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Engineering Projects


What do we offer?

We offer a Design and Project Management Service in the field of Electrical Engineering within the Industrial sectors.

From power distribution at 33kV to process automation software. From 400 volt UPS/Genset installation to Energy Management.

Design and Installation Standards

We have built up standards that we are able to tailor to suit budgets and environmental factors of any particular industry. Our standards have proven cost-effective, yet maintenance-free, in the following industries:

  • Food
  • Sugar
  • Pulp and Paper
  • Petro-Chemical
  • Materials Handling

Our standards are very professionally illustrated so that contractors can see exactly how the equipment must be installed. Whether the equipment is an overhead line or a consistency meter in a paper mill, we have a standard. 

Feasibility Studies

We are one of the few companies that are able to assess the realistic Power and Automation requirements and produce an accurate budget against a fixed fee. Our specifications and standards are designed to obtain "apples-for-apples" comparisons between different suppliers and contractors.

matra's Design Philosophies

Our main aim is that we engineer-to-facilitate-maintenance. We sincerely believe that if a plant is designed to have an economic life of 30 years, then every effort must be made to minimize the maintenance burden. After all, the engineering task at the design stage is an “once-only” effort, whilst the maintenance task is continuous and determines the eventual cost-of-ownership.

It is our firm conviction that:

ALL maintenance problems are AVOIDABLE.

Yet, you may ask what makes us more qualified to engineer-for-maintenance than other firms. Firstly, it is a matter of mentality developed by over 25 years of end-user experience, commissioning and technician training, etc.

When we engineer a project, we have always considered the maintenance technicians as being our final customer. This is not to say we pander to the whims of maintenance departments. We know in advance, what is important to them and are seldom in conflict with their input.

The software we write is not only intended to make the plant operate properly. We add at least another 50% of effort to write built-in diagnostic software so that the operator is informed what process and mechanical malfunctions have been detected.

On the hardware engineering, we go further than just ensuring ease of access, good labels and numbering systems. We actually produce separate documentation for purely maintenance purposes, as opposed to construction. For example, to get the panel manufacturer to wire consistently, we use a format that is different from the documentation that will ultimately be used for fault tracing by the maintenance technician. To ensure that we make no mistakes in translating from construction to maintenance, we exploit the computer to change the format automatically.

We do appreciate the cost-of-capital and that our areas of work are often under-budgeted.

We do appreciate the need for standards. Where these already exist, we are happy to work within the existing system. It is our firm belief that standards provide good protection against a project going wrong.

Only via standards can we ensure that even the minor decision is not left up to the wrong person. Experience has taught us that you cannot afford to delegate any design decisions. These must be taken at the highest level.

Design Decisions should never be delegated.

However, these standards must be clear and well illustrated if they are to be followed by unskilled or semi-skilled labour.

Pulp and Paper Industry

Any project, be it a small job of producing a P&ID for an existing plant or if it is a new project, we can assist you.

Since we have gained the services of Ivar Von Engelhardt, we have been able to take on total design responsibility and project management for projects in the Pulp and Paper Industries.

We have engineered and managed projects over the past few years for Mondi, Nampak and Hunyani. The total value of the projects is about R60 million.

Whilst this is not impressive compared to the value of most projects in this industry we are proud of the following:

  • Our Engineering fees have been below 11% of the project value. 
  • We have managed to complete the projects within budget. 
  • We have managed to work harmoniously with the mill management of our clients.
  • Our engineering fees in some cases included for the training of operators.

We managed to schedule downtime for tie-ins to coincide with maintenance shutdowns and so minimized disruption to normal production.


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