When a major copper mine in Zambia required a 110 kW VSD urgently for a slurry application, it turned to SEW-Eurodrive, which was not only able to supply the unit on a fast track basis over the Christmas 2017 period, but also assisted with on-site commissioning.
As this was the first time that SEW-Eurodrive had supplied this mine with a VSD, the company went the extra mile by dispatching an electronics field service technician to site to assist with the commissioning and setup. “We also provided basic operator training as part of our support service,” says export sales engineer Philip Steyn. “This project was a major achievement for us, not only due to the large size of the unit, one of the biggest VSDs we have ever supplied, but also due to the fact that we have introduced this mining producer to our electronics line-up.”
A particular advantage of the VSD supplied is that the mine did not have to upgrade its control system in order to have it connected and running as soon as possible. “Changing out a VSD is not as simple a process as changing a motor, but the modularity and ease of use of our products makes this a quick and efficient procedure. This is a clear example of our class-leading technology giving us a leading edge in the market,” he comments.
Such has been the success of the project that the mining producer is looking to procure a second VSD as a backup unit – which SEW-Eurodrive already has on hand if needed. “Our significant stockholding is a critical factor in our success. It is all about being able to not only deliver what you promise, but going above and beyond what is required,” Steyn adds.
A major advantage in this regard is the company’s Exports Department, which facilitates cross-border projects such as this one in the Zambian Copperbelt. “The backup and support service offered by our Exports Department is crucial, especially as we cannot be on site constantly. However, the necessary support structure is in place, and we do conduct regular in-country visits,” he continues.
This contributed to the success of the Zambian project, where the mining producer was essentially unaware of the electronics side of SEW-Eurodrive’s product line-up, despite having a large number of its gearmotors on site. “It is important for us to look at a customer’s entire operation and to see where we can best add value by incorporating additional SEW products to make for a total package,” Steyn says.
The success of this project not only increases SEW’s installed base in the Zambian Copperbelt itself, but further entrenches the company as a supplier of solutions that make for the lowest total cost of ownership. “For example, we have just sold an additional two gearboxes to the same mining producer, with a further two on order. The benefit for customers at the end of the day is that they have peace of mind that all our products come with comprehensive technical assistance and backup support, even in Africa,” Steyn concludes.
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