Case study

Building a solid manufacturing partnership

Scaw’s track record in the manufacture of steel wire and strand products used for different applications has over the years secured an array of local and international customers throughout different industries placing Scaw and South Africa on a competitive global map.

It is remarkable to see how a simple wire can be utilised as a vital input material to manufacture a commercial item such as a coil spring for the bedding industry. Leggett & Platt, a US-based multinational company with a presence in South Africa, manufactures bed spring units using various spring manufacturing technologies and wire manufactured at Scaw’s Wire and Strand business.

Leggett & Platt S.A. is located east of Johannesburg and supports the notion of fully localised manufacturing for the manufacture of spring beds that not only end up in the local market but also all over the world. South Africa’s capability of making wire is important as this grows local skills, creates sustainable jobs while stimulating the local economy.

Scaw’s bedding wire is used as the structure for spring-based mattresses and the manufacturing process at Leggett & Platt has evolved over the years and is now highly automated. The company has seen its number of employees and customers grow immensely driven by the invention of technology and new systems.

Scaw is able to manufacture wire meeting the different specifications required by Leggett & Platt. As a local company supplying an international customer, Scaw has had to hone its own standards and manufacturing practices to ensure the company complies to the required specification that meets the quality of supply at the highest standard required globally.

The product demand spans far and wide including Australia, New Zealand, Indian Ocean islands, West and East Africa, Turkey, Continental Europe and India. Meeting stringent quality requirements has ensured the long-term growth, capacity and sustainability for both companies.

Our customer’s success is also a success for Scaw and that is why it is important that we build lasting relationships with our customers. Scaw has built its relationship with Leggett & Platt over a 20-year period, diligently supplying quality bedding wire and continually able to compete with both local and multinational manufacturers. This kind of relationship has ensured growth for both businesses and created a significant number of jobs for the local community. The business has seen the number of jobs grow from a start-up bedding mattress operation to 204 employees given the security of supply from Scaw as a local high-quality manufacturer of bedding wire.

Despite the threat of imports from China, Brazil and some Middle East countries, Leggett & Platt is one of four significant players in South Africa in the bedding industry, hence competitiveness, quality and price remain key drivers.