Drive and control technologies specialist, SEW-Eurodrive, has announced that construction has commenced on a new R200 million head office and factory in Everton, Johannesburg, in order to accommodate the company’s growth. The 25 000 square metre building is being constructed on property acquired by the company two years ago. The necessary earthworks were completed in late September and construction is due to be completed by October 2021. The company plans to move into its new premises – which will also act as its South African headquarters – in January 2022.
Over a three to five year period, the factory will be fitted with state-of-the-art, Industry 4.0 compliant technologies including automated assembly machines and guided vehicles, which the company anticipates will cost at least another R200 million. “In order to remain globally competitive it is important that this new factory is as automated as possible,” explains Raymond Obermeyer, managing director at SEW-Eurodrive South Africa.
The new state-of-the-art, high-tech facility will allow the company to better service customers both in Gauteng and in the rest of Africa, as the company expects the majority of its growth in the years ahead to come from Africa rather than South Africa.
“We expect African markets to account for 50% of our turnover within the next three to four years, given that growth in many countries around the continent is much faster than it is locally,” adds Obermeyer. “Not only do we expect to see opportunities for growth coming from the establishment of the African Free Trade Continental Area agreement, but the removal of border restrictions will make it significantly easier for companies like SEW-Eurodrive to do business on the continent.”
The new factory will accommodate a number of the company’s assembly plants around the country in order to develop better efficiencies and contain costs. SEW-Eurodrive’s existing plants in Nelspruit, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town will continue to operate with a focus on servicing the company’s national footprint of customers, while its current head office and factory will become a large gearbox repair centre.
“This new facility has been planned for some years already and we’re delighted that construction has finally kicked off, paving the way for an exciting period in the company’s growth trajectory,” concludes Obermeyer.
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