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.

Tech Twist

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.”