work that Jendamark has done for us.”
In preparation for the cold winter months, Jendamark also responded to a request for mattresses, blankets and an oil heater for the Sibabalwe Daycare Centre, along with a restored jungle gym from the park. Meiring says plans are underway for a similar care centre project at New Rest.
New Rest community leader Zoliswa Mkrayi says the people are very appreciative of the interventions and the positive impact so far.
“They built the sport field for our community, which is very beautiful, and employment opportunities decrease the number of unemployed in the area [which averages around 35%]. We are still looking forward to working hand in hand with Jendamark in the future.”
Lokotsch says giving people a hand up, not a hand-out, is central to Jendamark’s sustainable support strategy.
“If we can create a community where we uplift each other, and where each person thinks about the next person, we can build a much better place for everyone.”