SMC has changed its name
December 2018, News
SMC Pneumatics South Africa now has a new name – SMC Corporation ZA. This name change reflects the growing range of non-pneumatic components being developed by SMC globally, thanks to the company’s continued focus on R&D. With the objective of producing cutting edge products to meet the growing need for automation, SMC’s investment in R&D has increased, with more than 1400 R&D engineers now located at technical centres around the world.
With a portfolio of over 12 000 standard products available in over 700 000 variant forms, SMC launches around 40 new products each year. “This constant stream of new and improved products means that our non-pneumatic products – drives and controls, chillers and air dryers, and static control equipment – have made this name change even more important,” says Peter Findlay, recently appointed general manager of SMC ZA.
To help its South African customers select the most appropriate products for their needs, SMC has created a Sales Engineering Group (SEG) at its Midrand facility. This exists primarily as a technical support function for the company’s broad product range. This support is not only for SMC’s internal and external sales personnel, but is also extended to customers and distributors. SEG’s functions include the following:
• Technical advice on correct product selection
• Sizing of products for specific applications
• Support for circuit design
• Counter sales support
• Investigations into application failures
• New product demonstrations
• Guided showroom tours for customers
• Product training for internal staff
“We pride ourselves on having one of the best sales support departments for the automation industry in South Africa,” says product manager, Brian Abbott. “Our vast application experience in both electric drives and standard pneumatic fields enables us to give the best advice and support to our internal and external customers, with queries being handled in a very short space of time.”
To enable shorter delivery times and availability of non-standard stock items, SMC’s local production facility in Midrand was brought into operation in 2016. Abbott adds that this has created a huge competitive advantage as the company can offer product ranges and levels of service not available anywhere else in the country. “As an example we can offer three-day delivery on standard SY valve banks,” he continues. “Other benefits for the customer include free software and tools on the SMC website, a superbly equipped showroom, counter sales, a large stockholding and customised solutions tailored to individual customer needs.”
Training is a core part of SMC’s offering, and in South Africa the company offers five courses: basic pneumatics, electro-pneumatics, basic hydraulics, electro-hydraulics and mechatronics. National training manager, Riaan van Eck says that these training courses were developed to give machine operators, maintenance staff, technicians and engineers the knowledge and skills they need to operate and maintain their production machines on a daily basis. “Although we have five standard courses scheduled throughout the year across the country, we also offer customers the option of onsite training. We can also customise courses depending on individual customer needs,” he adds.
The training department also offers educational training equipment for schools, colleges and universities and these are available to customers for in-house training. This range of training equipment covers a wide range of topics including e-learning, circuit design and simulation software, vacuum technology, energy efficiency in pneumatics, hydraulics, PLCs, instrumentation process control, mechatronics and Industry 4.0.
To deliver automation solutions to its diverse customer base, SMC has a vast knowledge of applications in a wide range of industries ranging from automotive to food and beverage to packaging and mining. “In South Africa we have a diverse and driven team ready to help our customers,” says regional sales manager for the northern region, Shaun Collett. “Our goal is to give the best possible service we can to all our customers. We provide solutions and help our customers improve their processes, saving them time and money.”
“We are committed to delivering the highest level of support at all times in line with our dynamic, customer-focused approach,” concludes Findlay.
SMC Corporation is a global leader in pneumatics technology and industrial automation, and was voted for three consecutive years as one of the most innovative global companies by Forbes magazine. With its headquarters in Tokyo, the company has 51 subsidiaries around the world, with sales offices in 83 countries and employs over 20 000 people. It has an 8200-strong sales force of experts who enjoy a close working relationship with their customers.
For more information contact SMC Corporation South Africa, +27 11 100 5866, email@example.com, www.smcza.co.za