Recent announcements by President Jacob Zuma and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on government’s intention to accelerate infrastructure development spend could result in increased sales of capital equipment for the construction industry, indus- trial screening provider Ludowici Meshcape technical manager Henri Robertson tells Engineering News.
He says there are already a fair number of contracts emerging in South Africa’s construction industry, adding that he expects the company to capitalise on these opportunities.
“Government’s recent announcements, coupled with the recovering construction sector and frequent enquiries regarding our new fit-for-purpose vibrating equipment solutions, give us an indication of a good year ahead,” notes Robertson.
While it is still too early to provide exact figures, there are signs that Ludowici Meshcape will increase its turnover this year, he adds.
“We are expecting a record sales year in terms of not only capital equipment, but also our rapidly growing consum- ables market, which has resulted in the company employing more staff,” he adds.
Ludowici Meshcape cur- rently employs about 300 people in South Africa.
The company continues to implement its expansion programme that will enable it to enter other African markets. It recently opened an office in Tete, Mozambique.
“The recently opened offices in Mozambique put us in a good position to take advantage of the emerging opportunities there. We have equipment in that country, so the service crews will be able to assist our clients faster,” says Robertson.
Meanwhile, he points out that the consolidation of companies is a major trend in South Africa’s capital equipment industry. “We have noticed that companies are buying out related service or product providers to broaden their product base.
“Ludowici Meshcape was recently formed through the acquisition of South African screening media manufacturer Meshcape by Australia-based global mineral processing equipment manufacturer Ludowici.”
He says the acquisition enables the company to offer a wider range of solutions, while positioning it in more favourable conditions to penetrate multiple industries and markets.
Robertson notes that mergers and acquisitions provide customers with a complete solution and reduce costs. He expects Ludowici Meshcape to also undertake more mergers and acqui- sitions in the near future.
Meanwhile, the company says it is working on integrating a maintenance offering into the purchase price of vibrating equipment through a contract that is meant to ease the burden of service- related issues for the client.
“This contract will enable us to monitor the machine and, when it starts experiencing problems, to do a service exchange on it,” says Robertson.
Further, Ludowici Meshcape says it is working on a product offering on screening vibrating equipment, called tolling, to enable clients to rent equipment from the company.
“All these new product offerings became viable through the acquisition and, now that we have the infrastructure to offer wider services and products, we are accelerating our plans,” says Robertson.
Going forward, Ludowici Meshcape plans to introduce more products from its global parent company in South Africa. “We have an array of products in the group that we have not tapped into yet. One that we are developing is the sale of mill liners, which are supplied by our Chilean sister company.”