Company Profile

Designs Unique cc is a leading Electronics company that specialises in Electronic Design and Manufacturing, and Data Acquisition. Leveraging the latest technologies and often partnering with other local companies to support local businesses, it has been able to excel in the design and implementation of innovative systems and instrumentation across a broad range of industries.

Designs Unique was founded in 1992 by Bobby Holdcroft. After gaining experience in various industries, he identified the potential in the emergence of the PC based System Control and Data Acquisition, and together with his skills as an Electronic Engineer, he secured the sole import rights for an American company known as Intelligent Instrumentation, a subsidiary of the company Burr-Brown, (now Texas Instruments). The company built a diverse profile over the years and the team gained experience across a wide variety of applications, systems, and industries.

As the next generation takes over the company, Jeremy Holdcroft, also an Electronic Engineer, and his team continue to leverage the latest technologies and grow the company, contributing to the local economy and business development.

As Designs Unique specialises in custom development, it has accomplished several World Firsts:
  • The first solid-state vacuum gauge for air-conditioning and refrigeration maintenance
  • The first automated freon-recovery machine for safe recovery of refrigerants from motor vehicles
  • The first PC-based control and monitoring system for underground Tunnel Boring machines (used in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project tunnel between the Katse and Mohale dams).
  • The company also holds several patents and is a co-inventor on several others.

Designs Unique has also developed specialised equipment for the mining sector. For example, Designs Unique has:

  • Co-invented, together with AECI, the Blast-Eye for Hot-hole temperature monitoring. The Blast Eye was designed by, and the electronics are supplied by Designs Unique.
  • Developed an automated SCSR (Self-contained Self Rescuer) leak testing unit that is in wide use in South Africa and abroad.
  • Invented a device to internally monitor the integrity of SCSRs and holds a patent for this technology.
  • Co-developed a remote, low power environmental monitoring solution to monitor particulate matter (PM), CO2, TVOC, temperature, RH, and general weather.

Nature of Business

  • Custom electronic design and manufacture
  • Data acquisition
  • Automation
  • Process control
  • Instrumentation design and supply

Other project highlights include:

  • Designed the award winning DTH Sense Aire Temperature and Relative Humidity transmitter
  • Hydro-Electric turbine and ‘guide-vane’ governor calibration – Eskom Drakensburg
  • Furnace-mould temperature-profiling – Eskom Hendrina
  • Lead-Acid battery factory’s initial-charge, electrolyte measurement and quality control – FNB
  • Mattress-spring bending and tensioning controller and monitor – Seally Posturepedic
  • Heat treatment chamber explosion-protection – EMSA
  • Monitoring of vacuum levels for resin-moulding – R.M. Automation
  • Crusher conveyor belt speed and load control – LTA
  • Chemical silo mass monitoring and logging – Chemserve
  • Monitoring and quality control of battery manufacture electrode spot-welding process – FNB
  • Control system for testing, monitoring, and certification of domestic and industrial water meters – Johannesburg Water
  • Mineshaft cage-hoist speed-governor calibration – Kloof Gold Mine
  • 1000-ton hydraulic press control for testing of mine prop materials – Mondi Research
  • Railway track subsidence and positioning for track repair/correction – Lennings Rail
  • Measurement of methane gas explosion tests for underground mining – CSIR Kloppersbos
  • Temperature profile measurement for power station furnaces and boilers – Eskom
  • Detonator cord and explosive timing and recording – AEL Detonator Technologies
  • Explosive emulsion pumping tests for viscosity and pressure – African Explosives
  • Steel cable tensile tester – Haggie Steel Cord
  • Concrete/cement factory lab environment monitoring – Lafarge, C&CI, and Alpha Stone
  • Municipal, industrial, and domestic water-meter calibration control and logging – Aqualoc
  • Brake Calliper assembly line – total automation of disc-brake systems – ATE
  • Mains power and transient monitoring – Lesotho Highlands Water Project
  • Leather car seat stich reinforcement machine control – S.A. Trim (BMW)
  • Dynamometer for testing large diesel engines used in mine vehicles – MTU
  • Steel plant furnace and alloying control – ISCOR