Capital Equipment News

Leading wet processing equipment manufacturer CDE is reaping the rewards of stepping up its drive to engage directly with the African market by developing its local team, writes Munesu Shoko.

Estim reinforcing sub Saharan washing agendaThere is a general strong sentiment that the medium and long-term growth of many international original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will have to be garnered in Africa. The continent is regarded as the new frontier which presents a wealth of opportunities and there has to be plans for any international OEM to create some sort of a footprint on the continent. Northern Ireland-based CDE, a leading provider of wet processing equipment for quarries, mines and recycling operations on the global market, is one of the OEMs with a well-defined strategy to make the most of this market, and growing its footprint ranks highly among its key initiatives.

With its range of equipment for applications dedicated to a wide range of materials across five sectors, including sand and aggregates, mining, specialist industrial sands, construction and demolition waste recycling and environmental, CDE already has an extensive footprint across eight regions of the world and its business is based on collaborative, innovative and unique wet processing systems. The company also has strong bases in Kolkata, India, to serve Asian markets, São Paulo,, Brazil, to serve the Latin American market, and North Carolina, United States, to cater for the North American market. Over the years, CDE has had representatives in North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, to develop its customer base.

According to Nicolan Govender, Regional Manager Africa at CDE, the biggest hurdle to develop the wet processing business in Africa was that many operators focused solely on crushing and screening. “While washing basically comes as a result of crushing and screening, it is a specialised and niche market. Wet processing is much more specific than crushing and screening because it entails getting from millimetre to micron sizes. As a result, a direct approach by CDE experts who specialise in wet processing with the customer has proven to be a winning formula. This is why CDE has adopted a global strategy to go direct to the customer rather than via distributors from its inception in 1992, and since 2008 when it established itself in South Africa,” reasons Govender.

In 2015, the company made a call to develop a team based in the sub-Saharan African (SSA) region, hence the appointment of Govender as Regional Manager for Africa. Govender works closely with Business Development Manager Wayne Warren, and between the two of them, they bring on board over 30 years of experience in the sand and aggregates industry, which is a key target market for CDE locally. As part of its 2020 Vision, one of the immediate objectives of the company is to establish a fully-fledged CDE office with a full staff complement in South Africa, which will act as a springboard into the rest of the SSA region.

Why direct? 

Govender says the decision to go direct to market was informed by the company’s consciousness of disintermediation largely due to the lack of proper representation in the washing space. He reasons that servicing customers directly also strengthens relationships, while building an intimate understanding of customers’ operations over time.
Govender is also of the view that as a manufacturer of specialised and sophisticated equipment, CDE believes it can offer its customers better service and solutions because it knows its product better than anyone else. The company can also leverage case studies and learnings from its installed bases across the continent.

Dealing directly with customers also better informs research and development (R&D) by incorporating customer feedback and their changing needs into the company’s research projects. According to Govender, doing business directly with end users also helps the OEM to find quick solutions for its customers, especially in the current economic climate where uptime and productivity are key survival factors for both aggregates producers and mining companies.

Success stories

Govender maintains that a growing installed base of CDE products is evidence of the success of the direct approach. Last year alone, the company sold just under R35 million worth of equipment in the region which, in a market well-known to be depressed at this stage, is quite a success.

In terms of installations, the company did nine last year, eight in South Africa and one elsewhere in Africa. The target market in southern Africa remains predominantly sand and aggregates, according to Govender. He is of the view that, in terms of wet processing, the C&D market, which is one of the key markets for CDE in the UK and Europe at large, hasn’t taken off in Africa yet.

Of the eight South African installations, seven were in the sand and aggregates sector, and one in mining. The mining installation is a multi-million rand plant for a gold dump recycling project in the North West Province which is set to be commissioned in two months’ time. Govender says that once the plant has proven itself over time, there are likely to be some interesting spin-off jobs out of this particular project.

In the sand and aggregates space, the biggest customer to date is a Johannesburg-based supplier of sand, which has already taken delivery of three plants from CDE. Previously, the company would crush material sold as crusher dust to the concrete and asphalt manufacturers. With CDE plants, the sand supplier can now wash the crusher dust to take off all the ultra-fines – silt and clay – to produce a more valuable product. It becomes a valuable product in the sense that washed sand with reduced silt and clay content lowers the cement and water content in concrete mixes.

