Technology developer Hosokawa Alpine Aktiengesellschaft plans to enter the South African market with Sugarplex – a sugar grinding machine for sugar milling companies in the food and beverage industry.
The company was part of the diversified delegation at the German Technology Symposium held in Johannesburg, South Africa, last month by German industry association VDMA. Hosokawa is a member of the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which organised the event. At the delegation, the company announced its plans to provide the African market with food technology.
Although Sugarplex has been on the market since 2009, the company introduced it to the African market at the symposium.
Sugarplex is a compact system that does not require the additional filter, fan or air cooling units commonly required for conventional system designs for sugar milling. Hosokawa Alpine Aktiengesellschaft food division operations director Jörg Krahnen says that, with Sugarplex, clients can enjoy the benefits of lower investment costs and reduced space requirements in the industry, as well as lower cleaning and maintenance costs.
The cylindrical mill design includes an 800-mm-diameter container with a conical product discharge, and the mill can be integrated into an existing system.
Sugarplex feeds coarse sugar using a rotary valve through the mill door directly into the centre of the grinding unit. The unit consists of two-pin discs and is completely integrated into the mill door. The door can be opened quickly and easily, and swung wide open so that the user can inspect or clean the milling tools at any time.
The company assessed the South African market and economy, and decided that South Africa will be the first country to which the company actively supplies its products, as it believes the country’s economy is stable.
“We want to start with South Africa because of the country’s secure banks and we think we have a potential market here. We have already received orders from South African companies during the past two years, as well as regular enquiries about our products,” says Krahnen.
He notes that the company has little presence in the African market, but plans to enter the markets that require its technology, such as the food industry, within the next two years.
Krahnen says the Hosokawa food division has delivered several plants to Africa in the past, for example, cocoa plants to Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria, with European companies organising the majority of these orders. However, Hosokawa delivered plants for cleaning and grinding tea and spices directly to clients in Sudan and South Africa, he adds.
Krahnen says the company uses VDMA data to evaluate the countries and participate in market exploration trips when deciding on which African countries and markets to enter.