August 10, 2022


Business Activity

Engineer fabricates machines that power SMEs in Makueni


Engineer fabricates devices that electricity SMEs in Makueni

Alex Ngechu, a mechanical engineer at Opentembo. Photograph | NMG


  • The start off-up, which is pegged on the interplay amongst computer software and mechanical engineering, is owned by Maitha Manyala, a producing engineer who is passionate about coding.
  • The 39-yr-previous works by using plasma, one particular of the most current metal cutting technologies in the sector, to make designs on plates.
  • Function commences with translating a client’s structure into drawings making use of specialised program.
  • After approval by the shopper, the designs are then transferred to the computerised plasma reducing device that perforates the metal plates as built.

Spectacular steel is effective bedecked with exquisite floral patterns exhibited outside the house Opentembo, a vibrant mechanical workshop at Makindu Township in Makueni County, draw passers-by to the business the way coloured bouquets appeal to butterflies.

The deafening muddle of steel and sparks of welding flames at the workshop which also serves as the office environment belies the fragile engineering will work which distinguishes the organization from the relaxation.

The begin-up, which is pegged on the interaction between application and mechanical engineering, is owned by Maitha Manyala, a producing engineer who is passionate about coding.

The 39-year-previous takes advantage of plasma, one particular of the most recent metal reducing technologies in the current market, to make styles on plates. Operate begins with translating a client’s style into drawings employing specialised application.

Just after acceptance by the client, the styles are then transferred to the computerised plasma slicing device that perforates the metal plates as created.

“However, our main business is developing and fabricating assorted bespoke equipment for powering compact and medium enterprises. We concentrate on the jua kali sector with the equipment we manufacture. When we design and style the machines we make most of the parts ourselves,” Mr Manyala said.

“While at it we undertake mild obligations these kinds of as generating attractive metal clads employing computerised equipment to keep on being buoyant. The adorned metal plates are a hotcake with householders who use them to clad steel doors, gates, property and workplace home furniture, balconies, and stairways,” he included.

Mr Manyala commenced the machining company in 2015, exactly seven many years following graduating from Egerton University. In among, he built personal computer apps for financial institutions, sellers in motor automobiles and other superior-close consumers.

Then, when his software program advancement job was approaching the zenith, a restless Mr Manyala stop formal work, citing a burning desire to be his own manager.

In addition to the independence which will come with self-work, Mr Manyala was identified to revert to his passion: the mechanical engineering part of his college study course.

Risky Transfer

“Quitting formal employment was a risky transfer as it meant relocating to the countryside the place hire was somewhat economical. The relocation entailed scaling down on my life style, a shift that established me on a collision path with close friends and family. Nonetheless, at the finish of the working day, the gamble was truly worth it,” he claimed, savouring the milestone his get started-up has attained in the earlier six a long time.

“The personal savings we experienced created went into acquiring standard welding tools and spending lease. With the earnings which came from the light-weight obligations we undertook, we went for a drill push and a lathe equipment which has been instrumental in fabricating some sections of equipment this sort of as thumb screws. Around the years, we have expanded the cache of devices to include a steel inert gasoline welding machine, which helps undertake cleanse welds, and the computerised steel cutting equipment, our dearest investment which enables us to make quite delicate components of machines,” he additional.

While Mr Manyala continue to layouts personal computer purposes for different organisations, his coronary heart is often in the mechanical workshop.

On a regular working day, his function at the workshop involves on the lookout for new clientele and working closely with them to style and design new tasks, overseeing function, and internet marketing the solutions by way of social media. The shopper continues to be the king all through the system as he has to review and approve jobs, he provides.

Electrical power-Economical STOVE

Mr Manyala has employed a few artisans and a mechanical engineer who mainly translates a client’s necessities into drawings and functioning the metal slicing device, and supervising the welders.

“So significantly, our portfolio features a bespoke device for packaging and sealing yoghurt, chaff cutter, banana slicer, a machine for bottling water and an strength-effective stove dubbed Opentembo. We are finishing an array of products which we think will go a prolonged way in enabling the jua kali artisans bend their metals with utmost ease and precision. The gear are a sheet metallic brake, sheet steel roller, sheet steel hand shear and hydraulic push,” he additional.

Mr Manyala’s major resource of inspiration is seeing a device accomplish a task proficiently.