Condra, a South African leader in crane and hoist manufacturing, has acquired iTek Drives, a distributor of the Optidrive range of variable frequency drives (VFDs)
The acquisition secures for Condra the supply of a key crane component and reinforces iTek’s position as an important sales partner of Invertek Drives, the UK-based manufacturer of the Optidrive product range.
Optidrive VFDs optimise the operation of completed Condra cranes, delivering precisely variable motion during lift, cross-travel and long-travel, smoothly changing motor speeds to eliminate ‘stepping’. The drives also optimise electrical energy usage.
The takeover has been seen by industry observers as a logical development of Condra’s longstanding use of Invertek’s Optidrive range, bringing together corporate synergies in vision and distribution likely to prove useful in improving both product delivery times and support for Optidrive installations across South Africa.
End-users will benefit from expanded technical expertise, including readier access to installation and repair skills delivered by increased staffing that will soon include Condra technicians currently undergoing training and accreditation in drive programming and repair.
Condra’s managing director, Marc Kleiner, said, “Condra already holds a substantial stock of this product at our Johannesburg factory. So combined with iTek’s own stock, the acquisition effectively makes it the country’s biggest supplier of Invertek drives. Customers will benefit from the increased level of competition in the drive market resulting directly from this increased stockholding.
“Distribution channels will for the moment remain confined to South Africa, but there remains the option to extend distribution into sub-Saharan Africa at Invertek’s discretion. We have implemented a programme of planned visits to customers and sub-agencies to communicate the smooth change of ownership and improved product availability resulting from larger stock holdings.”
Kleiner emphasised that, within Condra itself, benefits will include unhindered access to an excellent drive at a competitive price, and the ability to advance more quickly the technology incorporated in its own product. Online training by Invertek of Condra technicians, already begun, will be reinforced by in-factory training in early 2023.
Condra’s purchase of iTek Drives is the company’s second acquisition this year, and follows the incorporation into the group in March of Cape Town’s BB Cranes.