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Reflecting 30 years of growth

Second Quarter 2024 Editor's Choice News & events

Starting out in 1994 to serve the metropolitan area with a range of low-voltage electric motors, WEG Africa’s Cape Town branch has grown. Testament to this is the fact that it has again outgrown its premises, and last year relocated to larger, well-equipped facilities in Richmond Business Park. This enhanced its service capability, while making life easier for its customers.

“The branch had humble beginnings 30 years ago, with three staff members – the manager, an administrative assistant and a storeman,” says branch manager, Marthinus Greeff. “Our dedication and commitment to customers soon put us on a growth path which has continued to this day. Our experienced staff complement now stands at 35 people.”

Another sign of success is the geographical area that the branch now covers – from Cape Town upwards to the north as far as Upington, and east to the town of George. A wider range of industrial sectors now also reach out for solutions from WEG Africa’s Cape Town branch. These include mining, cement, petrochemicals, water and wastewater, building, food processing, materials handling and heating, and ventilation and air conditioning. He notes that a particularly exciting recent development has been in agriculture, where the branch serves farmers who want to use more renewable energy.

“Perhaps the most exciting aspect of our growth over the years is that we have become a real solutions provider to our customers, not just a supplier of products,” he explains. “We also make an important contribution to reducing our customers’ carbon footprint and energy costs.”

The company’s comprehensive product range covers low voltage electric motors from 0,18 to 500 kW. These are available in energy efficiency categories from IE1 to IE4. The branch provides high-voltage electric motors up to 11 kV and up to 6000 kW for demanding applications such as mill motors on mining operations. “We expanded into variable speed drives (VSDs) quite early on, and offer low-voltage VSDs from 0,18 to 500 kW,” he says. “Our medium-voltage VSDs range from 1 MW upwards, in 3,3/6,6 kV and 11 kV.”

Another advance made by the branch was to open an electrical panel division a decade ago. This facility manufactures solutions by combining WEG’s wide range of quality components. These are supplied to customers across the Western Cape in enclosures which are electrical type tested and non-type tested.

“We are also able to supply starters, VSD boxes, and motor control centres, all custom-made to the required specifications,” explains Greeff. “Our motor workshop facilities allow us to conduct many motor modifications, including fitment of space heaters and temperature monitoring devices such as thermostats, thermistors, and Pt-100 (RTD) temperature detectors. We can also fit special bearings as required by each customer’s application, ensuring we can deliver a high standard of quality in our value-added offerings.”

This in-house capability also reduces lead times and optimises cost effectiveness for the customer. The branch has its own in-house repair facility for all WEG drives and softstarters, staffed by three dedicated technicians. “This enables us to do all the repairs locally, without the need for these products to be sent to our head office in Johannesburg,” he says. “This gives customers the advantage of fast and efficient turnaround times.”

In the new premises, the sales counter area has been enlarged to facilitate quicker collections; Greeff notes that even the location of the new offices will please customers, as the road design and planning means much better traffic conditions. “Training remains a key value-add for our customers, so we designed our new building with an even bigger training room,” says Greeff. “With our technology advancing constantly, and our range of solutions growing, there is always considerable demand for us to train our customers’ employees.” He highlights that the training provided by WEG Africa in Cape Town is fully certified, and is presented by the company’s dedicated training officer. Trainees and customers receive this training at no cost, as a service from the company. “Our new training facility includes training benches for VSD and softstarter training, where we can accommodate 12 to 18 trainees at a time,” he says. “Training on motors will also continue, and we can have 22 trainees per session.”

In keeping with WEG’s global commitment to sustainability and a low carbon future, the WEG Africa Cape Town office has been recognised by the Green Buildings Council South Africa as achieving Level 1 building emissions. Rooftop photovoltaic panels reduce the carbon footprint and energy costs, while keeping operations powered during loadshedding.


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