With the materials, bulk handling and logistics market “largely improved” over the past two years, drive engineering specialist SEW-EURODRIVE South Africa is capitalising on the opportunities this provides, building on its entrenched role and successes, SEW branch manager Jonathan McKey tells Mining Weekly.
The company has channelled particular investment into stocking, the after-sales and support services departments, as the biggest opportunities presented by an improved market are in ensuring shorter lead times and reducing downtime, he adds. SEW’s knowledge retention and long-serving (service) staff have instilled “confidence and comfort” among clients.
The company’s supporting Maxolution department can further assist clients with the layout and design of the entire mining process, detailing the correct products and support from concept to final product. This department can offer the client enhanced technical and specialised product assistance, owing to its staff being mechatronic engineers. “We walk the entire path alongside our clients to ensure that risk is minimised,” McKey says.
He emphasises the importance of ensuring that SEW remains versatile and flexible to all clients’ requirements, designs and applications to fully maximise opportunities in this market. “Every expectation differs, but the common goal remains the same – staying the supplier of the highest-quality products, with the shortest lead times and reliable aftermarket service.”
As a “strong, innovative” company with a global presence and financial stability, SEW is well-poised to support clients with their special requirements and latest innovative ideas, claims McKey.
He highlights the company’s “unrivalled” research and development (R&D) department, as well as continuous staff training on all the technology and products it develops to ensure that clients are presented with the latest advances in various fields, consequently allowing for informed decisions.
This engenders client faith, which he notes is important, as there is a significant need for dependable technical support and sales staff, and for products to be supported, stocked and supplied by companies that perform consistently.
“We are a phone call away. We build friendships, not just business relationships.
“Mining clients that wish to ensure maximum efficiency, and reduce downtime and inconvenience at mines, plants or facilities, need look no further than SEW,” he avers.
McKey attributes the company’s success in the materials, bulk handling and logistics market to its “aggressive marketing and sales, as well as phenomenal upscaling of our stockholding and reliable service teams to support this valuable market”.
The company’s product offering in this key market constitutes heavy industrial gearboxes, geared motors, frequency inverters and IEC motors. Its service offering comprises on-site field services, aftermarket services and repairs at key branches countrywide.
Although the company has been active in this market since the 1990s, its product and service offering has gained particular traction since 2006, when the company localised its industrial gears assembly plant in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
McKey enthuses that the company’s most significant successes in its years of operation have been securing the larger portion of the chrome and platinum market in the South African mining sector, as well as securing more mines in the coal sector in the past few years. In addition, inroads into mine mixing and agitating applications have been extremely successful both directly through SEW or through large mixer original-equipment manufacturers.
He also highlights the X-Series industrial gearbox as one of its most notable product offerings to this market.
The X-Series allows for improved logistics and stockholding, facilitating efficiency and short lead times. McKey enthuses that the product is “extremely versatile”, with decline, incline, strike and overland applications, as well as mixing and milling, besides others.
While the company has been offering this solution since 2005, R&D remains ongoing to ensure that the product remains ahead of competitors globally.