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Shaw Controls invests US$605,000 in expansion

Shaw Controls, part of the Zest Weg Group, has invested US$605,000 in a full scale company-wide expansion project that will see processes and systems streamlined across the board

“Although we have been one of the top three electrical equipment suppliers in the country for some time, we have now set our sights firmly on becoming South Africa’s number one motor control centre and container sub-station manufacturer," said Bevan Richards, managing director of Shaw Controls. “The upgrades we are implementing during 2011 and 2012 are part of a five year growth strategy designed to take us a quantum leap forward and position us to take full advantage of the increased demand in our market anticipated in the next few years."

The company has steadily acquired several properties adjacent to its original site in Robertsham, south of Johannesburg, and work is underway to incorporate all the new properties into one single 10,000 m2 site. The improvements include a new office block complex to accommodate the company’s burgeoning staff complement.

“We are particularly excited about our new 1,000 m2 in-house container conversion yard that will put us at the forefront of container conversions on the continent,” Richards said. “We have purchased a 25 ton overhead crane for this dedicated facility which will also have fully equipped workshops. The crane will make it easy for us to manoeuvre containers around the yard, which will reduce lead times drastically — by as much as 25 per cent. Having a dedicated facility will make it possible to conduct preliminary preparation work on stock containers, allowing us to expedite new orders very quickly. Container sub-stations are in big demand by companies operating throughout Africa and we are now in pole position to tap into this potentially huge market.”

Shaw Controls’ sheet metal factory is also undergoing a major upgrade that includes the commissioning of two additional CNC machines. Improvements to the sheet metal production capability include a brand new seven-stage powder coating pre-treatment plant equipped with state-of-the-art technology and a new powder coating facility with a gas fired oven.

“In terms of sheet metal production, we have conducted a complete process review and the upgraded facilities will be configured to speed up processes, increase capacity and generally streamline the entire flow of the manufacturing process,” said Richards. “By the end of this upgrade we will also have established a sheet metal storage facility with pre-assembly and pre-dispatch areas. And we will have enough space to set up a stockholding of pre-assembled sheet metal. The company is well on track to achieve ISO 9001 accreditation by the end of this year, under the guidance of a newly appointed quality assurance manager. All the upgrades are scheduled for completion by the end of 2012."

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