The market has responded to Afrox’s recent announcement that it has entered the high end mechanised solutions market with a flurry of enquiries, particularly from mining, power generation and pipe welding customers.
The company’s Shaun Christian says the beyond-expectation response has been exciting and confirms Afrox’s analysis of the latest market requirements.
“Against a background of increasing demands for both higher productivity and lower costs from local manufacturing industries, for some time we’ve been researching the best route to build on our traditional offering with hand-picked products that fit into these market segments and help customers automate some of their welding processes,” says Christian. “This need has arisen from the lack of skilled local welders, as well as several new power generation and petrochemical projects poised to come into play. Project managers are looking for high end solutions, including mechanising some of their work, to achieve higher levels of productivity and to reduce wastage.”
“We’ve now selected a group of international suppliers to provide us with a range of CNC, sub arc, crawler and automated pipe welding equipment. These best-in-class brands include Gullco from the UK, Koike from Japan and Holland, and Pierce Automation Systems from the Czech Republic and ITW Miller, giving us access to a broad range of products and solutions. We already have established relationships with some of these companies, affording us a robust point of reference.”
“These brands are the ideal match for the criteria we required to satisfy our customers’ needs. They are well established companies staffed by experts within the industries Afrox is targeting. They also have superior technical expertise to back up their equipment.”
“Afrox has always been more than simply a supplier of gas and welding products and we’re looking forward to introducing the market to this extended product range. Our infrastructure, footprint and back-up service will ensure we’re able to provide the first class service critical in this type of business.”
Christian says a cost-effective initial outlay, coupled with good return on investment and high quality are some of the deliverables that have driven this initiative. To this end, much of the new equipment on offer can be manufactured by the OEMs to suit local customer specifications. Solutions are often trialled at the customer’s site to ensure that it is fit for purpose and that it works to the full satisfaction of the customer.
“What makes this offer unique in Southern Africa is Afrox’s extensive footprint in the region, coupled with a depth of expertise and a significant customer base, giving us a tangible edge in the market,” Christian adds. “We are one of only a few companies able to offer this type of total solution.”