ArmCoil, a black women-owned Level 3 business, has become recognised as a market expert in the repair of transformers and electric motors since opening its doors in 2002.
Having established a solid track record delivering this service in South Africa and Zambia, the company is looking to expand its footprint further across the African continent, says sales and marketing general manager Morne Bosch.
Armcoil’s client base has evolved and expanded over its 15 years of operation, but its core strength and focus has remained intact – providing a customised service tailored specifically to the needs of its clients.
This strategic direction saw the company outgrow its original facility which focused on the repair of DC traction motors for the rail industry.
Now, situated in a 7 000 m2 premises in Roodepoort, it is equipped to service medium and high voltage AC motors – which it does predominantly for large industrial business sectors including mining.
“The mining industry has in fact become our largest revenue generator,” Bosch points out.
While Armcoil also supplies new motors, by way of a distribution agreement with SEC Electric Machinery Company, one of China’s leading motor manufacturers, it still remains primarily focused on its core skills set – motor repairs.
“We are today capable of repairing some of the largest motors in operation – up to 11 kV – and will soon be able to handle contracts up to R35 million in value when we upgrade our CIDBEB (electrical engineering) rating from a level 6 to a level 7 in the near future.”
Motors repairs/rewinds on site in Africa
Armcoil’s future growth lies in expanding its African footprint, which specifically entails replicating its repairs business model in Zambia where the company has an agent representative and fixed client base.
“By developing working relationships with well-established in-country agents and artisan workshops/facilities, we aim to conduct large-scale motor repairs in-country, quickly and cost effectively.
“This would further secure greater brand recognition and awareness for our capabilities while also providing local employment opportunities,” Bosch points out.
“At present, the company is looking to build its presence across the entire African continent,” Bosch outlines.
The company has already been successful in this regard having established and operated an armature rewind motor facility in Madagascar which provided local employment, training and repairs services for the Ambatovy nickel mine.
The workshop was unfortunately closed in 2011 due to economic factors.
Importantly, the company is capable of providing full-scale on-site motor repair services now for the African mining industry.
“We have a fully functional and flexible maintenance team which can be dispatched anywhere in Africa within 24 hours to undertake repair work on site, which is naturally our preferred choice because it reduces downtime to a minimum.”
The company will even assist with the installation of a spare motor to help alleviate downtime when major repair work is required off site.
Thanks to its specific skills set in this regard, the company has also on numerous occasions delivered this service (including on-site assembly and after-sales service) for various other motor manufacturers as well.
“We are highly skilled and have developed the expertise to assist and work with clients quickly and efficiently to repair their motors on site and are well regarded amongst our peers for our skills set,” Bosch highlights.
Its after-sale service services is extensive as well and includes on-site condition analysis and regular field services – either on an ad-hoc basis or through service level agreements.
Armcoil is currently underway with large-scale motor repairs for two of South Africa’s platinum majors on site in the North West and a massive rewind on a generator project in Zambia.
“This project will likely be our biggest in 2017 and will boast all the benefits we offer our clients and our ability to do major motor repairs in-country. In this particular instance we were on site within 48 hours of breakdown whereafter we immediately began dismantling the motor to assess the damage.
“Our extensive expertise will ensure the motor is fully repaired on site and working again in the fastest time possible.”
For intensive repair jobs, Armcoil’s Roodepoort facility is equipped to conduct full-scale rewinds. It is fully ISO 9001 and 14 001 accredited, which indicates high level quality process management and procedures.
Further to this the company is audited regularly to maintain its quality standards.
A fully equipped workshop, which has capacity at present to take on additional project work, comprises a 40 t crane lifting capacity, curing ovens, a vacuum pressure impregnation plant, balancing machines, fully equipped test bays, thermal imagery and locally manufactured coiling machines.
Armcoil is equipped to repair medium voltage AC electric motors ranging from 300 kW up to 10 MW, with voltages ranging from 3 300 V to 11 kV, and DC motors up to 5 MW.
The company can typically handle about eight motor rewinds and 18 motor overhauls every month – depending on size.
“An added benefi t we off er our clients is the optimisation of their motor design, at no extra charge,” Bosch adds.