The 124 year old company is the only tank container manufacturer in South Africa and the second largest in the world
The list of stainless steel fabricators more than a century old is a short one. Welfit Oddy’s credentials don’t end at its impressive longevity, however.
The company is currently the second largest manufacturer of tank containers in the world and the only one still in business in South Africa. With over 124 years in operation it demonstrated an ability to diversify, innovate and adapt to market opportunities. Its contribution not only to the stainless steel industry and other local supply chains, but to the economy as a whole, cannot be overstated.
Welfit Oddy takes top accolade as the overall winner of the Sassda Columbus Stainless Awards 2016 as well as top spots in both the prestigious Business Excellence and Export Achievement categories.
Stainless steel is a core part of Welfit Oddy’s business and the design of their products means they are prodigious consumers. Generally speaking, a tank container consists of a stainless steel pressure vessel which is then mounted in a carbon steel frame for the transport and storage of liquid products. What grades of stainless steels will be used, and what kind of insulation may be needed, are dictated by the intended payload that will be shipped inside it - this is anything from foodstuffs to hazardous chemicals.
These aren’t simply boxes, either. It’s not uncommon for a tank container to be fitted with special features like heating or cooling systems for regulating contents at specific temperatures, GPS systems for tracking and controlling temperature and pressure, or high customisation for specific products, examples of these are beer tank containers.
The market for tank containers is global and with every new client comes new requirements. This is not a business that conforms to cookie cutter solutions: every tank container the company builds is unique and customised to the product that will be stored inside it given the customer’s specific requirements.
Given how specialised this market sector is, and how unique each order, you would be forgiven for assuming that production is a slow, painstaking process. To the contrary, with its vast experience in the sector, Welfit Oddy operates at an impressive scale. The company is capable of fabricating up to 29 units a day on a semi-automated production line.
The process starts after the tank container has been designed and modelled in 3D and interrogated for conceptual flaws using the most up-todate design modelling tools and rigorous fatigue testing. The actual build process begins with flat stainless steel, which the company will cut, bend, machine, weld and coat - all of which is done in-house. Approximately 60% of a tank container’s components are made of stainless steel, and Welfit Oddy’s remarkable scale of production means they go through a substantial 70 tonnes of the material daily, the vast majority of which is sourced in South Africa.
And yet, even with such speedy fabrication techniques, Welfit Oddy is required to adhere to both pressure vessel codes and other international transport regulations.
However, the company goes even further, because the sheer duration of their experience puts them in a unique position to understand how these tank containers perform and how they might fail in various rigorous operating environments. The company appreciates the value and risk of the cargo that the tank containers transport; every design undergoes structural fatigue testing well beyond the requirements of the relevant codes.
A key to Welfit Oddy’s success is the manner in which they have positioned themselves as a supplier of choice to local and international customers. It’s not that other fabricators couldn’t build a tank container - most could, given adequate time and resources. But it’s fair to say that no one else is currently capable of producing such high volume at such stringent quality, with such rapid turnaround.
Contact :Welfit Oddy
Tel : 041 404 6600
Website : www.oddy.co.za