SEW-Eurodrive South Africa has expanded its Field Service Department, and is growing its service offering with the addition of value-added services such as vibration and oil analysis.
“This will broaden the scope of our aftermarket support significantly,” comments Eben Pretorius, head of the Field Service Department. “Normally we carry out a visual inspection to determine the condition of a gearbox or power pack. Now we can pinpoint a specific bearing or gear component within the unit that is starting to fail and, in addition, identify whether or not the oil is in a usable condition.”
The advantage for customers is that they are made aware of potential problems or imminent failures, and can plan corrective actions around normal shutdown periods. This approach is less disruptive to business and more cost-effective than unscheduled or unplanned downtime. “We are now able to work with customers to carry out preventative maintenance or supply replacement units on short notice to maximise plant uptime,” stresses Pretorius. “The value-added services are applicable to SEW-Eurodrive’s extensive geared motor and industrial gear product ranges.”
While the company has already been offering such value-added services to some of its larger customers, the plan now is to roll it out to all customers. In addition, it is in the process of incorporating these value-added services into formal service contracts to ensure customer maintenance and condition monitoring is performed by skilled technicians with specialist knowledge in the transmission industry.
The Field Service Department has grown significantly in the past year. “On the electronics side, we have just completed a major project for an automotive manufacturer that has extended its plant for the assembly of its latest model,” highlights Pretorius. “We are currently busy at another automotive manufacturer, upgrading its entire plant with innovative, safe, and energy-efficient concepts and products from our comprehensive modular system of drive elements. We focus on energy efficiency and safety technology in particular, with products designed specifically for this purpose, making us an ideal partner.”
The success of the Field Service Department indicates a clear need for skilled technicians who are able to service and repair products in the field. “Technicians are available 24/7 and provide support in 23 African countries,” concludes Pretorius, “and our large local stockholding gives us the ability to respond quickly to breakdowns and critical situations.”
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