Instrument techies pass with honours

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Sithandiwe Velaphi

The Goodyear company is determined to improve the engineering skills pool and has received a boost with the successful qualification of new apprentices in Uitenhage recently.

Instrumentation technician at Goodyear, Everton Fischer, is one of just two people to have qualified in this field of engineering in the Eastern Cape in the past few years, after being trained through Goodyear’s apprentice school.

Goodyear plant engineer Titch Booth said the company had closed its original school in 1995 after the government withdrew funding, but had reopened it after noting the resulting nationwide shortage of critical industry skills.

“We needed electronic and instrument mechanicians at Goodyear’s factory in Uitenhage, but there were none to be found and no suitable courses were available.

“We realised in 2008 that we would have to provide our own training. This group of candidates is the first to have successfully passed their trade tests,” Booth said.

“Fischer is an exceptional talent, developed and nourished by Goodyear. We are proud of his achievements and pleased to have him on board in a permanent position from this year. Not only did he pass his trade test certificate after three years instead of the usual four, but he also achieved the highest marks in the country,” Booth added.

Fischer and the other successful candidate, Pheliswa Kohliso, were the only two apprentices registered outside Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. “This underscores the serious shortage in the Eastern Cape. There is simply nobody offering instrument mechanician training, other than Goodyear,” Booth said.

Fischer said: “Growing up, I always loved machines and went to a technical high school. My long term goal is to complete the government certificate of competence and qualify as an engineer. I love the tyre industry. This is where I see a long-term career unfolding.”


Goodyear Waste Yard treats trash like treasure

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Goodyear South Africa Uitenhage companyPosted by Gerald Ferreira

A hefty R2.4 million joint investment between Goodyear and its recycling partner, The Waste Trade Company, has turned the tyre manufacturer’s waste yard into a clean, organised and Earth-friendly facility, reflecting the award winning, environmental can-do attitudes of both these companies.

“The generation of waste comes with the tyre manufacturing process; we can’t escape it but we can find the most practical and environmentally friendly ways to manage that waste,” said Pamela Moodley, Goodyear Risk Control Manager.

“Waste is a health and environmental hazard. We look first at all possible ways to minimise the waste, using fewer and less harmful chemicals in our process, for instance. Next, we find ways to reuse and recycle.

“Goodyear now recycles more than 98% of its waste, and is proud of the fact that it sends absolutely none of it to landfill. It is currently the only manufacturing facility inSouth Africathat can boast a true zero waste to landfill policy. The small amount of remaining non-recyclable waste is sent for thermal destruction.”

Before Goodyear’s waste can be collected for recycling, however, it must be stored safely and securely in an area that is legally compliant with the National Environment Management Waste Act (NEMWA). The designated waste yard on the outskirts of its busy manufacturing plant in Uitenhage was audited and declared legally compliant in 2010 and is today, after months of hard work and some innovative thinking, arguably one of the most attractive areas on the site.

Goodyear’s waste yard has two divisions: hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Most of the area houses recyclable and general waste, such as food, which is given to pig farmers. There are stringent regulations surrounding the storage of hazardous waste. It is kept in a roofed area to prevent rainwater pollution, and on a concrete surface to prevent seepage into the ground. This area is well signposted and kept locked at all times,” Pamela explained.

For Goodyear and The Waste Trade Company, waste can be seen as raw material and trash can be treasure. The Waste Trade Company’s on-site team of Louis Rossouw and Joseph le Roux have established a minor miracle of biodiversity at the edges of the yard, capturing rainwater run-off and making compost from food waste to grow a patch of lawn, flowers and vegetables that they give happily to anyone who asks. There is a family of feral cats who catch any rats and the small aviary adds to the haven of harmony on the edge of this bustling tyre production facility.

source: 3D Car Shows

Goodyear invests R70m locally

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By Roy Cokayne

Despite the troubles in the automotive industry, global tyre company Goodyear Tire and Rubber Holdings has decided to invest R70 million in its Uitenhage plant.

The investment will equip the factory to produce three new and apparently technologically superior tyre products, including one specifically aimed at the minibus taxi market.

Jean-Jacques Wiroth, the managing director of Goodyear, said last week that this investment, in difficult economic times, reinforced Goodyear’s commitment to South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, which was regarded as an important and independent hub in the Goodyear world.

Wiroth said it was investing not only in its Uitenhage plant to produce the new products with new machinery, new moulds and various continuous improvement projects, but also in people and distribution channels, through continuous training and development.

He said the factory made products of world-class quality. It was proud that 90 percent of its production was sold locally, through a wide footprint of well-established distribution channels across sub-Saharan Africa.

Wiroth said new products were the lifeblood that ensured the consistent improvement of any business. New product drove Goodyear’s business and consequently it would increasingly produce new products.

Myles Dent, Goodyear’s marketing and communications manager, said the new products covered three different areas of application, with each representing a specific innovation.

Through the launch of the new products in South Africa, he said, Goodyear was comprehensively extending its range.

Goodyear said its new Duramax G22 could take on the most demanding road and traffic conditions and had been “engineered specifically for South Africa’s bright, brash and breezy minibus taxis, which are particularly hard on their tyres”.

Its new DuraGrip had been developed to cope with all the stop-start pressures of constant city driving in all weather conditions. The third new product, the Wrangler AT/SA, provided exceptional on- and off-road performance in wet and muddy conditions, while high-tensile steel belts improved the tyre’s strength and resistance to punctures.

Published on the web by Business Report on April 27, 2009.