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Weir boosts W African efficiency

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS Weir Minerals works closely with customers to design a solution that suits their specific process

ANDREW AYIREBI Weir Minerals has a large team of engineers who provide significant in-house capacity to support ETO requirements

DEWATERING COMBO Warman DWU dewatering pump coupled with Linatex hard wall rubber lined hose

INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS Weir Minerals’ Cavex hydrocyclones combined with Linatex hoses and IsoGate valves offer an integrated solution for customers

OEM ADVANTAGES Using OEM parts with any Weir Minerals products ensures best operating performance and maintains efficiencies

7th April 2023

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer

     

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Original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) Weir Minerals’ extensive experience allows it to comprehend clients’ processes, needs and operational hurdles to design solutions that enhance processing efficiency and reduce total cost of ownership.

Referring to products like the company’s Envirotech centrifugal pumps, Cavex hydrocyclones, Multiflo dewatering pumps, chemical pumps, Warman mill circuit pumps and Isogate valves, among others, West Africa regional manager Andrew Ayirebi says that the company has a large team of engineers who provide significant in-house capacity to support engineered-to-order (ETO) requirements.

“Weir Minerals products have been developed to perform in some of the harshest environments at our customers sites. For example, our pumps are built to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standards that regulate pumps, and we test performance against the same specifications and standards.”

This means that Weir Minerals applies quality processes which include methodologies like process controls, inspections, nonconformance reporting, quality assurance audits and quality performance reporting.

“We are very particular, and observe all the quality management systems for ISO9001, as well as adherence to environmental responsibility including management system ISO14001 and compliance to occupational health and safety standards per ISO45001,” Ayirebi says, highlighting that, as a “world-class” company, Weir Minerals endeavours to ensure that it does not deviate from local regulations and/or international standards.

According to Ayirebi, the company provides insights and guidance on pump and process-related issues to its active customers in West Africa. This support makes it easier for project managers to anticipate and prevent technical challenges that may arise.

Weir Minerals Africa’s top-notch foundry facility in South Africa’s Isando area is one of Weir Minerals’ technology hubs for several pump brands, including the Warman DWU and Envirotech range. As a result, it can export significant volumes of equipment to sister companies throughout the rest of Africa, and worldwide.

“We understand each customer is different. Our product designs and materials therefore allow for flexibility to suit individual customer site process applications, meeting their specific needs. We have a very strong and robust production capacity and facilities which meet West African demand at large, and we continue to grow in that respect,” Ayirebi says.

Ghana remains a central part of the service and product support staff network cluster in West Africa. Senegal, meanwhile, has a fully-fledged office with a Country Manager, Process and Application Engineers and roaming Service Technician based in Mali.

Weir Minerals also has representation in the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, looking after other countries in the region bringing its presence closer to customer operations in the sub-region.

Advantages of OEM

There is a current drive to ensure that end-users use OEM parts for pumps, which Ayirebi says is critical to ensuring the best operating and maintenance practices, which, in turn, deliver high performance and drives operational and maintenance efficiencies.

He explains that failure to use OEM products may lead to an increased risk of safety-related incidents, increased wear and tear, and higher maintenance costs for end-users. If incorrect or counterfeit spare parts are used for pumps, customers may also experience low hydraulic efficiency, as a result of suboptimal component design, more frequent downtime, and additional maintenance campaigns.

Sustainability Roadmap

Weir Minerals’ West Africa business has adopted the Weir Group’s Sustainability approach, which sees the company championing zero harm and enabling net zero by “creating sustainable solutions in the purchase of goods, services and raw materials within its production processes”.

In line with this, Weir Minerals’ products are energy efficient, and employ transport and distribution networks which produce zero- or minimum carbon emissions.

“We also try to nurture a unique culture through inclusion, diversity, and equality by having high engagement among staff and also participating at a very high level in the communities in which we operate.

“We understand that our business directly or indirectly impacts on the communities where we operate and therefore the Sustainability Roadmap cannot exclude these communities. Our socioeconomic corporate responsibilities foster relationships within these communities,” Ayirebi notes.

Meanwhile, at its Isando facility, Weir Minerals Africa has installed solar rooftop panels, where between 2020 and 2022, the company managed to reduce its carbon emissions by 1.8-million kilograms.

“This is very aggressive considering the short period of time, and it speaks to how we value the sustainability impact on our partners,” he comments.

As a result of these and other measures, Ayirebi enthuses that the company is on track to meet its sustainability goals for 2030.

Edited by Nadine James
Features Deputy Editor

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