The biggest challenge facing the instrumentation and control (I&C) sector, both in South Africa and on the continent, is the impact of the deteriorating rand:dollar exchange rate, indicates Actum Group director Kevin Klaff.
“Owing to the deterioration in the exchange rate, the biggest challenge is landing product at a reasonable cost. Our challenge is balancing the 30% rand:dollar exchange rate depreciation along with the normal supplier increase,” Klaff asserts.
He explains that suppliers have to ensure that they are able to present a value proposition, in addition to top-quality products, as opposed to cheaper imports from less reputable sources.
Actum Group aims to mitigate these challenges by maintaining a high standard of quality, which Klaff notes is provided across the entire product range.
“It is this focus on quality, together with our enhanced customer communications, that will continue to differentiate us in the marketplace,” Klaff adds.
The Actum Group comprises two main divisions. Actum Electronics focuses on electronic components, while Actum Industrial focuses on industrial products, instrumentation, pneumatics and professional tooling.
Actum Group includes I&C company Peter Jones Electronic Equipment, under its Actum Industrial division. This important acquisition, made in 2012, elevated Actum Group’s product range from component level to an integrated solutions offering, Klaff points out.
One of the latest products launched this year onto the local I&C market by Peter Jones Electronic is the new GL240 Midi Logger, from Japan-based computer input and output devices company Graphtec for flexible data recording.
The latest iteration of this isolated and universal input, standalone multichannel data logger boasts a maximum sampling interval of up to 10 ms.
The data logger contains a highly isolated input mechanism to ensure that signals are not corrupted by noise from other channels. Inputs are suitable for combined measurement from voltage, temperature, humidity and logic, as well as pulse signals.
The standard configuration of 20 analogue input channels is expandable to 200 by adding the optional 20-channel extension terminal base unit and input terminal units.
Meanwhile , Klaff reveals that Actum Group has an intensive African expansion strategy. “We are trying to focus more on Africa as a potential market. We have completed a range of respectable dollar-based deals in Africa that give us a foot in the door,” Klaff concludes.