Shaw Controls, part of the Zest Weg Group, has invested R5 million in a full scale company-wide expansion project that will see processes and systems streamlined across the board.
Bevan Richards, managing director of Shaw Controls, says that this has been a real milestone year for Shaw Controls. “Although we have been one of the top three electrical equipment suppliers in the country for some time, we have now set our sights firmly on becoming South Africa’s number one motor control centre and container sub-station manufacturer.
“The upgrades we are implementing during 2011 and 2012 are part of a five year growth strategy designed to take us a quantum leap forward and position us to take full advantage of the increased demand in our market anticipated in the next few years,” he says.
The company has steadily acquired several properties adjacent to its original site in Robertsham, south of Johannesburg, and work is underway to incorporate all the new properties into one single 10 000 m2 site. The improvements include a new office block complex to accommodate the company’s burgeoning staff complement.
“We are particularly excited about our new 1 000 m2 in-house container conversion yard that will put us at the forefront of container conversions on the continent,” Richards says. “We have purchased a 25 ton overhead crane for this dedicated facility which will also have fully equipped workshops. The crane will make it easy for us to manoeuvre containers around the yard, which will reduce lead times drastically — by as much as 25%. Having a dedicated facility will make it possible to conduct preliminary preparation work on stock containers, allowing us to expedite new orders very quickly.
“Container sub-stations are in big demand by companies operating throughout Africa and we are now in pole position to tap into this potentially huge market.”
Shaw Controls’ sheet metal factory is also undergoing a major upgrade that includes the commissioning of two additional CNC machines. Improvements to the sheet metal production capability include a brand new seven-stage powder coating pre-treatment plant equipped with state-of-the-art technology and a new powder coating facility with a gas fired oven.
“In terms of sheet metal production, we have conducted a complete process review and the upgraded facilities will be configured to speed up processes, increase capacity and generally streamline the entire flow of the manufacturing process,” Richards says. “By the end of this upgrade we will also have established a sheet metal storage facility with pre-assembly and pre-dispatch areas. And we will have enough space to set up a stockholding of pre-assembled sheet metal.
“The company is well on track to achieve ISO 9001 accreditation by the end of this year, under the guidance of a newly appointed quality assurance manager,” Richards concludes. “All the upgrades are scheduled for completion by the end of 2012.”
Founded in 1981, Shaw Controls evolved to become one of South Africa’s foremost suppliers within the electrical trade. Today, the company is a world class manufacturer of motor control centres, distribution boards, control desks, PLC panels, instrumentation control panels, portable container substations and various other electrical panels. Products manufactured range from voltages of 24 Volts up to a 1000 Volts and current ratings up to 4000 Amps.
All products are assembled in-house by a multi-disciplined team. The production process incorporates engineering, fabrication of sheet metal enclosures — including epoxy powder coating — and final electrical assembly and testing. The entire process is monitored by a quality management team, guided by an extensive quality management plan that is poised to be formalised with ISO 9001 accreditation by the end of 2011.