Growth and diversification

Still within the process flowsheet, South Africa­ based vibrating screen manufacturer Kwatani is gearing up for further growth in the year ahead as it diversifies further into Africa and abroad.

Kwatani General Manager Sales and Service, Jan Schoepflin, said: “Our 45 years of experience, with some 16,000 units manufactured to date, has positioned us well for our globalisation strategy. Our solid reputation has opened doors for a recent order from Canada, for instance, and growing potential in East Africa’s gold mines.”

Kwatani has, over recent years, seen significant expansion beyond its traditional markets in Southern Africa, including orders into West Africa, North Africa and even Russia. As it enters 2021, Kwatani expects to see demand for its offering spread evenly between South Africa, the rest of Africa, and the overseas market.

“This achievement has been built not only on the quality of our local design and engineering in our ISO 9001:2015-certified facilities,” Schoepflin said. “We have also gone out to meet the stringent technical expectations of customers in the markets we enter, including the careful selection of support partners close to customers for ongoing, sustainable service.”

Many of these partners also have the capability to repair and manufacture certain spare parts, based on drawings supplied by Kwatani, according to Schoepflin. This is an important element in improving the response times customers can expect.

“Our custom-engineered solutions are well supported by these qualified partners, who we also provide with the necessary training on aspects of our specific products,” Schoepflin said.” It is also crucial to have our partners easily accessible to customers in terms of sharing language and  business culture.”

“Our contract pipeline is a clear demonstration Dry-type transformer specialist Trafo Power Solutions is also on a growth path, with the company saying its footprint in mining and beyond is increasing of the market’s confidence in dry-type transformers, especially for indoor applications, hazardous areas, remote locations and demanding outdoor environments,” David Claassen, Managing Director of Trafo Power Solutions, said.

Recent orders have included a specialised 3,900 kVA unit for a large coal mine in Limpopo province. With a primary voltage of 11 kV, this dry-type transformer delivers through four different secondaries of 1,810 V,1,500 V,1,400 V and1,200 V. To operate reliably in the dusty outdoor location, it is installed in an IP54-rated enclosure and cooled using air to air heal exchangers.

Even during the COVID-19 lockdown, supply from the company continued. For example, two 2,000 kVA dry-type transformers were installed in a modular substation for a diamond mine expansion in Sierra Leone during the period.

Transformer growth has also been recognised by competitor Zest WEG, which has a legacy dating back 40 years.

The company boasts an extensive Africa footprint and is gearing up for another big leap, according to Zest WEG Chief Executive Officer, Juliano Vargas.

“Our success has been built on out-the-box thinking that focuses on what the customer needs,” Vargas said. ” This has always meant listening carefully to what our markets tell us and finding innovative ways of meeting the most demanding requirements.”

Zest WEG says one of its distinct advantages is its footprint is not just in South Africa, but across the continent with a presence covering 47 countries through subsidiaries and distributors.

“As the backbone of our operation, we have always maintained local representation with teams that understand the culture and language in individual countries,” Vargas said. “These teams include people who have the requisite skillsets to assess customer requirements enabling us to supply optimum solutions aimed at reducing energy consumption while providing optimum reliability and performance.”

Zest WEG also has close to 90% local content capability for its transformers and more than 70% local content capability for other products being manufactured in South Africa, such as E­ Houses and electrical panels.

Vargas notes that 2021will see, alongside other initiatives, the company’s head office relocated to a new 24,000 sq.m facility near its current premises in Linbro Park.