The story of Vesconite Bearings goes back to 1958. Originally focused on engine reconditioning and hard-chroming, in 1968, founder and chemical engineer Alain Leger began researching the potential for bearing materials in the ultra-deep gold mines of South Africa – a notoriously harsh environment characterised by abrasive dust and moisture.
Vesconite Bearings is a world-leading manufacturer of low-friction, low-wear bearing materials for a wide range of industries, including the pump, agricultural, rail, mining, heavy transport, hydro, wind and wave energy, earthmoving, marine and construction industries.
Image: Dr Jean-Patrick Leger, CEO of Vesconite Bearings
OUR PRODUCTION FACILITIES
Our factory is based in Virginia, South Africa, and spans an area of 15,000 m2. This is one of the largest polymer engineering facilities in the world, producing Vesconite, Vesconite Hilube, Vesconite Superlube, Hitemp 150, Hitemp 160, Hitemp 230, Vescoflex, Hilube 10, Hilube 20, Ultrablack, Vescolene and Polycap bearing and wear materials.
The company has 100 CNC machines, including those with 5-axes that can make highly complex parts. The company is particularly proud of our large-volume production facility, which produces production runs of 10,000 to 100,000 per part a year, and our extra-large-bearing production unit, which can quickly produce two-meter-long bearings with outside diameters of up to 1,6 metres.
Our products are shipped directly from the factory to all corners of the globe. Our average despatch time is in most cases 2 – 5 days from the time of order ⎻ an achievement we’re very proud of.
Since our establishment, our company has grown to some 140 employees. Some 100 of these are based at our manufacturing facility in Virginia, South Africa. The balance of staff members are employed by our Johannesburg sales and administration division and, more recently, in international warehouses in the Netherlands, UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Namibia and Singapore.
Vesconite Bearings also utilises international sales consultants, stocking distributors and resellers around the world. Their strong customer base in their respective countries as well as their presence in the locations that they serve have made these essential to Vesconite Bearings’ business.
The gold mines of the town of Virginia are today largely exhausted, so today the fiscal base for social infrastructure and facilities is limited. As one of the town’s largest employers, it is our social responsibility to assist in the upliftment and empowerment of communities both locally and in other parts of South Africa.
In Virginia, the company has been and remains a significant contributor to education, through the establishment and support of the Meloding Day Care Centre, a creche facility for the town’s children.
We run a substantial training programme at our production plant in Virginia. At the time of Vesconite’s 65th anniversary, the programme provided mentorship for 38 young people, including 27 apprentices, eight learners and three people awaiting learnerships.
In addition to the training programme, the company provides opportunities and support for staff members to complete tertiary education through distance learning.