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Increased demand for automation in agri sector

JASON JACKSON SEW-EURODRIVE is in the fortunate position that industry worldwide depends on the products it supplies to ensure uninterrupted supply and reliable client operations

RUBEN DE BEER In the last two years, Dalein has built two 20 t/h to 30 t/h Mark 3 plants, which is indicative of how quickly the population is growing and SEW-EURODRIVE’s ability to adapt to demand

DRIVING FOOD SECURITY Dalein Agriplan is manufacturing an MK-3 plant equipped with SEW-EURODRIVE motors and gearboxes for delivery to an animal feed supplier in Zambia, in the next 12 months

5th May 2023

By: Tracy Hancock

Creamer Media Contributing Editor


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The growing African population and consequent rising demand for food continues to drive the need for processing equipment that can increase food production in the most efficient manner possible, says drive technology specialist SEW-EURODRIVE


This is especially pertinent considering the need to remain competitive, amid the tough economic conditions being faced locally, where input costs continue to rise on the back of South Africa’s energy crisis.

In February, AgriSA, a federation of agricultural organisations, warned that the current severity of loadshedding would cause farming operations to be disrupted as equipment is damaged, owing to power failures, the cost of food production to increase as farmers were forced to irrigate at peak prices, and labour costs to climb as a result of irregular work hours based on loadshedding schedules.

“Not only do we offer original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of agricultural technology energy efficiency through our IEC IE3 motors but our quality products, which have a two-year warranty, last much longer than other alternatives on the market, providing superior longevity. Thereby, our customers don't end up repurchasing the same solution every second or third year, they invest in our product, and it lasts them an excessive amount of time,” says SEW-EURODRIVE sales manager Jason Jackson, highlighting that some of the company’s products are still in use after being in the field for about 40 years.

The gear units and motors supplied by SEW-EURODRIVE can be further protected from power spikes when equipped with SEW line chokes and line filters to suppress surges and electromagnetic interference signals.

SEW-EURODRIVE sales representative Ruben de Beer says the increased demand for food production is evident when considering SEW-EURODRIVE customer, animal feed milling equipment manufacturer, Dalein Agriplan.

Based in Pretoria, the OEM was established in the 1990s, when it started building Mark 1 (MK-1) plants capable of producing 5 t/h to 6 t/h of feed, and intends to push the limits even further by developing a 30 t/h to 40 t/h Mark 4 (MK-4) plant.

“In the last two years, the company has built two 20 t/h to 30 t/h Mark 3 (MK-3) plants, which is indicative of how quickly the population is growing and SEW-EURODRIVE’s ability to adapt to demand, especially since we continuously supply Dalein,” adds De Beer.

Dalein is manufacturing an MK-3 plant for delivery to an animal feed supplier in Zambia, in the next 12 months. About 20 trucks will be used for the cross-border transportation of the MK-3 plant.

“The plant converts raw ingredients into animal feed using paddle mixers, chain conveyors, belt conveyors and bucket elevators,” explains De Beer.

For this project, SEW-EURODRIVE was tasked to supply Dalein with motors and various gearboxes, including parallel-shaft gearboxes, helical inline gearboxes and, for the paddle mixers, tough industrial gear units from its X.e series.

SEW-EURODRIVE’s F and DR series of parallel-shaft gearmotors combine space-saving design with force, dynamics and reliability, while its R series of helical gear units offers an optimum ratio between torque output and installation space.

The X series features modular adaptability and accessory capabilities, and an invertible housing, enabling left and right shaft positions with a single gear unit, as well as offering a broad gear ratio range. This is in addition to reliable operation owing to a robust housing, low-noise gearing and effective cooling systems. The X.e redesigned solution is SEW- EURODRIVE’s flagship option currently on the market.

All the parts used in the production of SEW-EURODRIVE’s product offering are imported from Germany and assembled locally by hand at the company’s Aeroton facility, in Johannesburg. In turn, SEW-EURODRIVE now stocks a vast range of options, sizes and spares on the X.e range worth several million rands to support the growing African demand and support requirements.

SEW-EURODRIVE will also assist Dalein with other significant projects taking place later this year, involving international and local animal nutrition specialists and feed manufacturers in Mpumalanga, Free State, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape, respectively.

Uninterrupted Supply

Not even the impact of almost daily loadshedding has reduced demand for the motors and gear units supplied by the company, says Jackson.

“SEW-EURODRIVE is in the fortunate position that industry worldwide depends on the products it supplies to ensure uninterrupted supply and reliable client operations,” Jackson states.

De Beer agrees, adding that for successful implementation and commissioning of Dalein’s manufacturing plants with the capacity to process 5 t/h to 45 t/h of feed, the OEM relies on SEW-EURODRIVE’s product offering capabilities.

To ensure security of supply and fast turnaround, SEW-EURODRIVE maintains a substantial stockholding.

“Any customer that wants to build a new plant will need at least 30 or 40 of a certain type of gearbox, sometimes all the same size, up front. So, you need to keep 30 or 40 of the same size unit, and more, in stock to be able to meet this demand in addition to the everyday demands of other customers,” explains Jackson.

Besides Johannesburg, SEW-EURODRIVE has branches in Nelspruit, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

Edited by Zandile Mavuso
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features




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