Tag Archives: Zest WEG Group

ZEST WEG E-HOUSE SOLUTION POWERS LARGE PLATINUM HIG MILL

A purpose-designed electrical house (E-House) from Zest WEG is driving one of the largest new High Intensity Grinding (HIG) mills in the southern hemisphere, which was recently installed at a platinum mine in South Africa’s North West province.

The size and operational parameters of the mill place demanding requirements on the equipment in the E-House, according to Tyrone Willemse, senior proposals manager at Zest WEG. Constructed in South Africa incorporating a range of products –  produced and distributed by Zest WEG, the E-House design also delivers world class standards of safety and fire protection.

“The key benefit of the prefabricated E-House concept is the time it saves the customer and the high level of quality that can be ensured through its construction and testing under ideal workshop conditions,” he says. “The process is also streamlined as the complete project falls under a single provider, who takes full responsibility for delivering on-time and on-budget.”

This E-House includes the HIG mill’s variable speed drive (VSD) and all its associated auxiliary circuits and starters. A range of WEG transformers and motors are also part of this project. With its extensive in-house expertise, Zest WEG generates fully detailed designs for its E-Houses, using 3D computer assisted design (CAD) software.

“For this application, the E-House consists of a medium voltage (MV) room and a low voltage (LV) room,” he notes. “The MV room houses the well-known WEG MVW01 VSD, with an integral oil type 12 pulse transformer manufactured locally at our transformer manufacturing facility in Wadeville.”

Willemse explains that the WEG MVW01 makes use of high voltage insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs), which lower the amount of power electronics needed. This also reduces the mean time to repair (MTTR), so that operations can be quickly restored in the event of a major fault on the system.

“The WEG MVW01 powers a WEG 3.75 MW MGR eight pole 3.3 kV directly-coupled squirrel cage induction motor,” says Willemse. “This motor is specially designed to be vertically mounted to meet the HIG mill’s operation and maintenance requirements.”

Both the motor and the VSD were designed to meet the aggressive torque requirements during some phases of the mill’s operation. The combination comfortably handles the torque requirements that periodically exceed 170% for more than three minutes, giving the customer the necessary flexibility. The LV room contains the motor control centre (MCC) that feeds all the auxiliary circuits of the mill.

“Importantly, we have installed the newly arc-proof type-tested IEC 61641 WEG board, which has the best rating for personal protection,” he says. “In the event of an internal arc, the MCC is fitted with an explosion duct that transfers any explosion safely out of the building.”

Another aspect of the safety features is a comprehensive fire detection and suppression system that meets the customer’s demanding standards. The two rooms are fitted with their own fully automated room-flooding suppression systems, which can flood the space with gas that douses electrical fires but is not dangerous to humans.

“The system can detect smoke at a very early stage, and can also check against false triggering,” he says. “More than two smoke detectors must react, activating a loud bell for evacuation or cancellation, before flooding takes place.”

The LV room also houses WEG CFW11 LV VSDs, which feed premium efficient  WEG motors. The E-House’s small power and lighting circuits are fed by one of Zest WEG’s locally manufactured SANS780-compliant transformers.

SEAMLESS PLANT SWITCHOVERS ON ZEST WEG GENSET SOLUTIONS

As power outages and loadshedding continue to plague the optimal performance of industrial and mining process plants, Zest WEG is providing standby power solutions that ensure no power loss when these disruptions strike.

According to Damian Schutte, electrical engineering team leader at Zest WEG, many plants face complex and lengthy restart routines if there is a power failure on the main grid and this severely compromises plant efficiencies.

“With our design and manufacturing experience, we can provide genset solutions that can be started up prior to an outage, so that the plant can continue operating seamlessly while switching from utility to standby power, and back again to the utility,” says Schutte.

Adding to this, he highlights that Zest WEG’s customer-focused approach means that it responds positively to the challenges that companies face in scheduling and implementing these backup systems. In a recent project in the Western Cape, the Zest WEG team provided a plant to a customer in the marine sector with a customised genset solution to suit its specific needs and also help the customer face unexpected circumstances.

