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In 2019, Bolt and Engineering entered into an agreement with First Cut, distributor in South Africa for Messer Cutting Systems, a global supplier of cutting solutions for the metalworking industry. According to the agreement, B.E.D. and First Cut, South African provider of cutting, welding and grinding consumables and equipment, would jointly distribute Messer’s products and solutions in South Africa.

B.E.D. CEO Mike Giltrow explains: “While we are very pleased to be part of this collaboration, B.E.D. will focus on Messer Cutting Systems solutions for the mining industry, where we are particularly well-established and First Cut will remain the primary distributor to the metal fabrication and other sectors. We both have decades-long experience and faced many similar challenges, so our relationship is built on strong foundations.

Andrew Poole, Managing Director of First Cut, concurs: “B.E.D. was an excellent choice of collaborative partner, with many benefits for Messer customers. These include their strong local presence in the mining sector and nationwide footprint of nine branches, two of which feature dedicated welding and cutting repair centres. In addition, factors such as B.E.D.’s Level 2 B-BBEE credentials, together with their very active sales force and mobile welding technical support teams made the decision to partner with them a very good one.”

Giltrow adds that both companies are very pleased to be working together with the mutual goal of growing and elevating Messer Cutting Systems brand profile and market penetration locally. “This is a re-emergence of the brand in South Africa,” he enthuses. “From B.E.D.’s side, we are excited to be working as a certified Messer distributor along with First Cut to grow this global brand and introduce it to a new generation of Messer customers in South Africa.”

Gas safety training

Quality and safety are of paramount importance to both B.E.D. and First Cut. This is further evidenced by the recent merger of interests, in late 2021, between First Cut and Gas Safety International (GSI).

Explains Poole: “The welding process follows on naturally from cutting, forming the next integral part of the fabrication and manufacturing value chain. The merger of interests with GSI, headed by Managing Director Peter Rohlssen, brings synergies, strengths and new offerings to the table, specifically with regards to gas safety training, consulting and auditing.”

Poole points to the currently strong commodities market, which has boosted mining and that mines are consequently well-placed to reinvest in aspects such as gas and welding safety training, a critical factor in their daily operations.

“Together with GSI, we have developed three gas safety courses – Levels 1, 2 and 3. This includes an introductory gas safety course presented in English and several local African languages along with an oral test on completion, which takes into account those participants who perhaps are not fully literate and cannot complete written examinations,” he explains.

Giltrow remarks that these gas safety training courses will be well-received in the mining sector, and this will enable B.E.D. to add further value to customers in this pivotal national industry.

Peter Rohlssen, MD of GSI, comments: “Having presented gas safety courses in South Africa for the last 30 plus years largely on our own, it is now a fantastic opportunity to extend our reach via the very well established and connected First Cut and B.E.D Group.”

Martin Zeller, Division Manager Sales: Oxyfuel Business Unit at Messer Cutting Systems says: “We really appreciate the way in which this dynamic collaboration has developed and have great respect for the obvious trust that this shows between B.E.D., First Cut and GSI.

“We are also most appreciative of the high regard that is paid to the role of safety amongst the partners which aligns with Messer Cutting System’s own proactive approach to safety. These strategic partnerships have given us the possibility to roll out our knowledge and expertise into the African market and the mining industry.”

For more information, please contact First Cut – Tel: 011 614-1112.

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