Transformer maintenance forms part of Zest WEG Group's overall offering

The prominence of Zest WEG Group’s consolidated exhibition space at this year’s Electra Mining Africa show is testament to the group’s legacy of entrepreneurial success and growth in the market, according to Alastair Gerrard, integrated solutions executive.

“Accommodating our expanding range led us to combine our space into one large, highly visible outdoor stand near the exhibition’s entrance,” says Gerrard.

“This makes it possible to display not only a broader range of products, but also some of the larger equipment we offer the market.”

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 8 2018

He highlights that the founders of the business – of both holding company WEG in Brazil and of Zest WEG Group in South Africa – were entrepreneurs with a strong commitment to serving customers and to responding flexibly to changing market demands.

“Taking forward this philosophy, we are always on the look-out for new and innovative ways to approach the mining sector and other markets, leveraging off our strong portfolio of products and services.

This year’s Electra Mining Africa will provide an opportunity to introduce visitors and customers to new products,” he says.

Gerrard says that with mines taking a more proactive approach to maintenance, there will be much interest in the WEG Motor Scan solution for monitoring electric motor performance from a mobile phone.

“This exciting development, which will be on display on the stand, links to cloud storage and allows preventive action that avoids unplanned downtime,” he says.

“Our growth has also meant we have often developed multiple avenues of involvement in a project; for instance, supplying motors, variable speed drives, switchgear and transformers for a single venture,” Gerrard continues.

This has created increasing opportunities for Zest WEG Group to package its various product lines as a tailor-made offering.

“The growing capability of our integrated solutions approach allows us to target the larger projects in the market, presenting a commercial benefit to customers arising from the packaged offering,” says Gerrard.

“We are also in a position to manage the overall package throughout the project’s execution phase to successful completion.”

He emphasises the value of engaging with customers at a very early stage of the project process to more effectively communicate the product and services portfolio, and to highlight the benefits of Zest WEG Group’s integrated solutions approach.

“This early engagement is also vital in allowing us to gain an overall perspective of the specific demands of the project. This allows us to identify where we can be of most assistance in terms of added-value offerings,” he says.

“On the strength of this assessment, we can structure an appropriate solution in line with the project requirements.”

These solutions draw on an increasingly diverse range of products, made available through a growing portfolio and a series of strategic acquisitions.

Zest WEG Group is perhaps best known for the comprehensive range of WEG low, medium and high voltage motors, and its extensive choice of vibrator motors.

It is also a leader in low and medium voltage variable speed drives (VSD), soft starters and switchgear.

The group’s overall manufacturing capacity is considerable.

Group company, WEG Transformers Africa operates two facilities which produce power and distribution transformers up to 45 MVA and 132 kV. Gerrard says that larger units – up to the 400 MVA and 550 kV range – are sourced from WEG in Brazil.

“We also manufacture mini-substations in South Africa, up to 22 kV, and even customised units up to 33 kV for the African market beyond South Africa,” he says.

“Our motor control centres, manufactured by group company Shaw Controls, are well known in the mining industry, and we are well-equipped to supply containerised or mobile substations and E-houses.”

Mining sites are common locations for Zest WEG Group’s diesel generator sets, which are assembled at the company’s Cape Town genset manufacturing facility. Its power generation solutions also accommodate gas, steam, hydro, wind and solar energy sources.

“The recent acquisition by WEG of Brazil-based steam turbine manufacturing specialist TGM will be of interest to many people, especially as Africa explores options such as biomass in its energy mix.

Together with this, Zest WEG Group is growing its energy generation offering to include solutions in the renewable energy space.”

“Our value-add offering to the mining and other sectors is enhanced by our Level 2 B-BBEE status and the high level of local manufacture in many of our products, making Zest WEG Group a valuable partner to the transforming mining sector,” says Gerrard.

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