South African Entrepreneur Henlo van der Westhuizen spent years developing South Africa’s premium espresso coffee machine. Here’s how he benefited from Fargo Steel's laser cutting services and partnered with 4D Systems to help coffee lovers brew the perfect cup – every time.
Henlo van der Westhuizen’s remarkable coffee machines, manufactured with the help of Fargo Steel laser cut components, are the perfect integration of art, engineering and functionality. With a firm focus on design-led engineering and a passion to drive creativity through entrepreneurship, it’s no surprise he has achieved so much in such a short amount of time. What started as a youthful obsession with Lego soon transformed into a passion for building custom gaming computers. But the final evolution in his engineering appetite came at Stellenbosch.
“Stellenbosch was an absolute hub for coffee, wine, beer and cycling in South Africa,” van der Westhuizen says. “I was quickly drawn to the coffee-shop environment and saw all the different commercial espresso machines – all of which seemed to be running on technology out of the 1980s.”
He came to realize that not all cups of coffee are made the same, so he wanted to figure out what he could do – from an engineering angle – to ensure that every cup added to the coffee-shop experience.
“After I did some research and found out what they were selling for, especially the premium ones, I knew I wanted to do it better for less. So I started some very rudimentary cost analysis and built a business case. By the end of my final year, I was already on my fifth iteration of the business plan as I was chasing down venture capitalists and improving my business model based on feedback from them.”
When van der Westhuizen achieved the financial support to put his premium espresso-machine designs into practice, he wanted them to stand apart from the competition. Central to this was a focus on cost, sustainability and technology.
“Being a technology enthusiast, I wanted our base model to incorporate all the latest innovations, which turned out to be a great decision when we compared the price of our product to functionally similar competitors,” he says. “We are priced exactly on par with the mid-high range ‘workhorse’ espresso machines, but with the added benefit of telemetry. As part of our company culture, we don’t want to rely on the servicing of our machines as a recurring revenue – we believe this will lead to compromises and bad decision-making.
“We wanted to design sustainable machines that have incredible service life, which is better for the environment and gains favour from our customers. This is where the telemetry and data reporting steps in.”
And it’s also where the Henlo team had to find the right technology and engineering partner for their machine.
Henlo products are built with sustainability and longevity in mind. Van der Westhuizen was adamant about creating a product that would deliver a big return on investment long after the machine had been paid off – with right-to-repair and cost-effective access to parts out of warranty.
Fargo Steel Laser Cutting
Fargo worked alongside Henlo Premium Espresso in project management and consulting to ensure top-quality results according to their requirements. We've had the honour of working alongside small and large companies to bring their fabrication and assembly projects to life.
We work with internationally recognised technology, allowing us to offer a fully comprehensive range of sheet metal cutting machines to suit all your production requirements.
Why Choose Fargo Steel?
Fargo Steel operates a 24-hour service with a team capable of assisting from Monday to Saturday with any of your steel fabrication needs.
Fargo Steel prides itself on a 1-2 day laser cutting lead time if the correct grade and thickness of steel are available on the floor, with an additional day required if specific steel needs to be ordered from the factory for your needs.
The rapid turnaround rate makes us the ideal partner for breakdowns that require urgent attention, whether it be on the mines, industry or general companies requiring steel items.
Fargo Steel | Bedfordview Laser Cutting Services
It's crucial to do your research when choosing a metal fabrication, as not all companies are capable of completing the same quality of work. Fargo Steel has years of experience honing our skills across the board to deliver a quality product and measurable bottom-line value to our customers.