The plant was experiencing considerable downtime due to loadshedding by the national utility, as it would take some time to bring the plant back to operation. The engineered solution includes six 550 kVA generators, two 11 kV transformers, medium-voltage (MV) switchgear, and breakers for synchronising between generators themselves and also with the utility.

“The smaller size of generator provides flexibility and was a cost saving, as some units can be switched off depending on the site load requirement,” he says.

When frequent loadshedding was suddenly announced by the utility, the customer asked Zest WEG for an urgent temporary solution while continuing to implement the project. The team brought three of the gensets on-stream to keep the plant functional until the planned solution was in place.

Bradley van der Spreng, business development consultant at Zest WEG, notes that all major components for power plant solutions such as these can be manufactured and assembled by Zest WEG and Brazil based parent company, WEG. The company can, however, accommodate a client’s specifications should they refer to a nominated supplier, allowing the gensets to be built for easier on-site installation.

“Our extensive engineering and programming on these systems makes it vital that they are fully tested before being delivered to site,” says van der Spreng. “Whatever we specify in the contract can usually be tested in-house at our advanced facility in Cape Town.”

Customers are invited to attend the factory acceptance test (FAT), which includes load testing of the generators at different loads up to 110%, synchronisation checks, and MV tests if this is part of the scope.

PCI’S WASTEWATER PLANT EXPANSION RELIES ON WEG MOTORS

Water purification specialist PCI Africa has expanded the treatment capacity of a wastewater plant south of Johannesburg, installing over 65 WEG motors for optimal performance, reliability and energy efficiency. 

The project involved the addition of an extra module to the existing wastewater treatment plant, allowing it to treat another 50,000 cubic metres of water each day. Ongoing urban migration and development in the area has demanded that the region’s wastewater treatment facilities continue to increase their capacity. 

According to Lebo Rathebe, proposals manager at PCI Africa, the mechanical portion of the contract included the inlet works, 25 metre diameter primary settling tanks (PSTs), a biological reactor, secondary settling tanks and dewatering facilities. 

“We added a sixth module to the plant, which included the installation of two screw pumps to feed the PSTs, with four front rake screens and hydro-conveyors,” says Rathebe. “The PSTs were fitted with 30 metre long half bridges and two recycle pumps per tank.”

The new module treats water using a three-stage process for the biological removal of nitrogen and phosphorous, he explains. Influent – the incoming stream to the plant – first enters an anaerobic reactor before reaching an anoxic reactor and finally an aerobic reactor. 

“Recycle pumps transfer part of the stream from the anoxic reactor back to the anaerobic reactor, to preserve microbiological matter and keep the solution homogenous,” he says. “There are also recycle pumps to move some of the stream back from the aerobic reactor to the anoxic reactor.”

The WEG W22 motors, supplied by Zest WEG, to this project mainly power the numerous pumps on the site as well as the mixers and agitators, says Dillon Govender, Zest WEG’s sector specialist for public sector business development. 

The motors on this site range mainly from 30 kW to 90 kW flange-mounted units and also include pad foot-mounted motors from 1,5 kW to 37 kW.

“WEG motors are installed in all major processes, from screening, de-gritting, primary settling biological nutrient removal reactors, secondary settling and waste sludge thickening up to dewatering,” says Govender. “Our role in this project demonstrates our growing contribution within the wastewater sector in South Africa and the continent generally.”

In this project, WEG motors are also driving the pumps for return activated sludge and waste activated sludge. He highlights the demanding nature of wastewater applications, given the high levels of corrosion that can occur if equipment is not suitably designed and manufactured. 

“The Class H insulation on these WEG motors enhances their durability and lifespan, allowing them to withstand a higher temperature rise,” he says. “The contract also specified the inclusion of anti-condensation heaters for all motors of 4 kW and above. Our motors on site also boast paint plan 212P as well as IP66 ingress protection to help keep them free of moisture or dust.”