A block manufacturer in the KwaZulu-Natal area of South Africa is another company that recently took delivery of a CDE plant. The return on investment on this particular plant is based on reduced use of cement in its block-making process. The company now saves 10% on its cement usage every month, which will cover the cost of repayment of the EvoWash to the bank in just seven months.

Case studies

Meanwhile, CDE recently helped Free State-based Mission Point Mining (MPM), a mining operation which supplies silica sand to the construction industry, to decrease its water consumption significantly. The company took delivery of a CDE EvoWash 151 and an AquaCycle 400 water recovery system. It is producing up to 130 tonnes per hour of 0-1 mm fine sand sold as plaster and building sand, as well as foundry sand to the local specialist sand market. Since MPM switched to the CDE cyclone and water recycling technology, demand for its products has grown and the company has now embarked on an expansion of its business, according to MD Johann Pretorius.

To run the EvoWash, MPM feeds the plant up to 500 000 litres of water per day for a total running time of 11 hours. To ensure optimal efficiency, the company has put in place highly effective water saving systems benefitting both the business and the environment. As well as running a CDE AquaCycle that saves up to 90% of waste water, MPM’s water recovery system for stockpiles is also instrumental in accelerating the drying process of the end product to allow it to be sold quickly and make space for new stockpiles.

Elsewhere, following the installation of a CDE EvoWash 72 on its Analiza quarry site, South African brick and block manufacturer Multi Crete Bricks “just can’t keep up with orders”, according to CEO Christo Niemand.

In 2016, Multi Crete saw an opportunity to take the lead in the local materials washing market. To achieve this, an upgrade of its sand screw washing plant was necessary to remedy the substantial loss of valuable fines that ended up in its quarry’s dam. By installing a new CDE EvoWash sand washing plant on its

Analiza quarry, Multi Crete can now continue to produce its own bricks, blocks, and manufactured washed sands with an additional plaster sand.

The Analiza quarry treats raw materials including crushed rocks, a mixture of granite and silica, some being heavily clay-bound. It now produces 23 tonnes per hour of plaster sand and 19 tonnes per hour of river sand. The EvoWash allows for two products to be produced at the same time and can also be set to alter the amount of finer sand in the end product, allowing the quarry to produce two products (-2 mm + 0 and -6 mm + 0).

State of market

Speaking of market conditions, Govender says the African market at large, due to its overreliance on either mining or oil, is very tight at this stage. He, however, finds East Africa an interesting market due to its independence from the resource shortages.

Despite the seemingly tough trading conditions, Govender tells Capital Equipment News that CDE has a steady flow of proposals going out at this stage, and notes that South Africa has started on a fairly positive note this year. He is mostly excited about the recent big sale to one of the biggest five aggregate producers in South Africa, which he believes is a breakthrough considering that the big five pretty much run the bulk of the quarries in the country.

Speaking of market size, Govender says though the sand market is a big sector locally, the wet processing component is still fairly small. He notes that the manufactured sand market is generally larger than the aggregates market, and predicts it to be around 60% of the total aggregates market in South Africa. “Of that 60%, there is only about 10-15% of washing. It is a small market, but all indications are that, washing has to grow. Our products offer well-shaped, washed and graded manufactured sand, helping to replace natural sand, which is fast becoming scarce and expensive,” says Govender. He further notes that the big emphasis on curbing illegal sand mining in rivers, as well as water restrictions in South Africa, will bode well for CDE wet processing systems locally.

Contact Capital Equipment News

Title: Editor
Name: Munesu Shoko
Email: capnews@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Elmarie Stonell
Email: elmaries@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

BANNER5

 
Full Name*
Invalid Input

Company Name*
Invalid Input

Your Email*
Invalid Input

Phone*
Invalid Input

Postal Address 1*
Invalid Input

Postal Address 2*
Invalid Input

Postal Code*
Invalid Input

Street Address 1
Invalid Input

Street Address 2
Invalid Input

Postal Code
Invalid Input

Town / City*
Invalid Input

Country*
Invalid Input

Magazine

Invalid Input

Invalid Input