The story behind every startup is generally unique and Shaughn Kornau and his machine shop are no different.
It was inevitable that Shaughn Kornau would make engineering and in particular, machining precision components, his career.
“At the age of 10 my dad gave me a Myford 7 lathe as a present. It was the beginning of a lifetime of challenges in mechanical engineering and the fun that comes with it,” said Kornau, the owner of Ingenico Engineering Solutions, a precision CNC shop based in Eastleigh, Edenvale, Gauteng.
“From the moment I started to tinker with the machine I was fascinated with being able to make things out of metal. The exhilaration at finding satisfying solutions to difficult problems is unique and ever so rewarding to see them in production. All it demands is the confidence to accept a challenge, have faith in your ability to meet that challenge and be dedicated to whatever you do.”
“After leaving school I studied mechanical engineering at Wits University for two years. My studies were cut short because I could not get a bursary so I went and did my two years of national service. Once I had finished I established my first company Drill Bush Engineering Supplies. That was in 1989.”
“Our focus was on manufacturing precision tooling and drill bushes as well as general manufacturing and design.”
The company continued to operate successfully until 2002 when Kornau decided to seek a new life in Australia, selling up everything and relocating his family. Life in Australia was not what the family thought it would be and they decided to come back to South Africa in 2004.
“We manufacture wheel kits for sliding gates with the sizes comprising 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120 mm. The range is done in either V-type or U-radius type profiles and the bearings are made of steel.”
“The anti scuff brackets, also made by us, are patented and are designed to omit the chances of inevitable squeaks arising from the rubbing of the wheel against the bracket. Another feature is that they stop unnecessary load and wear on the gate motor and its rack and pinion.”
“We have been manufacturing the wheel kits since 2005.”
New company name
With progression and increased technology, drill bushes became obsolete. In order to move forward, Kornau changed the company name to Ingenico Engineering Solutions in 2009.
The shop took shape when new CNCs were purchased and other equipment such as a bandsaw, a 100 ton and a 70 ton press were acquired. Kornau then secured a long-term order for T-Lockout valves, which he still manufactures today.
“We progressed to become a full CNC workshop and manufactured a variety of our own products as well as any parts and components on request, offering a service from design to final product. I love to be involved from the beginning and offer advice on the design side and then produce a prototype.”
So it was not long before Kornau started working on a new project.
Development of fly fishing reel
“We started this development just over three years ago. My son and I are quite keen fishermen, particularly fly fishing. On the end of the fly rod is a mechanical device called a reel… and there are many different manufacturers making a host of sizes.”
“But what we saw comes out of a manufacturing base in China. You can pick from a choice of 15 styles of reel, give an order for two to three hundred, put your name on it, ship it here in a container and land it here for half of what it costs to produce locally.”
“But what people don’t realise is that if it breaks you might as well throw it away. You can call the supplier but because they don’t make it they can’t fix it. Also it is made of inferior parts and components so you are going to have problems. You can go the expensive route and get good quality but with our exchange rate this is costly for most of us.”
“Development has taken awhile with many hours put in on the manufacturing and then testing. We have now got to the stage where we are confident that the reel will be very well accepted in the market place. I know it is a very competitive market but with the quality of the components that we have used I know it will be a reel that can be relied upon.”
“We have tied up with a local fly fishing retailer and the reels are about to be launched under their own brand name. We have initially developed a salt water range and once this range is established we look at developing a fresh water range.”
“The body of the reel is machined from aluminium solid. The reel comprises 19 different components, which we also manufacture. They come in three different sizes – 8#, 10# and 12# weight – and are anodised locally. The only imported components used are some screws and bearings.”
“The 12# will be known as the Caranx (Caranx is a genus of tropical fish in the jack/GT/trevally family Carangidae), the 10# as the Chanos (Chanos is a genus of fish belonging to the Chanidae (milkfish) family) and the 8# as the Abula (Albula is a genus of fish belonging to the bonefish family Albulidae).”
“We have also designed the drag to make a sound on drag, which is not normal in a fly fishing reel but we figured that as we are only making the salt water range at the moment, the sound on drag is a necessity, especially when big fish are caught. From the sound on drag you can guage the speed and size of the fish on the end of the line.”
“Some of the features that we believe will make it stand out is the light weight of the reel and it is manufactured with components that are made of high quality materials. Fishing reels are used in tough environments generally and you don’t want one to ‘explode’ on you when you are about to land your record breaking fish.”
“It is early days yet and we are not sure how many we will manufacture in a month. Time will tell.”
Currently the company has eight CNC machines comprising a mix of lathes and machining centres. Two of the machining centres have 4th-axis capabilities and up until a couple of years ago Kornau was loyal to one supplier. However this has changed and the latest machine to arrive on the floor is a Hurco VM 10i vertical machining centre.
“We have only just installed this machine and it fits the profile of our shopfloor perfectly. We are not machining large components so we don’t need a monster machine. It has a working envelope of 650 x 350 x 450 mm (XYZ) and comes equipped with Hurco’s Version 9 WinMax software control system.”
“A number of the components that make up the reels will be machined on the Hurco in future.”
Ingenico Engineering Solutions machines most materials including aluminium, stainless (all grades), mild steel and special steel and high tensile steels. Kornau does most of the programming of the machines and where necessary provides drawings. The company also manufactures its own jigs.
For further details contact Ingenico Engineering Solutions on TEL: 011 524 0091 or visit www.ingenicoengineeringsolutions.com