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General Profiling with out of the box offerings

General Profiling CEO, Gavin Poplak General Profiling CEO, Gavin Poplak

Johannesburg-based General Profiling are fast becoming synonymous with giant solutions for manufacturing industries. With a 30m laser, 12m press brake and state of the art, 4 roll set CNC Roller.

The stats are impressive, the applications unlimited, but according to CEO, Gavin Poplak, it is the attention to detail and service quality that sets General Profiling apart. 

“We are not a fabrication company. That would put us in competition with our customers. We are a fully-fledged steel, stainless steel and aluminium service centre. We offer almost all services under one roof and therefore minimise the need for sub-contractors. We therefore own the process and therefore the outcome. We are able to deliver product on time at the correct price.”

According to Poplak, “We have had very positive reaction from the market with the introduction of all three of our new machines. The large parts seem to go hand in hand with large bending and rolling. The new 30m laser has become an essential part of the company, and without the new rolls, we would really battle. The most exciting of the new machines has been the new pressbrake. It bends 12,000mm (12m!) and is the biggest machine of its kind in the country. With 2,000 tonnes pressing force, it can bend almost anything. This machine is what sets us apart from the rest. There are a few other companies who can cut and roll as big as we can – but none who can bend that big.”

On the topic of service offerings for the Cape Business Community, Poplak says “With the extensive and extreme competition in Jo’burg, it is often more cost effective to by larger cut-to-size orders of ferrous and non-ferrous metals from us and truck them to Cape Town – even after transport costs are taken into account. There are also many advantages to large part bending for the marine industry and this can do away with the inherent problems that come with welding up and joining smaller parts using smaller plates. All this aside from the aesthetics of the parts, ships or machines being made.”

Poplak says it is a matter of good business sense that the company focuses on a diverse array of clients from many different industries, “This business strategy is far less risky in such a turbulent market. If one sector is not busy – there is always another sector that is. We try to supply as many market sectors as possible. With the large size part capabilities of these machines, we are making parts for the mining, earth moving, materials handling, transport, railway, armaments, power and ship building sectors.”

Poplak says that the industry is moving fast, and he is constantly impressed by “the willingness of industry to accept the possibilities of design change. We have embarked on a process to assist engineers to design larger parts commensurate with or new big machines. We are working many customers to assist in the design enhancement of machines to make use of our new equipment and in turn, reduce their fabrication costs while increasing productivity.”

The company has had to deal with common problems of early adopters, “With the influx of hi tech machines over the past few years – there is a definite shortage of skills. We do a lot of in house training, and have done very well in BBBEE. We have trained and advanced many people and I think the business is stronger as a result.” Don’t be fooled though, General Profiling have exacting standards, and expect its personnel to mirror the hardworking ethos of the company, “Finding people with a work ethic these days is interesting,” says Poplak wryly. 

The services:

30m laser cutting

General Profiling offers an extensive suite of laser cutting machines, which includes both traditional CO2 and Fiber laser technologies. All of this allows it to offer the best competitive cutting solutions, value for money and rapid turnaround times. Laser cutting offers very tight tolerances, and General Profiling’s laser cutting machines are able to cut a wide variety of materials including:

  • Mild steel, S275, S355, hot and cold rolled sheets
  • Floor plates or Vastrap . Checker plate
  • Hard wearing plates
  • Armour Plate
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Tubes
  • Stainless steel - Various grades.
  • 3CR12
  • Aluminium - Various grades
  • Spring Steel
  • Perspex, plastics, titanium, perforated plates, channels and angles

CNC Bending - 12 m press brake

The company offers an extensive suite of CNC Bending machines able to process small to very large parts. Its 12m . 2,000 ton press brake is the largest in South Africa.

  • Maximum length of part: 12,000mm
  • Maximum tonnage: 2,000 tonnes
  • Maximum part weight: 10 tonnes
  • 6-axis backstop
  • Angle measuring system
  • 3-point bending and air bending techniques
  • Full 3D software
  • Angled bar made to order

CNC Rolling 

General Profiling offers CNC Rolling on state of the art 4 roll set equipment, which offers industry leading accuracy.

Maximum material thickness and width

  • 3,000mm x 50mm thick in mild steel (Much thicker if parts are narrower)
  • 3000 mm x 25mm thick in stainless steel (Much thicker if parts are narrower)
  • Quenched and Tempered steels – depending on tensile strength up to 25mm thick (Much thicker if parts are narrower)
  • Other information
  • Minimum rolling diameters apply
  • Maximum part weight: 10 tonnes
  • Tacking and/or welding will be done on rolled parts on request 
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