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Sunward expands presence in S Africa with 3 000 m2 distribution, service centre

20th December 2023

     

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Drill, earth-moving and construction equipment supplier Sunward South Africa has unveiled its dedicated distribution facility in Jet Park, Boksburg, to serve the Southern African mining and construction markets.

Sunward South Africa is part of the Sunward Intelligent Equipment Group, which is a Shenzen-listed top 50 global construction equipment manufacturer, producing more than 11 000 excavators and drill rigs a year.

Sunward has successfully developed more than 200 high-end products with independent intellectual property rights and core competencies in the fields of underground engineering equipment, excavators, rock drilling equipment, mining equipment, hoisting machinery, hydraulic components and general aviation equipment. Globally it exports to more than 100 countries.

In Africa, Sunward is a globally respected brand with numerous machines operating in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sunward South Africa offers three distinct mining machines; the crawler-type Top hammer models (from 64 mm up to 115 mm diameter with hole depths up to 25 m), and a range of down-the-hole drilling rigs (from 90 mm up to 255 mm diameter, with hole depths up to 36 m).

Rounding off the product portfolio is the Sunward excavator range with 0.8 ton to 98.5 ton operation weight.

Powered by Tier III engines, the fuel efficient, low emission Sunward machines uphold standard ergonomics and safety designs, featuring cab air conditioning, radios as well as light-emitting diode lights.

Sunward South Africa’s flagship rock drill rig model SWDE165 has served coal miners particularly well, with the company continuously improving the machines’ performance, fuel consumption levels, simplicity of operation and quick and easy maintenance.

Azize CEO Basie Roelofse says local coal miners are satisfied with the reliability and after-sales service of Sunward’s drill rigs and that the machines have done well to ensure coal supply to local power plants, which, given South Africa’s context of energy insecurity, is vital.

In turn, the SWE10FED is the company’s first electric-hydraulic excavator with smaller tonnage than its counterparts, which is apt for use in indoor operations, garden greenhouses and other small and confined spaces. This machine has virtually no carbon footprint and is equipped with a customised lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack, with a battery life of between four and six hours.

The one-ton micro excavator fully combines optimal space utilisation with maximum battery life.

Responding to what distinguishes the Sunward brand from other manufacturers in the market, Sunward South Africa CEO Ferry Meng explains the company’s commitment to innovation makes for a positive advantage in the market, with the machines featuring best-in-class components yet being less complex to operate compared with many other options in the market.

The company, however, does not compromise on robustness, reliability and serviceability in favour of simplicity.

Meng explains the group’s software enables superior fuel consumption and operational performance, which Sunward plans to continuously refine and develop further.

Pilot innovation, which is often more complex than product research and development, is a core focus for Sunward to build its product groups with distinctive features, value and differentiation.

LOCAL VIEW

Sunward first set up a South African subsidiary in 2020 but has now grown to have its own 3 000 m2 yard and warehouse, which it plans to expand further with more employees and increased service capability through workshops.

Meng confirms the facility currently employs five people, of which one is South African, however, Sunward South Africa plans to hire more local engineers and service assistance over the next three years.

With the efforts of sales and service engineers, as well as the support of distribution agents, Sunward has maintained stable growth in the local market. Mining equipment such as 95-t excavators and various models of down-hole drills are particularly popular.

Currently, the number of Sunward equipment in large mines in South Africa has reached dozens, with a value of more than R100-million, with local foreign clients accounting for over 90% of orders.

Commenting on market conditions, Meng says South Africa is a major mining market for the group, with solid demand for mobile crushing screens, excavators and dump trucks.

He is confident that the company will grow its market share not only in South Africa but on the continent as a reliable mining and construction equipment supplier.

In turn, Roelofse is also optimistic about Sunward’s ability to continuously improve equipment performance and capability to provide accessory support. “With increasing demand for mining equipment in South Africa and other African countries such as Tanzania and Zambia, Sunward will no doubt grow in the Southern African market,” he states.

Sunward benefits from trade agreements such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, or Brics, as well as China-South Africa diplomatic relations.

At group-level, Sunward will continue to pursue accelerated development of construction machinery on a global scale and increase its presence in the prominent mining markets of Southern Africa.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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