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May 27, 2011

Manufacturer to expand sales to retail sector

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Demand has driven chemicals and aerosol manu- facturer Specialised Maintenance Products (SMP) to expand its supply chain by introducing its F61 industrial corrosion protection aerosol range to retail outlets, says MD Troy Barwell.

He says the highly specialised F61 range has, until recently, only been supplied directly to end-users in the local mining and industrial sectors, cutting out the retail consumer route.

“The range’s success in the mining and industrial sectors has led to enquiries and demand from other sectors, such as the sporting and hardware sectors,” Barwell adds.

This prompted SMP to take on a more aggressive approach in terms of marketing, supplying and distributing its F61 range across different sectors.

“We aim to go beyond the mining and industrial sectors. Currently, our main focus is to get the F61 range into retail outlets, such as specialised bicycle and motorcycle shops, industrial hardware outlets and industrial suppliers,” he adds.

Barwell says the F61 range, which is designed, developed, manufactured and packaged at the company’s Johannesburg facilities, has already achieved success in the biking sector. The products are used by the Gauteng mountain biking fraternity and the Honda Adventure Academy.

“To further market the range within the sporting sector, we will be exhibiting at sporting events and expos such as the Cradle Festival,” he says.

The first Cradle Festival took place from May 6 to 15, at Maropeng, in the Cradle of Humankind, and included sporting events and a business expo, besides other attractions.

Last year, SMP signed an export deal with a partner in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where sales in the local industrial and petrochemicals industries have been relatively successful.

More than 10 000 corrosion protection aerosol cans have been exported to the UAE thus far.

Barwell feels exports hold great potential.

“We have exported our products to Dubai for the past year and they supply their neighbours, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. We expect sales to increase over the next year,” he notes.

Further, SMP sales manager Greg Payze tells Engineering News that the company’s immediate focus is to export its products to gain market share in Central and Southern Africa.

The F61 range has been introduced to Namibia, while negotiations with a Zimbab-wean supplier that also services Zambia are currently under way.

Launched in 1987, SMP’s flagship F61 range’s application and quality have been continually improved, modified and developed to meet clients’ requirements, explains SMP technical director Jacques Braithwaite.

He adds that, owing to SMP’s strength in product research and development and collaboration with international raw material suppliers, the company has managed to remain informed regarding changes and trends within the European and American corrosion protection industries.

“This has assisted us in constantly seeking ways to improve and develop our products so that they are up to date and adhere to international standards,” Braithwaite notes.

The F61 range is also sold in bulk or in larger containers for bigger projects; however, Payze says the aerosol range was designed for smaller projects and to offer clients a quick maintenance solution.

The F61 lubricant range comprises Formula 61, Zephyr 61, Silicone 20, Dry Film Lube, Chain and Rope Dressing, Cyclenz and Cyclube, which is a bicycle and motorcycle chain lubricant.

Further, the rust-preventing lubricant Nickel 1 200º has a nickel anti-seize compound with an operating temperature range of –20 ºC to 1 200 ºC.

The range also includes Rustguard, a corrosion-protection fluid that dries into a waxy protective coating and is ideal for battery terminals and parts in storage.

The range’s fast-evaporating safety solvent, Eleksol 10, is designed for use in situations where moisture cannot be tolerated, especially in electrical installations.

Further, Beltslip is a rubber-belt conditioner and antislip compound that increases efficiency and component life.

With a six-in-one built-in feature, Formula 61 in the F61 range has cleaning, rust inhibiting, lubricating, moisture dispelling, antiseize and penetrating properties.

Payze says on-site practical testing has proven the range’s efficiency and that 99% of the products have been incorporated with a 100%-nonflammable propellant.

“This is extremely important in terms of safety. In mining applications, such as in coal mines where there are high methane gas levels, flammable products cannot be used,” he explains.

Mines currently using the F61 range in underground applications for maintenance, general equipment installations and shutdowns include diversified miner Exxaro, gold miner Rand Uranium, gold miner Harmony Gold and platinum miner Lonmin.

Payze says that F61 has grown in leaps and bounds, locally, over the last few years.

“We have managed to double sales and expect to double them again over the next two years as we further expand into the local mining, sporting and industrial hardware sectors,” Payze concludes.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
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