MARCO CASSOL Effective drainage systems are important for protecting building infrastructure and production plants from the destructive effects of water damage
Drainage technology provider ACO Systems South Africa has completed the first phase of the installation of its flagship hygienic solution at food manufacturer Simba Pepsico’s production plant, in Johannesburg.
The ACO Hygiene First solution provides an upgrade to the plant’s drainage systems, enabling it to meet the most stringent international health and quality standards.
ACO Systems South Africa MD Marco Cassol explains that effective drainage systems are important for protecting building infrastructure and production plants from the destructive effects of water damage. In the food and beverage industry, efficient drainage is, moreover, a crucial part of the flooring system to keep production processes as hygienic as possible.
He highlights that the installation of upgraded drainage at Simba Pepsico’s plant, the first phase of which was completed in August, was rendered especially challenging as production could not be halted while the installation was taking place. “The ACO South Africa technical team met the challenge, however, not only offering the client technical advice on ACO products but also playing an active role in the designing of the dimensions of the floor channels, baskets and foul air traps, and offering additional installation supervision and training for the contracted plumbing company.”
Cassol adds that the solution fulfils the stringent hygienic requirements needed to prevent harmful bacteria contamination in environments where food is handled. “These sustainable, integrated drainage systems are designed to protect businesses, the environment and, ultimately, public heath. Our aim is to constantly improve every aspect of safety, hygiene and functional performance and we believe that our systems and services are truly unique, delivering unparalleled benefits to everyone involved in project delivery and subsequent operation.”
ACO South Africa, which is owned by German holding company ACO, has been supplying projects in South Africa since 1999 and opened a regional office in Johannesburg, in 2012, enabling it to further develop its presence locally and further into Africa. Products were initially manufactured overseas at the group’s European production plants and imported into Africa; however, the group acquired local company Rofo Engineering in December last year, enabling ACO Systems South Africa to supply the African market directly from its production plant, in Johannesburg.
“Rofo Engineering has a history of more than 30 years of success in the Southern African market. With this acquisition, ACO has secured its first production location on the continent and, with the ACO and Rofo brands combined, ACO Group is positioned to be the market leader in stainless steel drainage systems in sub-Saharan Africa.”
ACO Passavant, the Italian subsidiary of the group, supplies ACO South Africa with all products that are not produced in South Africa, as well as all engineering support required for production, including human resource support, employee skills development training and technical product support.
ACO Systems South Africa now forms the business hub for ACO Group’s African business, from which the company is focusing on developing the supply of its products into East and West Africa, as well as the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. The company also plans to invest further in the production plant to ensure it reaches the environment-friendly status that ACO Group espouses globally.
Cassol notes that when ACO first arrived in South Africa, the company discovered that, while there was a clear need for technologically advanced drainage solutions, the products were not in high demand, with ACO subsequently developing a sales and technical team that could introduce the company’s offerings to high-profile engineering and architectural firms.
With its new production plant and strong brand recognition, ACO is confident that it can meet changing market needs, with a wider range of products for external and internal building drainage and wastewater treatment systems.
“Our mission at ACO Systems is to view the market through the eyes of our customers . . . we will continue to strive to develop new and innovative ways to meet their needs,” Cassol concludes.