With the rising cost of electricity, it was vital for the motors to run at high efficiencies to control the plant’s operating costs. Zest WEG supplied its IE3 top premium efficiency motors to satisfy the client’s specifications and ensure the owner achieves the lowest cost of ownership. Govender notes that Zest WEG also offers IE4 motors, the next level of efficiency.

Rathebe emphasises the advantage of having Zest WEG supply almost all the motors on the project, saying this made life easier for both the contractor and the end-user. 

“In terms of ongoing operation, the plant owner can economise on the spares they carry, and be assured of responsive after-sales support,” he says. “As the contractor executing this project, it was easier for us to have one source of responsibility when dealing with the supplier.”

Govender concludes that the quality, robustness and efficiency of WEG motors allows Zest WEG to offer a five-year guarantee, giving customers not only value for money but peace of mind that operations will not be disrupted by unexpected stoppages. 

ZEST WEG DELIVERS ITS BIGGEST MOBILE SUBSTATION YET

Leveraging its considerable in-house expertise and local manufacturing capability, Zest WEG recently custom designed and manufactured one of the largest mobile substations ever built in South Africa. 

The 50 MVA mobile substation – destined for Guinea – includes a dual voltage rated mobile transformer produced by WEG in Brazil, according to Bernard Mitton, engineering team leader for integrated solutions at Zest WEG. The substation will be commissioned early in 2022.

“This is a full turnkey project procured by Robustrade in Dubai for the Utility Company of Guinea, called Electricité De Guinée,” says Mitton. “Our in-house team co-ordinated the electrical, civil and mechanical designs, as well as the engineering solutions for the customer.”

The full project includes three trailers of equipment, and allows the end-user to step down power from the main national grid at various geographic points as required. High voltage power is tapped from existing overhead line with a specifically designed and manufactured tee-off solution connecting the supply into the mobile substation, where it is stepped down from 110 kV or 60 kV to 20 kV or 30 kV depending on requirements. 

“From the 50 MVA mobile substation, the supply is then distributed to a 30-20 kV mobile switching station, containing an incomer and five feeders,” he says. “Mini-substations can be fed directly, or a cable can feed to a junction box in the field, usually where there is an existing cable in the ground.”

As part of the project, Zest WEG designed and supplied a cable reel trailer with all power and control cabling needed for the mobile transformer and mobile switching station. Included on this trailer are 30 kV field junction boxes to assist with the cable connection between exiting cables already installed and the supply cables from the mobile switching station. These boxes allow for up to three feeder cable connections. The advantage of this design, he notes, is that the junction box becomes a termination point. The termination ends of the on-site cable do not need to be redone, and all that is necessary is a bolt-on connection. 

“This mobile substation solution is suitable for both temporary and permanent installations, so it can be used in a range of applications,” Mitton says. “For emergencies, it can replace an existing substation transformer in the event of failure, and for standby applications it can handle temporary overloads at substations.”

It can also be put to use during routine maintenance, to manage the loads of existing substations being maintained, repaired or inspected. This minimises the delay in taking out the unit due to load and other system constraints. The mobile substation can even be used to provide power for large project sites or mining sites of high importance.

He highlights that the design and construction of solutions for mobile applications, including mobile generators, is one of Zest WEG’s strengths. The expertise and capability within the business allows these units to be custom-designed to suit customer requirements. In fact, none of the mobile solutions provided to date have been identical.

“We have acquired valuable experience from many years of designing, manufacturing and supplying mobile solutions in modular configurable designs – mainly for Africa and Latin America,” he says. 

“These are not off-the-shelf products, but are custom-engineered solutions to technically comply with user’s specifications, integral requirements, the operational environment, logistical requirements and the safety of the operating personnel.”

The mobile substation includes innovative design features such as the integration of several functions into a compact, modular design. New technologies such as hybrid circuit breakers have been employed, along with disconnectors, earthing switches, ring-type current transformers, inductive voltage transformers and surge arresters.

“All the functionalities are included in a single prefabricated solution, while space requirements for switchgear bays are reduced through high integration of components,” says Mitton. “The substation’s transformer was specifically designed and manufactured by WEG in Brazil for mobile applications.”

