By Dineo Phoshoko | Photos by Dineo Phoshoko
Ash Brothers was established in South Africa in 1929 and were the first agents for German processing giant Schenck outside of Germany.
Eight decades later, Schenck Process Africa is a leading manufacturer of vibrating screens and screen media globally.
A division of the Schenck Process Group, Schenck Process Africa provides a complete range of products and systems in fields of process weighing, feeding, screening and high capacity train loading equipment.
Speaking to the Mining & Minerals Product Review (MMPR), managing director Willem Kempen explains that Schenck Process Africa is the only company in South Africa that provides a complete package in screen media and vibrating screens.
“There are a lot of screen media manufacturers and vibrating screen manufacturers, we manufacture both products in house,” he says. This means that the company integrates the machine and its consumable in a single package.
The company has an impressive factory in Johannesburg where various sizes of vibrating screens and screening media are manufactured for mining and minerals processing. The factory has facilities including vibrating screen testing, a vibrator motor and exciter test bed as well as electrical panel assembling facilities. Schenck Process design and manufacture vibrating screens in the whole minerals and mining processing spectrum. The factory has the capability to manufacture screen media including rubber, polyurethane and wedge wire screen panels.
Schenck Process Africa is very versatile as they are able to design, manufacture and supply screen panels for screens manufactured by most screen suppliers.
“Because we supply screen panels, we are not only limited to supplying it for Schenck Process screens only. We can fit panels to our competitors’ screens as well,” explains Kempen.
Added to that, included in the factory is a refurbishment workshop where Schenck Process Africa offers complete refurbishments of vibrating screens and geared exciters. Similar to the screen panels, Schenck Process Africa has the capability to refurbish vibrating screens other than Schenck Process machines. As a versatile company, Schenck Process Africa prides itself in providing a quality service to all clients.
Kempen stresses the importance of not only repairing vibrating screens during screen refurbishment, but also to add value by improving existing designs whether the vibrating screen is an original Schenck Process machine or not.
As a manufacturer of vibrating screens and screen media, Schenck Process Africa also offer an after sales service, where they can assist clients to optimise their vibrating screens and screen media. A team of internationally trained technicians are available to assist with any problems on site.
“We have an active site support,” Kempen says. With such support, Schenck Process Africa is able to establish a partnership where they work together with their clients to get through any challenges that may arise. This includes advising clients on the best screening solution for their product, refurbishing screens on site or at the Schenck Process Africa premises. Our skilled team offer on-site analysis and inspections to any vibrating screens.
“We are quite flexible in terms of what to offer to fulfil the customers’ needs and requirements.” Schenck Process Africa is mindful that different clients have different needs and circumstances, which is why they will go a step further and offer advice to clients on screen processes — even on equipment manufactured by their competitors,” adds Kempen.
Benefits to clients
Being a manufacturer of both vibrating screens and screen media has many advantages for end users of the product. “If you supply both, you can optimise the machine’s performance by being able to engineer a complete package, where the panels and the screen function together,” explains Kempen.
An additional benefit is the ability to add value in terms of the life of the screens, and the screen panel. Combining vibrating screen and deck media maintenance tasks ensure optimal life for both the vibrating screen and its deck media.
The most important benefit clients draw from having a single manufacturer of vibrating screens and screen media is the convenience of dealing with just one company, when it comes to technical related matters regarding vibrating equipment. Kempen adds that there is a sense of ‘central responsibility’ where Schenck Process Africa takes responsibility for the complete process performance of the machine.
Other Schenck Process Africa solutions
Although mining and minerals processing is the biggest area of Schenck Process Africa’s business, the company is involved in other areas such as in process weighing, feeding and high capacity train loading equipment. Schenck Process Africa has, over the past number of years, supplied several train loading applications with accurate gravimetric loading equipment.
“We supply equipment that load trains transporting coal, iron ore and manganese,” Kempen says. The equipment weighs and loads each train wagon individually and automatically. The wagons are loaded to very close accuracies which means there are minimal errors during the weighing and loading process. This is crucial in avoiding potential derailments.
“We are not only manufacturing for the South African market, we also manufacture for the global market outside of South Africa.” – Willem Kempen, Schenck Process Africa’ managing director.
Schenck Process Africa has the required mechanical, hydraulic and automation control systems for train loaders, which are all integrated and makes the loading process efficient. On average, it takes just two hours to load a train with up to 114 wagons. Schenck Process Africa has seen a lot of success in this area and has in recent times supplied equipment to most of the automated high capacity train loaders across southern Africa.
Another area the company is involved in is gravimetric and volumetric feeding of materials in the cement and steel manufacturing industries. Schenck Process Africa has a range of equipment that continuously feeds and blends material at a specific ratio. This ensures consistency and the right balance, which is important when mixing a variety of materials to get the desired final product.
A large percentage of cement plants in South Africa and the rest of Africa use Schenck Process’ equipment in their manufacturing processes.
Growth and investment strategy
As a leading manufacturer of vibrating screens, screen media and feeding machines, Schenck Process Africa is in a good position to grow the company further. This means investing in the company in order to contribute to the local economy.
In a time where jobs are hard to come by and South Africa’s economy is not doing as well as it should, Schenck Process Africa is telling a different and positive story. Significant investment was made into the company’s manufacturing facility, which contributed to jobs being created locally. The additional jobs created by the company were jobs that required both skilled professionals and semi-skilled.
As a result, Schenck Process Africa has increased its head count by 25% in the past financial year, which in the long run will have a positive impact on the country’s economy. The timing of the investment is perfect, as President Cyril Ramaphosa announced earlier this year plans to attract investments to the value of R1.2-trillion in the next five years, in South Africa.
Schenck Process Africa is all about growing together with their employees. Kempen notes that some of the company’s employees in management started their careers in the factory (shop floor) and received training and education through the company, to eventually develop into managers. The company also has a long serving staff compliment, with some employees having been with the company for more than 25 years. In the long run, this works in Schenck Process Africa’s favour because they can establish long standing relationships with clients. On the other hand, clients also find comfort seeing familiar faces continually.
Looking ahead, there are ample growth opportunities going forward for Schenck Process Africa as it already manufacture equipment for its sister companies internationally. Schenck Process Africa manufacture and export equipment into Africa and to countries as far as Brazil, Australia and China.
“We not only manufacture for the South African market, we also manufacture for the global market outside of South Africa,” explains Kempen. This is made possible by the fact that Schenck Process Africa is globally competitive from a cost location point of view.
For now, Schenck Process Africa continues to prioritise manufacturing and supplying vibrating screens and screen media to remain unmatched in their technical abilities and expertise.
Schenck Process Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 11 837 9656
Address: 1 Crusher Rd, Crown,