Shaw Controls, a company of the Zest WEG Group, has seen a significant increase in the demand for key products such as electrical houses (E-Houses), fully withdrawable motor control centres (MCCs) and modular variable speed drives (VSDs). This has resulted in the Zest WEG Group committing to a major expansion drive at Shaw Controls as the Group expands its manufacturing capability in order to boost its presence in the local market and also in Africa, which is perceived as a major growth area.
“While the Zest WEG Group is well known for distributing one of the largest electric motor ranges in the world from WEG of Brazil, our comprehensive product line up includes switchgear, VSDs, MCCs, gensets and renewable energy solutions. We also have three fully fledged manufacturing facilities in South Africa that we are in the process of expanding as we increase our footprint in Africa,” Louis Meiring, CEO of the Zest WEG Group, says.
Bevan Richards, Managing Director of Shaw Controls, reveals that next year it will embark on the design and establishment of a standalone E-House and container conversion facility. “We are anticipating a 4 000 m2 facility to be able to handle these products, which represents a major extension of the Zest WEG Group’s local manufacturing capability,” Richards says.
“The Zest WEG Group as a whole has the management team and overall company structure in place to be able to handle projects of a much larger nature and to provide the customer care needed on multiple projects for different customers, and to do so efficiently and cost effectively.”
In addition, Shaw Controls is in the process of establishing a centralised bulk store for the receipt and issue of all goods in line with its new inventory control system. “We are fully committed to the ISO 9001 process.”
Richards says that the growth and expansion at Shaw Controls dovetails with the overall strategy of the Zest WEG Group. “We are integrating our product range with those of the other Group companies involved in large scale turnkey projects. This represents a huge opportunity for us to add value to our own product range by capitalising on the knowledge and experience of the entire Group.”
The E-Houses from Shaw Controls represent a particular innovation for the South African market in that they are a cost effective alternative to traditional containerised solutions manufactured in either 6 m or 12 m standard marine containers. “The main benefit of the E-Houses is that they can be manufactured to customised dimensions, which is a testament to the flexibility of Shaw Controls.”
Shaw Controls also supplies WEG modular VSDs for loads of up to 2.5 MW at 690V. “Whereas modular VSDs were previously built and assembled by WEG of Brazil, we as the South African arm of WEG will in future develop the enclosures and populate them with modular VSD components from WEG,” Richards reveals. “The advantage of these modular VSD products now being assembled in South Africa is that it represents a substantial reduction in the lead time of any project.”
Santos Ferreira, product development specialist at Shaw Controls, reveals that all the company’s products have now been tested to the latest IEC 61439-1 standard. “We have developed various ranges of our switchboard products, namely SC 100, SC 200 and SC 300, for various applications at different fault levels and current ratings.”
The maximum rating that all products have been tested at is 690V+5% @ 65 kA. “In addition we are in the process of locally developing the WEG range of fully withdrawable MCCs. This product range is suitable for all types of process type industries and will add great value to Shaw Controls’ product range,” Ferreira adds.
Richards concludes that it is all systems go for the future expansion at Shaw Controls and its continued integration into the larger Zest WEG Group’s total solutions approach to the requirements of its diverse customer base. “Our business is customer focused and as a result we as a group company strive to provide the best service and support possible. Meeting the needs of our customers is of fundamental importance to the Zest WEG Group.”