Other special features include bushings made of composite silicon rubber, as well as an advanced mechanical and electrical safety interlock system. The modular design simplifies on-site installation, as all equipment has been pre-fabricated, pre-wired and pre-tested before shipping.

“This enhances the reliability of the solution, which translates into high availability and less maintenance,” he says. “It also simplifies the transport, logistics and commissioning.”

The order for the mobile sub-station was placed just before the Covid-19 lockdown in early 2020, so the project had to be managed under challenging conditions. The factory acceptance testing of key components, for instance, could not be done in person due to travel restrictions – so this was successfully done through virtual platforms across different time zones. 

“All in all, we embraced the new communication technologies and proved once again that we could deliver to customer requirements even under unprecedented conditions,” Mitton says. 

“Being able to meet the stringent requirements of Electricité De Guinée, through close collaboration with the Robustrade team, ensured the project was a success, proving this solution suitable for use across the region,” he concludes.  

ZEST WEG IS KEY SUPPLIER OF MOTORS AND VSDS FOR KAMOA-KAKULA

Zest WEG is supplying an extensive range of motors and variable speed drives (VSDs) for the second phase of the Kamoa-Kakula project, one of the world’s most exciting new copper developments, located on the Central African Copperbelt in the DRC. 

Phase one produced its first copper concentrate on 25 May 2021, and is expected to produce 200,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate annually. Phase 2, now in the advanced stages of construction, will result in a doubling of production capacity. Future phased expansions will eventually see a mining rate set to process 19 million tonnes per annum. 

For the first phase of the project, Zest WEG was also the key supplier for this electrical equipment. According to Joe Martins, mining sector specialist for Zest WEG, the mine’s scope of supply for the second phase is a repeat of the first. The first phase was supplied in 2020 with WEG medium voltage VSDs and WEG high voltage motors to drive the mine’s primary and secondary mills in the concentrator plant. 

“We began to manufacture these long lead time items in 2019, and delivered two medium voltage VSDs and two 3,3 kV motors for the mine’s 7,000 kW primary ball mill and its 7,000 kW secondary mill,” says Martins. “Our high voltage motors and medium voltage VSDs were also selected to drive the two 1,200 kW high pressure grinding rolls (HPGRs) in the plant.”

WEG high voltage motors and automation solutions drive the underground ventilation fan applications, providing fresh air to the underground mine workings, he says. 

All these large items are designed to specification, manufactured and tested in WEG’s Brazil facilities. Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, the factory acceptance tests were conducted virtually, with special processes being developed to allow thorough inspection and comment online. The testing of the equipment for phase two – also conducted in a virtual environment – was completed in the third quarter of 2021. 

Significantly, Kamoa-Kakula will be among the world’s lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced, and Zest WEG’s energy efficient motors and automation solutions will contribute to this. 

The first phase order included over 700 WEG low voltage IE3 premium efficiency motors, supplied to various local and international original equipment manufacturers, and installed throughout the concentrator plant. These motors drive equipment such as the rock breakers, conveyor drives, flotation cells, thickeners, slurry pumps, winches and other mechanical OEM packages. 

Where processes within the plant required variable speed control, WEG low voltage VSDs were selected to provide the speed and control necessary for this equipment. Martins explains that by selecting WEG low voltage VSDs in combination with WEG low voltage motors, Kamoa-Kakula will benefit from a 36 month warranty period.  

“An important part of the energy efficiency strategy was for the plant to standardise on our IE3 premium efficiency motors – rated according to the IEC 60034-30 international standard,” he says. “With a class leading energy efficiency rating, this means reduced carbon emissions and greatly reduces operational energy costs.”

Additionally, Zest WEG is supplying the Kamoa-Kakula Project with a new 20 MVA, 33kV/11kV mobile substation, which is currently being manufactured in South Africa. The substation will provide stepped down power, and can be moved to supply power to different areas within Kamoa-Kakula’s mining footprint. 

“Underpinning the performance of our equipment at the mine will be high levels of service and support from Panaco who is our Value Added Reseller (VAR) in the DRC,” says Martins. 

