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Africa Outlook

International
Harlequin
Ghana

HARLEQUIN INTERNATIONAL GHANA

Engineering Solutions

Harlequin International Ghana Limited is the market leader of general mechanical and hydraulic engineering services in Ghana.

Writer Chris Farnell
Project manager Arron Rampling

Since its formation in 1998 Harlequin International Ghana Ltd (HIT) has become the leading general, mechanic and hydraulic engineering company for the mining, oil and gas, agriculture and ports and harbours markets in Ghana. But to understand how the company did it, you'll need to take a closer look.

It provides a range of services and products ranging from fabrication to hydraulics, engineering to brush plating, and sand blasting to the sales and maintenance of Linde's leading material handling equipment, high pressure hydraulic systems and even hand tools. Name's you'll find in its stock include Krost Shelving, Hyva, Linde, Toolquip, Enerpac, Gedore, Rigid and Parker Hydraulics.

Harlequin itself has become the go-to name for a host of industries, and it has achieved this with an unprecedented range of capabilities within the engineering market, a committed, experienced and reliable workforce, and a history of adding value to its hydraulic, electrical and mechanical services and products.

However, for HIT, it is not just about having the right talent and resource. It is also about knowing how to apply them and the company will never take a job on unless it can guarantee it will complete the project to complete customer satisfaction. The company's experience completing quality turn-key projects means that it knows exactly where and when it can provide the best products at the height of value for money.

Today, the business boasts 2,000 square metres of workshop area, state-of- the-art fabrication centres, hydraulic repair centres, engineering and CNC centres, brush plating, metrology, a spray booth and temperature controlled storage areas, as well as a well stock forklift centre and an expertly manned CAD centre with the latest in CAD and solid works software.

But you shouldn't just take Harlequin's word for it. The firm is the first of its kind to receive the ISO 9001/2008 certification in Ghana via Det Norske Veritas (DNV). This accreditation neatly demonstrates to its customers that all of HIT's products, procedures and training meet the highest exacting standards.

And the company isn't resting on its laurels either. In 2003 HIT established a new wing in the form of the LFS Company, based in Takoradi. By 2007 it was exclusively dedicated to providing services to the oil and gas industry and it is a leading brand in the Ghanaian market for both the topside and undersea operators, thanks to a comprehensive project management service that takes projects from the original feasibility studies through to the execution of the project and any subsequent onshore and offshore engineering and manufacturing needs. HIT has since purchased a site covering 220,000 square metres only 15 kilometres from the main centre of Takoradi and has started developing the site for offering all offshore fabrication and riser maintenance. This will accommodate laydown pipe yard areas together with full workshop facilities inclusive of 40 ton overhead lifting capacity, the company says.

To get a better idea of how Harlequin became so successful however, it's worth taking a look at an individual line of the company's product range, in particular, its extensive offer of forklift trucks. HIT is the exclusive agent for Linde Material Handling Equipment in Ghana, a position that it holds with pride because Linde Material Handling are among the world's best manufacturers of forklift trucks and warehouse handling equipment, as well as being well known for their hydrostatic drives that are used internationally in farming, construction and forestry machinery.

A Vision for the Future
As well as standing by the best names in the business, the company also has the latest technology. HIT recently purchased the USM Vision total weld inspection solution and the software will create an integrated database using procedures drawn from international codes and standards, with ray tracing functionality to aid in the validation of UT parameters.

The cutting edge software is used in collaboration with a specially designed hand-held flaw detector that features a unique user interface that uses two track balls to direct the device, making it easy to use for even untrained operators. The device weights only four kilograms and bosts a 10.4 inch screen with 1024 x 768 resolution, as well as a hot battery swap exchange so that low batteries can't bring work to a halt.

The handheld device allows for USB, Ethernet or wireless connections, can operate IPC and analysis software, and features an encoded scanner designed for TOFD and phased array manual acquisition.

The device will simplify ultrasonic inspection, making it a job that is open to and understandable by a far wider range of people while still complying with the most stringent international codes and regulations.

It's a great example of the ways that HIT applies the latest technologies to achieve impressive results.

Proof in the Pudding
However, perhaps the most powerful endorsement of HIT's expertise is the number of their customers who are willing to go to bat for them. Its testimonials are impressive. Derek Duncan, a rig manager, says, "I have personally found Harlequin International to be 100 percent professional in my many dealings with them over the last three years. Barry Williams also has the ability to make you feel that you are his only customer and always has time to answer questions and explain his processes."

Jim Haley, Ex Operations Manager from Atwood Oceanics, adds, "We made initial contactwith Barry Williams, he gave us a tour of his shop facilities; and we were astounded that a shop of this quality existed in this area of the world."

By applying high end brands and the latest technology with exemplary customer service, it's not hard to see why Harlequin International is a winning name.

To learn more visit www.hit-gh.com