Set­ting the Bench­mark

Africa Outlook - - Contents - Writer: Phoebe Calver Project Man­ager: Josh Hyland

The pre­ferred en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices provider

Har­lequin In­ter­na­tional (Ghana) Limited is a widely-re­spected mar­ket leader in fab­ri­ca­tion, me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing and hy­draulic ser­vices in Ghana, demon­strat­ing an un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to de­liv­er­ing the best pos­si­ble level of work­man­ship and qual­ity ser­vice.

The Com­pany owner, Barry Wil­liams, has made Ghana his home for the past 20 years and has driven the suc­cess of the limited li­a­bil­ity or­gan­i­sa­tion from the core.

“We have a strin­gent rein­vest­ment pol­icy to in­crease the com­pe­tence within our team, as well as our in­fra­struc­ture and tools used to ex­e­cute the job,” ex­plains Scott Thom­son, Oper­a­tions Di­rec­tor at Har­lequin In­ter­na­tional. “This en­sures that our work is al­ways right the first time, util­is­ing the cor­rect tools and in­stru­ments, as well as lis­ten­ing to and tak­ing notes of cus­tomer is­sues and im­prove­ment sug­ges­tions.”

Un­til the cre­ation of Har­lequin In­ter­na­tional (Ghana) Limited in

1998, hy­draulic com­po­nent re­pairs and ser­vic­ing were pre­dom­i­nantly an im­ported ser­vice.

Thomp­son con­tin­ues: “As­pects such as or­der lead-times, ship­ping de­lays, ex­pen­sive air­freights and other struc­tural fac­tors at­ten­dant to the im­por­ta­tion of ser­vices has ex­ac­er­bated down­time costs greatly.

“Sub­se­quently, lo­cal com­pa­nies were com­pelled to lock-up their scarce cap­i­tal in high-in­sur­ance stock and sub-as­sem­bly units against an­tic­i­pated emer­gen­cies to re­duce down­time cost.”

Har­lequin was of­fi­cially com­mis­sioned for busi­ness in Septem­ber, 1998 and has since gone from strength to strength as a truly successful en­gi­neer­ing and hy­draulic fa­cil­ity in Ghana.

“In May, 2005 we re­lo­cated to our own spe­cialised premises, which demon­strated our com­pe­tence in first­world oper­a­tions of this na­ture in Ghana and Africa,” adds the Oper­a­tions Di­rec­tor. “This new fa­cil­ity com­prised a 2,000 square me­tre fac­tory and 400 square me­tre of­fice block, lo­cated in Tema, Light In­dus­trial & Com­mer­cial Area.”

Project com­ple­tion

When it comes to project im­ple­men­ta­tion and com­ple­tion, more often than not each de­vel­op­ment will take more than a year and within the oil & gas sec­tor it can take a num­ber of years.

“Each project will be­gin with an

RFI (re­quest for in­for­ma­tion) and a cus­tomer will carry out an eval­u­a­tion on the Com­pany, work­ing from a QHSE per­spec­tive and then a tech­ni­cal per­spec­tive,” Thom­son af­firms. “The as­sess­ment may also in­clude an au­dit of the man­age­ment sys­tems to es­tab­lish whether they are com­pli­ant.

“The fol­low­ing RFQ (re­quest for quo­ta­tion) en­ables us to com­plete and sub­mit a ten­der or bid pack­age, nor­mally within limited sub­mis­sion dead­lines and will in­clude a tech­ni­cal and com­mer­cial bid of­fer.”

Af­ter these pro­cesses have been com­pleted a bid re­view will take place, in­clud­ing an as­sess­ment or eval­u­a­tion visit by the cus­tomer, as well as a de­tailed study of the short­listed sup­pli­ers for the project.

“At that point the ap­proved sup­plier will sub­mit the re­quired doc­u­men­ta­tion and the next phase of work is able to be­gin,” con­tin­ues Thom­son. “Our main fo­cus area for these pro­jects is Ghana, how­ever, we do carry out work in the West African re­gion when the project proves to be a worth­while mis­sion. In terms of re­pair or man­u­fac­ture of com­po­nents, there is no limit placed on how far-reach­ing our foot­print will go.”

Work­shop oper­a­tions

The Com­pany does not shy away from un­der­tak­ing large-scale pro­jects, per­fectly demon­strated by its re­cent de­vel­op­ment of the Tako­radi oper­a­tions which was first es­tab­lished in 2003.

