Representing its biggest single investment into South Africa to date, SEW-EURODRIVE has demonstrated its long-term confidence in South African industry by opening a R200-million new African headquarters assembly plant and training centre in Aeroton, Johannesburg.
SEW-EURODRIVE’s modern, and efficient 26 000 m2 assembly and manufacturing facility in Johannesburg, South Africa has massively expanded its local assembly capability, to cater for expanding needs and market share across the continent.
The new building will house the company’s African head office, and an assembly plant for industrial gears and electric drives–expanded central warehousing and repair facilities. It encompasses assembly and repair of all VSD’s, AGV’s and Servo motor technology. SEW-EURODRIVE employs multiple Mechanical, Electrical and Mechatronic engineers to support technical customer queries.
The facility will also house the company’s unrivalled Drive Academy that is accessible to all customers for access to product awareness and maintenance training. Online and virtual AR training and support is also now available, in direct support of SEW-EURODRIVE’s social development plans.
On the assembly side, joint volumes between the national infrastructure and our Johannesburg assembly lines for geared motors can accommodate 7 000 units per month, and assembly of industrial gear (IG) units is being ramped up to 100– 140 IG units per month, doubling current capacity. New spray booths and automated oil filling stations have been installed to cater for these volumes.
VSDs and servo motor assembly will be conducted in an isolated, clean area of the facility and SEW-EURODRIVE South Africa, already certified to the ISO 9001 quality management standard, also approved by the company’s global quality department in Germany. Assembly and logistics processes are also now incorporated into SEW-EURODRIVE’s SAP system, giving better traceability and visibility of all orders as they move through assembly processes.
The expanded local capability out of the new Aeroton facility will slash lead times for large IGs and SEW air-cooled condenser (MACC) drives from overseas OEMs by approximately 36 weeks. A single casing with key ratios will be able to accommodate all of the different requirements of South Africa’s Power Stations, for example, and the facility’s new modular approach will enable custom-assembly of large IG gearboxes and MACCs to suit any local power station at a rate of approximately two to three units per week.
Other products to be locally assembled include: the New Generation X.e Series IGs: the P-series planetary IGs for high torque mining applications; short importation and commissioning mill drive solutions with power packs, electric motors, external pinions for coupling with the company’s segmented girth gear drives; and engineered drive-train solutions on customised base-plates for any industrial project.
New assembly line equipment and a test bench has been installed that replicate SEW-EURODRIVE’s assembly and testing capability in Finland. SEW-EURODRIVE has also recently released its DriveRadar® predictive maintenance management solution into the local market, which automatically records and analyses operational data from industrial drives and uses it to track equipment condition and predict performance changes.
“We at SEW-EURODRIVE are on a mission to localise our modular drive concept for a variety of industrial drive applications so as to best meet local needs and conditions and massively reduce lead times. Local assembly is key to achieving this and, going forward, we hope to be closing the local supply and service loop for all users of our drives,” says Jonathan McKey, National Sales and Marketing Manager for Southern Africa.
“With respect to Africa, we are currently delivering on a further multi-million rand stocking investment on our expanded South African capability to enable us to look after another 23 African countries. From now on, we will employ local SEW-EURODRIVE staff in South Africa and in every key country that we look after – and this year we will be expanding into another four or five countries on the African continent,” says Raymond Obermeyer, the company’s MD.
“This is a bold step that demonstrates our commitment to providing a positive impact on the economies of countries across Africa. We expect to also attract business from drive users across the world who may also be experiencing long delays when they find they have to replace a gearbox,” he concludes.
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