Commenting on VARs, Martins says that those appointed by Zest WEG in this role are far more than simply distributors. “Panaco, as our VAR in the DRC, is a 100% locally owned business specifically chosen to promote and support the wide range of Zest WEG’s offering in the region. Its team includes technical specialists and the company’s operating methodologies and culture are closely aligned with ours, and will aid in supporting our current installed base, client network and growth expectations in the region.” 

EFFICIENT MOTORS VITAL FOR DESALINATION PLANTS

With concern growing that climate change will exacerbate South Africa’s vulnerability to drought, the country is likely to see more desalination plants being installed along our coastline.

Coastal provinces such as the Western Cape and Eastern Cape have been experiencing intense droughts in recent years, and about 10 desalination plants have already been built. According to Dillon Govender, Zest WEG’s public sector specialist, a key cost factor in these plants is the electrical energy required for the high volumes of water being pumped, as well as the volume and high pressure required for the reverse osmosis process, which is the most commonly used technology these days. 

“Desalination plants employ numerous pumps for various functions in the process – all of which need to be driven by electric motors,” says Govender. “The reverse osmosis system also requires relatively high pressures to be maintained, to enable salts to be removed through the use of semi-permeable membranes.”

Reducing the specific energy consumption (kwh/m3) is therefore a strategic requirement underpinning these plants’ viability and performance. WEG’s range of high efficiency motors are being employed across the complete range of desalination plant pump applications, he says. 

These include the intake of raw water (sea water) into the pre-treatment section for the first filtering, high pressure pumping through the reverse osmosis phase itself, post-treatment and storage, and the final pumping to distribution networks and facilities. 

“Our motors are also used for the pumping of concentrated sea water or brine back into the ocean,” he says. “Only about half or around 45% of the volume of the seawater entering the plant through the intake system actually leaves as potable water.”

To further enhance the efficiency of the pumping circuit, Zest WEG supplies gearboxes and variable speed drives (VSDs) with integrated PLCs. This optimises energy consumption while ensuring the required pressure and flow through the desalination membranes, as well as reliable performance in auxiliary systems such as backwashing, dosing, chemical cleaning and brine pumping systems. 

WEG’s Pump Genius software enables a standard VSD to be dedicated to specific pumping systems with various motor and pump combinations, thereby providing improved control and monitoring capability as well as maximising energy savings and reducing downtime.

“We are able to design and supply the necessary electrical enclosures and motor control centres (MCCs) in low and medium voltages, as well as container-type electrical rooms,” says Govender. “Zest WEG also provides solutions for emergency power generation, power distribution and alternative energy generation. Using the Motion Fleet Management (MFM) tool, will also reduce operational costs for maintenance tasks.”

Due to the corrosive coastal environment typically associated with the location of desalination plants, the WEG high efficiency motors have integral IP66 protection, facilitating protection against salt water ingress caused by heavy seas and higher tides. Installation of heaters as well as the epoxy coatings of the motors, helps achieve greater longevity under these arduous conditions. WEG’s Variable Speed Drives (VSD) and soft starters are also available with IP55 ingress protection improving longevity, while all critical components within the VSDs and soft starters are covered with an additional anti-corrosive coating. 

He notes that WEG motors and other electrical equipment have been installed in desalination plants in African countries like Namibia, Algeria and Tunisia, and more widely in countries globally including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Chile, Peru, Australia and Spain. 

ZEST WEG SUPPLIES SA’S NEW GAS, HELIUM PROJECT

South Africa’s exciting onshore natural gas and helium project Tetra4 is being supplied with transformers, switchgear and containerised modular substations by local electrical equipment specialist Zest WEG.

Developed by emerging producer Renergen, Tetra4 is the country’s first and only holder of an onshore petroleum production right. Located near Virginia in the Free State province, the natural gas in the deposit reportedly contains world-beating concentrations of helium – up to 12% compared to typical levels of around 0,5%.

The first phase of the project is advancing well, with the construction of the liquid natural gas (LNG) and helium plant scheduled for completion by the end of 2021 or early in 2022.

