With more than 65 years of industry experience, First Cut is a leading South African provider of cutting, welding and grinding consumables and equipment.
Since producing its first band saw blade in 1956, the company has grown its offering substantially over the years, meeting the needs of a vast range of industries through a total cutting solutions approach with the supply of band saw blades, circular saw blades, hacksaw blades, plasma and laser cutting machines and a broad range of cutting consumables.
While as sharp as ever in providing ‘business as usual’ solutions, First Cut has recently extended its services through the pivotal and milestone introduction of a new welding division.
Managing Director of First Cut, Andrew Poole, explains: “For many of our loyal First Cut customers across a wide variety of industries, the welding process follows on naturally from cutting – forming the next integral part of the fabrication and manufacturing value chain. Accordingly, welding is integral to First Cut, and as a subsequent, logical step and progression in the value chain, we now offer welding solutions to complement our cutting and grinding product ranges.
“First Cut’s initial growth trajectory was predicated on our technological knowledge and comprehensive expertise in cutting solutions, and concertedly directing these into the supply of capital equipment and consumables for our customers,” Poole remarks.
“Taking our 65 year history into consideration, we have leveraged our reputation as a respected and trusted brand to spearhead our progression into supplying customers’ welding requirements. We have done so by combining our existing, long-standing customer base and expertise in the cutting sector; as well as the infrastructure we developed after years of working in the cutting sector – including storage facilities, distribution mechanisms, and a customer-focused sales team with a strategic sales approach – to ensure customers receive a wealth of welding supplies, machines and knowledge for all their welding needs,” Poole explains.
Driving the welding division is experienced New Business Development Manager, Wayne Labuschagne, who has more than 25 years of knowledge, expertise and skills in the welding sector.
Labuschagne is confident about the welding division’s success in providing a holistic basket of latest-technology, quality welding products and services.
“Knowing the welding industry extremely well – and with the experienced, professional team First Cut is assembling – we aim to make a real impact within the South African welding market!” Labuschagne enthuses.
“Strengthening First Cut’s welding market offering is its existing position as sole South African distributor for European principal Messer Cutting Systems – the products of which First Cut aims to re-establish and ignite through a renewed awareness in South Africa. This will also be achieved via the formation of strategic alliances with local distributors and in proactively promoting the brand to First Cut direct end-user customers,” he explains.
“Further significantly contributing to the partnership is Messer’s support, leadership in cutting equipment, a history and expertise of 120 years and willingness to conduct future research and development on products specific to the South African market,” he adds.
With much of the Messer capital equipment – such as CNC thermal and plasma cutting machines and consumables – used by steel processors and fabricators throughout the country, First Cut’s vast product portfolio includes machines, such as the portable and compact Messer Hand-Plasma Cutter 70 CT, the full range of oxyfuel equipment for all cutting, brazing and heating applications; as well as hoses, the Tornado oxygen/acetylene regulators, flashback arrestors, welding torches and nozzles.
Already available is the high-quality range of Messer Supershield, Fedfina and Fednox stick electrodes, which First Cut manufactures locally under licence from Messer Germany in Benrose. These electrodes offer the best solution to achieve high-quality welding for mild steel, stainless steels, carbon-manganese steels, problem steels, gouging and hard-facing applications and more.
“With quality and safety regulatory compliance prominent in our customers’ agendas, all Messer products provide for every safety requirement, as they are designed and manufactured in accordance with internationally-recognised standards, such as EN, ISO, DIN, AWS/ASME and BS,” Labuschagne emphasises.
Further aligning with First Cut’s and its customers’ adherence to strict quality and safety regulations, the welding division will include a strong emphasis on welding safety and compliance in its product and service offering, Poole adds.
“By honing First Cut’s skill, knowledge and expertise in cutting equipment and consumables – and marrying it to the sheet metal processing value chain in the fabrication and sectors through integrated, cutting-edge welding solutions and technology, we have ‘sharpened our blade’ with total cutting, welding and grinding solutions, carving a path for customers to improved productivity and efficiencies,” he concludes.