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Local engineering firm eyes regional expansion

HILMAX Engineering (Pvt) Ltd has been awarded three ISO certificates in quality management, environmental, safety and health, a move which will help the company’s regional expansion plans.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

The three ISO certifications awarded by DQS are ISO 9001: 2015, ISO 14001: 2015 and BS Ohas 18001: 2007 that will be valid for the next three years.

The 2015 certification makes Hilmax Engineering the first company in Zimbabwe to achieve the feat, according to DQS, an international standards body covering Middle East and Africa.

Hilmax chief executive officer Pascal Musavaya said they would be looking to expand locally and into Zambia as well as Mozambique.

“We have registered Hilmax in Zambia. It has been a slow start but certainly with that certification as it is an international certification, it will help us,” he said.

“In terms of market share, if you look at Zimplats which has the largest projects in the country at the moment, that is going portal six and redevelopment of portal four projects, for us to be given these projects speaks volumes.

“Almost every mine that you see in Zimbabwe, there is not one that we have not laid a hand on different levels.

“We are locally setup in such a way that we are adequately stocked most of the time.

“We have negotiated with suppliers in South Africa to build trust and that has given us an advantage, so when our mining houses run out of stock they know they can reach us.”

DQS will send a surveillance team on an annual basis to review the certification, according to the rules of receiving their certificate.
Speaking to Standardbusiness on the sidelines at the official awarding of the certificates, DQS managing director Vusi Bongwe said receiving certificates involved a rigorous process.

“The first one to get this certification [new 2015 standards] in Zimbabwe is Hilmax,” he said.

“There are still requirements to get these standards, which once implemented, can take a long time.

“Once they [a company] have reach that stage, have checked themselves, they conduct what they call an internal audit after which contact is made with a body, who is accredited, like DQS, who comes in to sign a contract.”

Bongwe said every year DQS conducted a surveillance audit to see if a company was within the set standards.

He said after they were engaged last year by Hilmax, they sent teams which found the company compliant enough to be issued the certificates in February. The physical handover took place on Friday.

Hilmax specialises in hydraulics, conveyor belts and conveying belting system used at mining sites.

The ISO 9001:2015 is issued when a company complies with requirements of quality management systems while ISO 14001: 2015 comes when a company has met a certain level of environmental regulations that is confined within the workspace of the organisation or boundaries in which they work.

Ohas 18001: 2007 certification is issued when certain safety and health regulations are met according to international practices under the facilities design standards.

Bongwe said Zimbabwean companies needed to seek certification in order to stay competitive, adding they “can no longer afford to be isolated”.

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