WEG Transformers Africa, a division of Zest WEG Manufacturing, is determined to continue growing its share in both the South African and African transformer markets.
Louis Meiring, chief executive officer at Zest WEG Group Africa, says the acquisition last year of Heidelberg-based TSS Transformers facilitated immediate access to additional facilities as well as best-in-class technical skills. “Upskilling ourselves in this critical market sector and increasing our local manufacturing base was a strategic move that will see greater involvement from Zest WEG in this industry,” Meiring says.
Zest WEG Group is owned by Brazil-based WEG and this significant investment in local manufacturing highlights WEG’s financial commitment to its local operations. Meiring says the acquisition was in line with the international player’s intention to expand its global network of businesses and manufacturing plants. The WEG Group aims to increase its sales year-on-year by a minimum of 17% until it reaches an annual turnover of US$ 10 billion in 2020.
WEG Transformer Africa (WTA) operates two major facilities and is poised to reinforce its position as a leading African manufacturer of electrical equipment. The last two years has seen the recapitalisation of the WTA Wadeville operation. Andre Mans, COO of WTA, says that this extensive investment programme has seen the facility undergo a complete makeover with the upgrading of equipment and streamlining of processes. “Today, WTA Wadeville is a modern operation that boasts best-in-class production and manufacturing capabilities,” he says.
WTA Wadeville produces standard distribution, power and special application transformers ranging from 50 kVA to 10 MVA in voltages up to 66 kV with off-load tap switch or on-load tap-changers. Known for its responsiveness to customer specific needs, the facility also has the engineering expertise and capability to manufacture special transformers for mining, industrial, rectifier/traction, converter and thyristor drive applications. WTA also manufactures a range of mini substations. Mans says that, where applicable, the transformers carry SABS certification.
The Heidelberg facility, which was previously TSS Transformers, was acquired in the third quarter of 2015 and boasts an impressive 45 000 m² footprint. The modern facility is capable of locally manufacturing power transformers up to 40 MVA in voltages up to 132 kV as well as mini substations and moulded circuit breakers.
This modern facility houses what is considered to be the best privately operated oil sampling laboratory in South Africa. Mans says this is a crucial differentiator in the market as it gives customers access to skilled technicians who analyse samples on state-of-the-art equipment to world class standards.
An important value-added service offering from WTA is its suite of structured transformer maintenance programmes that allow customers to protect these assets from degradation.