Tag Archives: ANDREW MENTIS (PTY) LTD

SAFETY FIRST WITH DURABLE MENTIS FLOOR GRATING

Liability claims from slips, trips and falls in the workplace can be financially debilitating and have an extremely negative impact on the reputation of a business. Considered the most frequent cause of injuries in the workplace, these incidents can result in serious downtime and even closure of facilities.

Floors, stairs and handrails are often cited as the cause of such accidents. In some incidents, injury is caused by factors beyond the reasonable control of the business owner. However, there is great wisdom in the adage ‘prevention is better than cure’.

Lance Quinlan, national technical sales consultant at Andrew Mentis, says that companies should consult floor grating specialists to ensure that their floor grating adheres to the required building regulations and occupational health and safety (OHS) standards.

He explains that unfortunately for the consumer, not all floor grating products on the market are of a suitably high standard. “An inferior quality product may well look identical to a reputed brand when viewed through the eyes of an unsuspecting customer. However, the real litmus test comes after the installation is completed and employees start walking on the floor grating.”

Quinlan cautions that customers should carefully research the claims made by the floor grating manufacturer. “Mentis floor grating is engineered to take specific loading which then ensures the optimum safety of the people walking on or working in those areas. We initially meet with customers to determine their exact needs, then our processing department compiles the layouts for the required products according to the structural steel drawings supplied by the customer. A complete understanding of the load bearing capacity of grating is required to ensure that the correct floor grating product is selected for an application.”

All Mentis floor grating is manufactured in a world class facility at Elandsfontein, Johannesburg using a pressure locking system pioneered by the company. “Quality control is stringent during the manufacturing process to ensure that close tolerances are maintained and that the round transversal bar fits tightly through the pierced bearer bar on our floor grating products,” he says.

Mentis has two predominant floor grating products – Rectagrid RS40 40/40 and Rectagrid RS80 80/40. RS40 40/40 is a premium brand and is formed through a process of compressive pressure locking of bearer bars and transversals to form an exact pitch of 40 mm by 40 mm. Rectagrid RS80 80/40 is identical to RS40 40/40 grating except that we omit every second bearer bar, giving an 80 mm pitch bearer bar with a 40 mm pitch transversal. This effectively reduces the RS80 80/40’s permissible load bearing capacity by 50%.

Quinlan emphasises that the most critical element is the load bearing capacity of the floor grating. “The best way to ensure the structural integrity of floor grating is to align yourself with a manufacturer who has designed and engineered the product to attain predetermined tolerances. Mentis is pedantic about the strict criteria set for its floor grating.”

Non-negotiable factors include the fact that the transversals must be positively and permanently locked to the bearer bars. “In addition, there must be no cracks or crevices at intersections which could harbour corrosion. The locking method at the intersections should be designed to use the full depth of the bearer bar when calculating loads. Finally, the grating panels should be flat, square and untwisted. Safety in the workplace simply cannot be compromised,” he concludes.

ICON OF SA ENGINEERING PASSES AWAY AT 97

South Africa’s ‘grating man’ Andrew Mentis, founder of steel floor grating specialist Andrew Mentis (Pty) Ltd, passed away on 17 June 2018 in Johannesburg at the age of 97, four days before he would have turned 98.

The son of a Greek immigrant, Mentis grew up in Johannesburg in a house behind his father’s general dealer shop in Kerk Street. He became an apprentice fitter and turner in 1938, having completed his Advanced Technical Certificate at Witwatersrand Technical College, taking his first job at SCAW Metals.

He started his first business after the war at age 25, partnering with his brother-in-law to produce equipment that varied from vegetable-oil expellers, sweet manufacturing machinery and bakery equipment, to gas producers, lawnmower components and brass window and door fittings.

His big break came in 1952 when the US’s Kellogg Corporation needed to source a suitable floor grating for the mammoth Sasol contract they were managing in the Vaal triangle. The product was not available locally, and the grating imported from Europe was too light for this application. With his experience of designing and adapting machinery for special purposes, Mentis developed the necessary equipment to manufacture the grating, and supplied nearly 2,000 tonnes of it to the Sasol project.

In the late 1950s, he designed and patented ‘Rectagrid’, a completely new type of grating – along with a complete manufacturing plant to allow mass production on a cost-effective basis. So successful was this facility that a similar plant was later produced and exported to the United Kingdom. This was one of several Andrew Mentis (Pty) Ltd’s exports that earned the company the prestigious State President’s Award for Export Achievement. Mentis Rectagrid remains South Africa’s leading grating product today – and is even copied by other manufacturers.

He created a family business; his late wife Mary, in the early days, even worked the lathes in the garage and his three sons – Clive, Brian and Roy – all took a role in the business during their careers. The third generation is now engaged. Andrew himself would still clock in at the office every morning into his 90s, even after some of his children had already retired.