“Early this year our Tema Work­shop was in­cor­po­rated within the afore­men­tioned Tako­radi oper­a­tions,” adds Thom­son. “The work­shop per­son­nel were also trans­ferred, leav­ing the Linde ma­te­rial han­dling equip­ment work, process con­trol and other cor­po­rate sup­port func­tions at the head of­fice still lo­cated in Tema.

“Our newly im­proved Tako­radi site is com­plete with three main work­shop build­ings, the first of which is the main fab­ri­ca­tion work­shop and con­sists of three ex­ten­sive work­ing bays.

“Each of the three bays has the ca­pac­ity of 15,000kg, 30,000kg and 60,000kg of over­head cran­age with a floor-to-hook height of 10,500mm lift, cov­er­ing a to­tal floor space of 4,650 square me­tres.”

The sec­ond work­shop in the fa­cil­ity plays host to the CNC ma­chine shop with a range of CNC lathes, CNC milling ma­chines and a va­ri­ety of equip­ment such as over­head cran­age of 15,000kg with a floor-to-hook height of 5,500mm

lift cov­er­ing 800 square me­tres. Lastly the third work­shop houses the hy­draulic re­pair fa­cil­i­ties with ma­chine tools, a test bench, hon­ing ma­chine and a va­ri­ety of equip­ment to­gether with over­head cran­age of 15,000kg, with a floor-to­hook height of 5,500mm lift cov­er­ing 800 square me­tres.

Con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment

“As a com­pany our ap­proach is to get the job done right the first time, re­sult­ing in a key in­vest­ment in peo­ple to in­crease the com­pe­tence with which we can de­liver our ser­vices,” Thom­son de­scribes. “We place em­pha­sis on en­sur­ing that our staff are the most knowl­edge­able in the mar­ket, which sub­se­quently ce­ments us as a top-class Com­pany.

“A good ex­am­ple of this is when we pur­chase equip­ment, af­ter which we will ei­ther send our staff abroad or bring a man­u­fac­turer in­house to en­sure the cor­rect training can be done prop­erly and with ef­fi­ciency,” ex­plains Thom­son. “Our em­ploy­ment strat­egy is car­ried out by us­ing a mix­ture of ‘new-blood’ and ex­pe­ri­ence, while also pro­mot­ing from within and pro­vid­ing in­ter­nal-training.

“Of course, it is com­mon that this de­ci­sion will tend to de­pend on the com­pe­tence, re­quire­ments of the role and avail­abil­ity of per­son­nel at the time.”

The Com­pany’s em­ploy­ees are trained to pro­vide a one-stop­shop ap­proach to its ser­vices, with

fab­ri­ca­tion, ma­chin­ing and hy­draulics all housed on one site.

“We are suc­cess­fully work­ing in a first-world style fa­cil­ity, that is both un­der cover and with ad­e­quate lift­ing ca­pac­ity,” con­tin­ues the Oper­a­tions Di­rec­tor. “This has at­tracted a great col­lec­tion of key sup­pli­ers and part­ners that have been iden­ti­fied and as­sessed, who we work to­gether with and collaborate in or­der to achieve con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment for both par­ties.”

With thanks to its new and ex­ten­sive fa­cil­i­ties, the Com­pany’s growth tra­jec­tory over the com­ing years looks set to be ex­po­nen­tial.

“We have plans for ad­di­tional work­shop space with a lift ca­pac­ity of 150 tonnes and 16 me­tres of floor-to­hook height,” con­cludes Thom­son. “We hope to be able to con­tin­u­ously im­prove with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of ad­di­tional man­age­ment sys­tem cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to work above the cur­rent ISO 9001:2015 cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for qual­ity.

“This ex­cit­ing process has al­ready started and by the end of the fourth quar­ter of 2018, we will have cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in place for ISO/TS 29001:2010 for qual­ity man­age­ment sys­tems in oil & gas oper­a­tions, ISO 45001:2018 for oc­cu­pa­tional health & safety man­age­ment sys­tems and ISO 14001:2015 for en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment sys­tems.”

Har­lequin’s newly im­proved fa­cil­ity

“We are suc­cess­fully work­ing in a first-world style fa­cil­ity, that is both un­der cover and with ad­e­quate lift­ing ca­pac­ity.”

“We have plans for ad­di­tional work­shop space with a lift ca­pac­ity of 150 tonnes and 16 me­tres of floorto-hook height.”

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