Engineering consumables and components distributor Bearing Man Group (BMG) officially opened its upgraded BMG World facility, in Droste Park, Johannesburg, to customers last month.
BMG World is the consolidation of BMG’s various product divisions and workshops, into one central facility. This consolidation is the culmination of ten years’ work and processes to fulfil BMG’s vision of being an industrial powerhouse supplying Africa.
The facility includes an advanced Fluid Technology manufacturing centre and general engineering workshops, specialist assembly and repair workshops for drives, conveyors, hydraulics and pneumatics, as well as electric motors, electronics, gaskets, lubrication systems and filtration systems. It also houses the BMG Academy of Excellence, which creates and develops learning programmes and events that support the group strategies.
The company’s Fluid Technology division, which incorporates bulk filtration, lubrication systems and lubrication products, also includes BMG’s hydraulics and pneumatics offerings, says BMG Fluid Technology business unit manager David Dyce.
Through this division, BMG provides a full scope of hydraulics services for customers, which includes hydraulic tool repairs, instrumentation repairs, filter repairs and changes, as well as hydraulic systems pressure testing. The division is also able to design hydraulics systems and hydraulic cylinders according to customer specification.
The integration of the Fluid Technology division into BMG World enables BMG to conduct all these services from this advanced facility, he points out.
Moreover, Dyce mentions that BMG represents power management solutions provider Eaton’s hydraulics products in South Africa, with Eaton as BMG’s biggest partner for the supply of hydraulic components into the market. BMG also provides a warranty centre and authorised service centre for Eaton products. “All these services are now conducted at BMG World.”
In addition, through BMG’s partnership with Eaton, BMG distributes the Winner and Aeroquip range of hose and fittings products. Dyce mentions that hydraulics company, Goldquest Hydraulics, acquired several years ago by BMG, has now been fully integrated into BMG World.
BMG also provides a range of pumps and instrumentation for most of the systems the company manufactures. Through BMG World, instrumentation for hydraulics, filtration and lubrication systems can now be provided as part of a system or as separate parts, informs Dyce.
BMG manufactures hydraulic cylinders; builds power packs; and provides hydraulic cylinder, power pack and any other associated hydraulics product repairs.
Dyce highlights that, in terms of BMG’s work in the manufacturing of hydraulic components, a notable service is its customisable offering: the company builds products from scratch, after their having been designed according to client specifications. He enthuses that BMG is one of the few companies that provides this full offering, setting it apart in the market.
Moreover, BMG is in the process of building a workshop on site at BMG World to manufacture pneumatic cylinders.
“By consolidating everything under one roof, efficiency is improved and costs are better controlled,” he says, adding that one management team allows for a better focus.
Economic Crisis Impact
Dyce indicates that BMG has seen a definite decline in client spending this year, with a number of mines shutting down in South Africa. BMG’s main client base for hydraulics is the mining sector, through either direct supply to mines or supply to original-equipment manu- facturers who build mining equipment.
However, he indicates that the “massive” investment of R400-million by BMG Group for BMG World demonstrates the company’s confidence in South Africa.
Dyce extols that the consolidation of BMG World has already started paying off, with further enhancement expected as all challenges are ironed out. Consolidating all stock, to move it out to the company’s branch network, is currently the most challenging factor, as the company is dealing with much higher stock volumes following the consolidation of BMG World. This is being managed through training of employees at the facility, and placing the most suitably qualified personnel in the correct structures within the BMG World organisational setup.
Another challenge is merging different company cultures with that of BMG when integrating different companies. “As with any company, getting people to understand and accept change is difficult, even if it is beneficial. It is a slow process, but worthwhile.”
The official opening of BMG World comprised a facility tour, a virtual reality tour, and a product exhibition showcasing the range of products from BMG’s different divisions and subsidiaries.
Dyce extols that the opening was well received, with “mind-blowing” feedback from customers who were impressed with the facility. Further, with thousands of customers attending, he enthuses that this exceeded BMG’s expectations for the turnout, marking a massive success for the company.