According to Lukas Barnard, Zest WEG’s sector specialist – oil and gas business development, the equipment ordered from Zest WEG is on track to be delivered and installed in the third quarter of this year. 

“The transformers we have been contracted to supply are a 7MVA 33/11KV unit and two 1.5MVA 6.6/0.4KV units, being manufactured locally at our transformer facility in Wadeville,” says Barnard. “We will also supply the 33kV, 11kV and 6,6kV medium voltage switchgear, which will be installed into two six-metre containerised substations, being locally manufactured by Zest WEG at its Heidelberg facility.”

“The medium voltage switchgear will be installed in the modular substations in Heidelberg, where a factoryacceptance test will be conducted before equipment is transported to site,” he says. “The complete package is managed with a single point of contact – a project manager – at Zest WEG, easing the customer’s administrative burden.”

Renergen says it wanted a supplier with the necessary experience and expertise, but more than that it needed a partner who could meet the tight delivery requirements, with enough flexibility to find solutions to the challenges related to a project of this nature.

“There have been many benefits working with local companies including additional flexibility and control, while allowing us to react quickly to changes and challenges that arise as we roll out the project,” says Nick Mitchell, Renergen Chief Operating Officer. 

“Any support of local business has far reaching economic benefits for the communities in which they operate and this remains a critical balance for us to achieve in a project, where not all the components can be manufactured locally or available locally. It also reduces currency risk by minimising our exposure to exchange rate fluctuations.”

Renergen also emphasises the advantage of Zest WEG’s package solutions capability, especially in a project like this with multiple streams of work that need to be coordinated across multi-disciplinary teams. Barnard says this is where Zest WEG’s project manager added considerable value in terms of management, procurement and project flow. 

“When multiple contractors and suppliers are involved, the project flow becomes very difficult and can generate significantly more risk,” he says. “Our project manager was able to work with the customer to mitigate these risks and streamline the roll-out.”

He also notes the advantages of the containerised and E-House modular substations in fast track projects. By manufacturing the units in a dedicated facility, Zest WEG provided an efficient solution while reducing the on-site responsibilities of the project developers.“Building a brick-and-mortar substation means more personnel and activity on site over an extended period, with all the related health and safety implications such as inductions and medical checks,” says Barnard. “It is quicker and far more convenient to build it in a well-equipped facility such as ours where it is also possible to run factory acceptance tests before delivery.”

ZEST WEG’S INSTALLATION OF MV SWITCHBOARD MINIMISES DOWNTIME

In a process that minimised disruption to the customer’s plant, Zest WEG has supplied one of its locally manufactured MTW05 Medium Voltage (MV) switchboards to a gold producer in Gauteng.

According to Zest WEG executive Bevan Richards, the choice was based on the panels’ compact dimensions, safety features and internal arc classification. With a 17.5 kV voltage rating, basic insulation level (BIL) of 95 kV and a fault level rating of 31,5 kA, the switchboard also has a high internal arc classification of 31.5 kA BF ALR 1sec

“The changeout was facilitated by an extension of the substation to allow both the existing panel and our new MTW05 MV panel to be accommodated in the same room,” says Richards. “This allowed for our panel to be installed and energised, so that loads could be moved from the existing panel to the new panel at opportune moments.”

The customer was able to complete the termination of cables from the national utility, from the standby generator set and from numerous feeder overhead lines in this phased approach. This avoided hours of downtime, Richards explains, which would have cost the customer dearly in terms of lost production. The job was conducted after detailed engagement with mine management, to arrive at an optimal solution within the operational demands of the plant.

“The project consisted of numerous phases, including the addition of a MV power factor correction (PFC) system,” he says. “With the plant planning a number of upgrades, the new state-of-the-art panel provides a safer solution that will accommodate all the required modifications and extensions going forward.”

