BMW April 2022

Commitment from one of their most recent installations at P&A Fabricators, a sheet metal fabrication company based in New Germany, KwaZulu-Natal. P&A Fabricators have a long 45-year history of manufacturing and engineering anything from re-inforced drop safes to large scale custom built housings and are a well organised operation run by managing director and owner Gerald Anthony.

Anthony, who is known for his “never say die” attitude, has steered P&A Fabricators along a two-year business plan to become a European ISO standard compliant supplier. This was critical for the company to be appointed as one of the 36 approved component suppliers to the R51 Billion X’Trapolis Mega Train contract. Gibela have been commissioned to replace the country’s existing passenger trains with 580 new and ultra modern urban commuter trains until the contract ends in 2028. Gibela, is the local company who were awarded the contract by PRASA (Passenger Rail Authority South Africa).

Anthony said that to become EU compliant required a mindset change from the entire P&A Fabricators team. He said, “It was a steep learning curve for us and took 100% commitment from the whole company to ensure that we were not only compliant with all the European ISO standards, but that we also had the necessary technical capability and capacity to deliver.”

The X’Trapolis Mega Train contract sees P&A Fabricators building and supplying precision engineered driver consoles, as well as the Heating, Ventilation and Airconditioning (HVAC) saloon housings, and the HVAC cabin housings for the new passenger trains. Knowing that these components would need a seamless painting procedure in place Anthony enlisted the help of Celette South Africa. With their painting and drying facilities now geared-up for the big project the components and housings will be prepared in Celette’s latest spraybooths imported from Italy.

The factory has seen massive expansion since the company became an accredited Tier 1 supplier to the train infrastructure upgrade. It has grown into a further 1 000m2 facility with substantial investments being made into their infrastructure. Tecna Italy were commissioned by P&A Fabricators to build a customised 450 Tecna welder to weld 8mm aluminium plates for use in the fabrication of the HVAC units. You could say that all in all the units are built to world class quality standards and it is great to see local business benefiting from such a large scale project.