In Conversation with Christiaan Drijfhout

We spoke to Christiaan Drijfhout, the technical director at CNC Clear Cut

WHAT DOES YOUR JOB AS TECHNICAL DIRECTOR ENTAIL?

My responsibilities are varied. I oversee the electrical division. Anything to do with manufacturing, installation, commissioning, wiring, that sort of things. I brief the assembly crews, make sure they have the right technical drawings and supplies, make sure they understand what they’ll be doing, and oversee their work.

I’m also hands-on with the after-sales support team. Anything to do with technical queries, training, testing, and so on, the guys can come and ask me, and if necessary, I’ll step in personally if a customer has a query that needs a more detailed answer.

I also work with Paul van Niekerk on research and development projects.

WHAT SORT OF R&D ARE YOU GUYS DOING?

We do occasionally invent things from scratch, but most of the time, we work on ways to achieve things that our customers want. We take a view of what the market demands are, and then figure out how to implement them.

For example, suppose there’s a need for scribing. We’ll go and research what the different approaches are internationally,identify the techniques that are most efficient, and then build something our customers can use.

WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU OFFER TO POTENTIAL CLIENTS?

Come and talk to us as early as possible.

I’m not saying that to drive sales, it’s simply that plasma cutting is our area of speciality; it’s something we’re passionate about.

We can probably save you money. We often see clients that have decided they want to buy a plasma cutting table, but are looking for something that’s vastly over-specified for their actual project.

We have unique knowledge of what this technology is capable of, and it’s quite likely that we can help you achieve your fabrication goals in a more efficient way than you perhaps anticipated. The more we understand about what you want to do, the better we can advise you about which machine will best serve your needs.

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