MechChem Africa

SMC Pneumatics celebrates its second year in South Africa this April. MechChem Africa talks to the pneumatics and automation specialist’s general manager, Adrian Buddingh, about the company’s growth path and 2017 plans.

toyota clampHaving officially opened in South Africa in April 2015, SMC Pneumatics moved into its state-of-the-art Growthpoint premises in Midrand in November 2015, enabling the company to receive stock and begin trading. “When we opened nearly two years ago we estimated that SMC’s market share in South Africa was at around 2.5%. But SMC has 32% of the global pneumatics market and a footprint in 83 countries, making it the largest pneumatics company in the world,” says Buddingh.

“In April 2016 we hosted our official grand opening, so we have nearly completed our first full year of official trading. From the 2.5% market share this time last year, we feel that we are now on target to achieve our market share vision by the year 2020,” Buddingh assures, adding, “we see this is a good indication that demand is there and growth potential is realistic.”

During this first full year, the local customisation facility was accredited by the company’s Japanese parent and spear-headed by head of manufacturing from SMC UK and long-time employee of the company, Peter Austin to ensure that SMC South Africa aligns to stringent global standards. Austin will spend the next few years in South Africa heading up the local production team. “We have also been systematically increasing our staff complement, a few of whom are relatively new to SMC’s product offering and internal processes. We have, therefore, been focusing on internal training conducted by both local team members and international colleagues from various parts of the world. The support that we have internationally is phenomenal and ensures that we are on-par with global trends and international standards,” he tells MechChem Africa.

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