His contribution to the engineering industry was recognised by his position as a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering Technology, the Institute of Production Engineers and the SA Institute of Industrial Engineers. He was a Life Member of the SA Society for Professional Engineers, as well as a member of the SA Institute of Mechanical Engineers and the Engineers Association of SA.

DURABLE GRATING FOR INDUSTRIAL FLOORING SOLUTIONS

Enhanced corrosion resistance is a given with Andrew Mentis’ Rectagrid RS40 (40/40) floor grating making it the ideal solution for any industrial application.

Rectagrid RS40 (40/40) floor grating is manufactured in a world class facility at Elandsfontein, Johannesburg using a pressure locking system pioneered by Andrew Mentis. Quality control during the manufacturing process ensures that close tolerances are maintained, and that the round transversal bar fits tightly through the pierced bearer bar.

“Our manufacturing process which produces unquestionable locking characteristics guarantees the structural integrity of the product, and gives customer absolute peace of mind,” Lance Quinlan, national technical sales consultant at Andrew Mentis, says. Rectagrid RS40 (40/40) is formed through a process of compressive pressure locking of bearer bars and transversals to form an exact pitch of 40 mm by 40 mm.

Quinlan says that to be considered ‘good’, floor grating elements need to meet certain non-negotiable criteria. “The transversals must be positively and permanently locked to the bearer bars.

“There should be no cracks or crevices at intersections which could harbour corrosion and the locking method at the intersections should be designed to use the full depth of the bearer bar when calculating loads,” he adds. “Finally, the grating panels should be flat, square and untwisted.”

Quinlan says that because the intersection locking is so positive and strong, it is not necessary to band this grating. “For that reason, we went a stage further and arranged for the panels to leave the rolling mill finished on half pitch all round. This means we can now lay panels adjacent to each other to maintain a perfectly patterned floor with no banding. This is known as the ‘open ended system’. However, if customers require banded grating, we have the facilities to accommodate this.

“Rectagrid RS80 (80/40) is identical to RS40 (40/40) grating except that we simply omit every second bearer bar, giving an 80 mm pitch bearer bar. However, it still has a 40 mm pitch transversal. Because RS80 (80/40) has only half the number of bearer bars, the permissible load it can carry is only 50% that of RS40 (40/04),” he explains.

Manufactured locally from raw materials supplied by Mittal, Rectagrid is a highly engineered product that has been successfully tested in the field.

MATERIAL SPECIFIERS ARE DROPPING THE SAFETY AND PERFORMANCE BALL

Specifiers of floor grating often stress the purchase price of the material at the expense of structural integrity and loading capacity. “Cost and price are two separate factors which need to be acknowledged, and this is especially so with floor grating as the quality of the material underpins both its safety and ultimate performance,” Lance, Quinlan, national technical sales consultant at Andrew Mentis cautions.

Andrew Mentis is the largest single producer of floor grating in southern Africa and has been manufacturing Rectagrid RS40 (40/40) floor grating for 68 years. It operates from a world-class facility at Elandsfontein, Johannesburg, and its Rectagrid products are the benchmark in floor grating in South Africa.

“However, with increasing pressure to cut costs, specifiers often take the short-sighted approach of opting for bottom line, sub-standard products. These may be cheaper in the short term, but do not offer the same benefits in terms of quality and durability. Health and safety is also compromised using inferior products,” Quinlan says.

Rectagrid RS40 (40/40) floor grating is manufactured using a pressure locking system pioneered by Andrew Mentis. Quality control during the manufacturing process ensures that close tolerances are maintained, and that the round transversal bar fits tightly through the pierced bearer bar. This not only guarantees the superior structural integrity of the product, but also eliminates its vulnerability to corrosion – which, in turn, ensures the superior locking characteristics. Rectagrid RS40 (40/40) is formed through a process of compressive locking of bearer bars and transversals to form an exact pitch with openings of 35.5 mm by 32.4 mm.

“In an effort to cut costs even further, specifiers are even reducing the number of bearer bars and round bar transversals on each section of grating. This reduces the loading capacity of the grating, as well as weakening it and, in some cases, even rendering it unsafe,” Quinlan explains.

“An added problem of such short-sighted cost-cutting measures is that the safety implication is only apparent after installation, when it is clear that the compromised floor grating is unable to perform according to the original specifications.”

Rectagrid RS40 (40/40) is a highly engineered product that has been tested extensively in the field. Andrew Mentis’s entire product range is manufactured locally from raw materials supplied by Mittal. Quinlan says the company’s main challenge is to continue to produce world-class products without sacrificing on either materials or quality.

“It is also critical to educate the end-user market, as well as ensuring that specifiers make informed purchase decisions that take into account the full ramifications of cost versus price,” he concludes.