The order included the supply of a battery tripping unit (BTU), a cabinet for tools and equipment, and a new distribution board, as well as the completion of internal control cabling. Zest WEG also supplied, installed and commissioned a fire suppression system inside the MV substation and PFC room

“Another element of our solution was to give the customer enhanced monitoring capacity, by fitting the incoming panel with a power quality meter with GPS and GPRS capability,” says Richards. “This allows for the off-site monitoring and recording of power quality and energy consumption, so they can pick up any spikes in the grid supply that might expose the plant to damage in the long term and determine the cause of power outages.”

ZEST WEG CUSTOMERS CAN NOW BUY ONLINE – ANYTIME

Zest WEG has become one of only a few industrial companies to pioneer an E-Commerce facility linked to its new website, allowing its customers to make purchases online. Incorporated into the online purchasing facility on the new website are functionalities which include features such as technical tools and other capabilities including access to stock availability levels and more.

“The E-Commerce facility is part of Zest WEG’s continuous drive to serve customers better, making it easier and quicker for them to deal with us,” says Johan van Niekerk, Zest WEG national sales executive. “This is just another way to make our products more readily available to customers.”

Around South Africa, customers can now conveniently place orders on this new Zest WEG E-Commerce site, which in its first phase of roll-out includes standard products like low voltage electric motors, variable speed drives, soft starters and switchgear. 

Van Niekerk highlights that the design and programming for this kind of site – which includes a wide range of technical products – has been quite demanding. The company began the thought process long before the Covid-19 lockdowns were implemented, and prioritised the roll-out since then. 

“The digital world around us, and especially electronic or internet trading, is developing very rapidly,” he says. “It was therefore important for us to develop our E-Commerce capability as part of our philosophy of ongoing improvement and  customer service.”

He emphasises that customers requiring assistance will still have access to the staff that currently provide them with service support. 

“The E-Commerce site is an important value addition to our new corporate website, which has been redesigned partly to facilitate easy integration with the E-Commerce element,” he says. “The website is now easier to navigate and offers an even greater depth of technical information and brochures, as well as more tools that customers will find useful.”

Zest WEG’s fleet of delivery vehicles will deliver goods ordered online, within the existing areas of coverage ensuring the same high levels of logistical reliability, and the normal returns policy will still apply to these products. Van Niekerk advises that emergencies should be dealt with through direct personal contact to ensure that the customer’s requirement is well understood – to achieve the best and quickest service.

“We are confident that customers will find the added flexibility of Zest WEG E-Commerce valuable, giving them access to an ordering system at all hours of the day or night,” he says.

TRACTION TRANSFORMERS FROM ZEST WEG FOR RAIL NETWORK

As an established supplier to South Africa’s rail sector, Zest WEG will be supplying specialised traction transformers for new substations serving rail lines in Gauteng and the Western Cape. 

According to Dillon Govender, sector specialist – public sector business development at Zest WEG, work on the eight transformers ordered is currently underway, for delivery by the end of October 2021. The company is supplying six 6MVA units that will step down from 88kV to 1220V, and two more 6MVA units stepping down from 44kV to 1220V. All the transformers will feature a dual output, as well as tertiary windings for small power applications like lighting in the area.

“This is part of an important fast track project, and the order follows a number of successful deliveries of these complex transformers by Zest WEG over the years,” says Govender. “The units are designed to customer specifications and manufactured in line with global standards.”

Through its workshop facilities in Gauteng, Zest WEG has become well known as a 100% local manufacturer of power, distribution and traction transformers for customers within South Africa, and has supplied well beyond the borders. 

“We have established considerable local capacity in transformer manufacture, reflected in the growing confidence of customers in our design and production capabilities,” he says. “We are also able to leverage the value of being part of the WEG Group by drawing on the skills of experts from our Brazilian facilities.”

This allows Zest WEG to constantly upgrade local skills through training and skill sharing by specialist engineers and technicians, whenever necessary. This corporate relationship has also allowed the company to broaden its local offerings, at the same time as creating jobs and upskilling local employees. 

“Zest WEG’s depth of expertise means that we can also conduct design work locally, to meet the specific requirements of customers,” he says. “Our strong local footprint includes offering the necessary service support to customers, ensuring that we can provide the necessary backup for all our equipment.”