DCD Dorbyl (Pty) Limited, a global leader in the manufacture and supply of heavy engineered products and services, has officially launched a new look group under the condensed banner ‘DCD’.

The name change marks a complete group restructure, aimed at expanding current supply to emerging markets and niche offerings in developed economies, such as China and the US. DCD exports 75% of its products and generates annual revenue in excess of R3 billion.

DCD group was originally formed in 2001, when existing management bought out the Heavy Engineering division of JSE-listed Dorbyl Limited. Since then, it has evolved as a strong, independent operator with a distinguished track record and competitive R&D capability. The current shareholders include Investec Bank Limited (44.4%), Siyahamba Engineering (35.1%) and management (20.5%). Managing director Rob King emphasised that there is no connection of any sort with the current JSE-listed Dorbyl Limited.

Going forward, DCD will operate within four clusters – rail, mining and energy, defence, as well as marine. King said the recent restructuring has clarified the vision and strategy and will better exploit synergies between group companies to promote cross-selling, in addition to expansion.

"DCD’s companies are recognised as leaders in their fields internationally and at home," he said. "The restructure will enable us to draw on the combined strength of the group as a whole and entrench our presence across all of our product and regional markets."

The rail cluster – comprising of DCD Ringrollers, DCD Rolling Stock and DCD Metpro – has long supplied the national railways, mining houses and industry, as well as a significant export market. DCD Ringrollers celebrates its 40th year manufacturing specialist forged steel products. An annual production capacity in the new plant of 30,000t puts it in a strong position to meet rising local and international demand.

The DCD Defence cluster consists of the manufacturer of Vehicle Mounted Mine Detectors – armoured mine detection trucks – and the only South African company established as a ‘programme of record’ with the US Military. King explains that this positions DCD Defence to supply vehicles that equip the US Military’s route clearing capacity. The company is a reputable supplier of mobile landmine detection vehicles and armoured personnel carriers to peacekeeping missions worldwide. "Over 400 Husky’s have been deployed, taking over 7,000 hits with only 23 knocked out of commission as a result," said King.

A number of the companies in the mining and energy cluster – including DCD Heavy Engineering, DCD Venco, IWEC and Mine Support Products (MSP) – are veterans of the power generation industry. "They have participated in the construction of all 23 existing power stations in South Africa and are presently supplying the new coal-fired stations Medupi and Kusile" added King. Additionally, having participated in all of the country’s former nuclear programmes, the group is well positioned for involvement in all future nuclear power plants. King adds that a cornerstone of the company’s success has been constant innovation, which today sees DCD investing in I-WEC – the first manufacturer in South Africa of wind turbines and blades.

"DCD’s wind power initiative will entail the collaboration of companies in the group, with I-WEC manufacturing the turbine blades and completer turbines and also managing the wind farms, DCD Ringrollers manufacturing the flanges for building the tower sections atop one another and DCD Heavy Engineering manufacturing the towers themselves," said King. "The collective effort will ensure we not only pioneer this market in South Africa, but retain our competitive advantage in the long-term."

DCD Marine offers turnkey ship repair solutions to the marine and oil and gas sectors across Africa. It boasts Africa’s largest shipyard, situated in Cape Town, and also offers mobile facilities for offshore services.

King points out that DCD is not only a driver of the South African economy, but also a committed participant in the local labour market. He is adamant that profitability goals are linked with job creation and skills development. To this end, DCD has invested R35 million to date in a public benefit organisation (PBO) to boost the skills pool for the group and the industry at large. "During 2011 more than 500 students benefited from funding provided by the PBO," he said.

King is optimistic about future growth and the group’s ability to maintain above average profitability. "The restructure has enabled DCD to expand into product support and aligned services to seize a greater chunk of the heavy engineering value chain." He concludes that the group is now positioned to compete well with its listed peers.