Having acquired a majority shareholding in South Africa-based Premier Valves in July 2014, international valves manufacturer AVK Valves started production at its newly built manufacturing facility in August, Premier Valves MD Peter Thomson tells Engineering News.
The acquisition has enabled AVK to speedily build an AVK manufacturing facility that is able to substitute locally made valves for those it previously imported.
AVK Valves is, therefore, gradu- ally scaling down its import volumes and has begun to introduce the locally manufactured products onto the market.
“The new AVK facility has state-of-the-art, international-standard manufacturing equipment,” Thomson tells Engineering News.
He explains that the new AVK factory, which is sized to produce up to 100 000 valves a year, has been built on the expanded Premier Valves premises in Alrode, Gauteng. The size of the premises, originally owned by Premier Valves, was 22 000 m2, while the expanded premises is 46 000 m2.
Thomson adds that, with the construction of the new AVK manu- facturing facility, Premier Valves’ factory has also been upgraded and its manufacturing capacity effectively doubled.
Premier Valves is also progressively transitioning its operations to make use of AVK’s international enterprise resource planning system of production/stock management. This will allow Premier Valves’ manufacturing process to integrate with AVK’s international supply chain, he adds.
AVK Group is developing a strategy of expansion into Africa, with the manufacturing facility in Alrode designed to supply the African market, not just South Africa, says Thomson.
As a part of AVK Group, Premier Valves now has the scale and resources to properly enter the African market, whereas, previously, its resources would have been too scant to do so if it were to act as an individual company.
Thomson explains that the acquisition of Premier Valves struck an ideal balance, with AVK being historically strong in terms of small commodity-type valves, especially RSV gate valves, while Premier Valves’ strength is at the other end of the market, in larger, more specialised and, in many cases, higher-pressure valves.
As Premier Valves will be integrated into the AVK international network, this will enable it to not only source a wide range of products, materials and other assistance from AVK’s international network but also create new opportunities to sell its owns specialised products to the world market through AVK’s international sales network.
He further notes that AVK Group in South Africa will set up and use a central distribution centre and a combined office block at the Alrode premises.
Thompson concludes that AVK is developing a new dedicated training academy for its customers and employees to provide training in the use and selection of valves.