South African process equipment supplier MIP Process MD Phillip Hoff is positive that 2017 will be a good year for the original-equipment manufacturer (OEM).
“Our pricing and [level of] quality mean we are still highly competitive, compared with Asian and Chinese manufacturers,” he says despite the weakening rand, which has bolstered MIP’s exports. Countries like Russia and Brazil face the same economic situation, he adds. South Africa’s credit downgrade to ‘junk status’, according to Hoff, “obviously makes a difference in terms of the external investment level, but it will not necessarily break the bank in this regard”.
MIP Process’s optimism about the future is owing to the OEM’s ongoing growth, largely thanks to its 10 000 m2 manufacturing facility in Johannesburg, Gauteng, which allows it to stay cost competitive. It also means that MIP Process is able to design and manufacture robust equipment to match African operational needs and conditions.
About half of the work secured outside South Africa by MIP Process is derived from the rest of Africa, where it has a large agent network spanning from Ghana to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Hoff says 75% of MIP Process’s business is outside South Africa, as opposed to 25% about a year ago, noting that the company is manufacturing linear screens and a clarifier for an Australian client in Panama. “We are working on a lot of coal and platinum mining projects for junior mining companies,” he points out, noting that there has been a clear upsurge in the chrome mining industry, owing to rising commodity prices.
MIP Process says it continues to expand globally and has an office in the US and is looking to use it as a manufacturing platform for certain equipment and components that it finds unfeasible to build locally and export these to South Africa and the rest of the continent.
The latest equipment manufactured for the mining and mineral processing industry by MIP Process has been designed to comply with the pending 2018 South African emissions-control regulation of 30 mg/m3 of particulates.
Hoff comments that this indicates the OEM’s high level of innovation and commitment to technological development and product improvement. “Not only do we design all our equipment to comply with the latest standards and regulations, but we also offer smaller companies a continuous plan to improve their dust- extraction emissions.”
MIP Process strives to manufacture equipment faster, of a better quality and quicker, “at a lower total cost” than its competitors. This has allowed the OEM to enjoy a competitive edge in the marketplace, as it aims to fulfil a customer’s order as fast as possible to ensure that the project is running as soon as possible.