- Zest Weg Group (0.05 MB)
As Zest WEG Group company, Shaw Controls prepares to despatch the last two units of an order placed by a large materials handling company for seven electrical houses (E-Houses), the company is positioning itself to elevate the design, manufacture and supply of this technology to one of its leading offerings. The seven E-Houses will be installed onto stacker and reclaimer machines being deployed at a coal mine and sea port in Mozambique.
“This is the largest single order in our company’s history to date and our first E-House order as a company within the Zest WEG Group. Much of the design information was leveraged off our holding group company in Brazil where numerous E-House projects have been successfully completed by WEG. This order was secured against both local and international competition,” Shaw Controls managing director Bevan Richards, says.
“The contract was awarded to us after lengthy discussions with the customer, which included a visit to Zest WEG Group by a team from our customer. The contract was concluded on the basis that our Group was able to provide a complete solution.
“We have a clear vision for future growth and expansion into various markets and we regard the E-House market as very appealing, as we’re able to combine our total product offering into a complete E-House solution. This technology is relatively new in South Africa, compared to other parts of the world, but it is becoming more attractive than the traditional containerised substation solution built into either a 6 or 12 metre standard marine container, primarily because these E-House units can be manufactured to customised dimensions.
“Traditionally, Shaw Controls has been involved in supplying containerised substation solutions, but industry in Africa is definitely gravitating towards custom-built E-Houses that suit customers’ requirements in terms of the amount of equipment that can be fitted into it, which often exceeds the limits of a container.”
Work on the seven E-Houses began in March 2013 and the final units will shortly be despatched. Shaw Controls has designed, procured and installed all the electrical equipment contained within the E-Houses including medium voltage (MV) switchgear, MV transformers, low voltage (LV) motor control centres, LV variable speed drives, HVAC, fire detection and suppression, PLCs and cabling. Many of these products were supplied by Zest WEG Group’s parent company WEG in Brazil, notably the MV dry type transformers and the variable speed drives. Factory acceptance testing has been conducted at Shaw Controls’ facility in Robertsham, Johannesburg, by representatives of our customer, with units being pre-commissioned prior to despatch to site. A technical team from Shaw Controls will later provide commissioning assistance on site.
The order included electrical and instrumentation design for the full electrical and instrumentation installation of the seven stackers and reclaimers. The design was handed over to the customer who has appointed a contractor to carry out site work according to the design.
The E-Houses are being transported to two different locations. All seven units have been road freighted from Johannesburg to Mozambique under abnormal load conditions.
“What differentiates us in the E-House market is that we’re electrical engineering specialists and we have a precise understanding of the electrical equipment installed in these units,” comments Shaw. “Our approach is to project manage production primarily as an electrical project and then ensure that the mechanical portion suitably matches the electrics. I believe that among the major factors leading to the award of this contract were our Group’s longstanding relationship with our customer, our ability to interpret the customer’s requirements and the necessary engineering, design and manufacturing skills to successfully produce the E-Houses.
“Now that our we’ve demonstrated our ability in South Africa to project manage an undertaking such as this, we’re in a position to proactively compete for further E-House contracts and we see ourselves becoming very animated in this market in the near future. Strongly in our favour is our access to the entire WEG Group basket of goods and technical support, which definitely represents a cost advantage to the customer.
“WEG in Brazil has manufactured E-Houses for the international market for some time and, as a subsidiary of WEG in Africa, we’ve now become the centre of excellence for this technology in the sub-Saharan region. This means that in addition to entering this arena through our own marketing efforts, we will begin to pick up orders through the WEG Group network.”