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More local focus with launch of new motor assembly line

Home Manufacturing & Processing More local focus with launch of new motor assembly line

A new assembly line for its low voltage (LV) premium efficiency WEG IE3 electric motors is yet another advance by Zest WEG in sustainability and local economic impact.

Zest WEG CEO Eduardo Werninghaus says the addition of the new facility is an important contribution to local manufacturing capacity in South Africa. It improves flexibility in the company’s electric motor supply chain, and ensures prompt delivery times for customers. The line produces WEG W22 IE3 LV motors in various sizes, offering high reliability in all applications.

“As a Level 1 B-BBEE company, our commitment to transformation includes continuous promotion of local manufacture,” said Werninghaus. “Our focus on premium efficiency IE3 motors is also significant as it helps drive energy efficiency – a key sustainability goal for mines and other industries.”

According to Sindi Mbhalati, Operations Executive at Zest WEG, the assembly line required considerable investment in equipment. This included jib cranes for easier materials handling, an air reticulation system to feed compressed air to the pneumatic tools on the line as well as to the spray booth and packaging equipment, enhancing the efficiency of the production processes and a state-of-the-art test panel.

As with any world-class manufacturing and assembly operation, record keeping is an important cornerstone. The panel is therefore synchronised with the advanced WEG manufacturing facilities in Brazil, for complete and accurate record tracking and evaluation. Each motor undergoes routine testing which includes winding resistance, accessories, insulation resistance and no-load tests.

Elaborating on this, Mbhalati says that the panel tests winding resistance per phase with an imbalance test to compare the imbalances between the resistance results, while the accessories resistance test confirms that the accessories installed in the motor are in working order.

The panel also tests for insulation resistance which provides the team with data on the motor winding health. A no-load test is conducted to determine the current that the motor draws at no-load and determines the imbalance of the current drawn between the phases.
“Further ensuring operational efficiency, the line was capacitated with state-of-the-art equipment including a heating and greasing facility as well as rotor assembly C-hooks,” says Mbhalati.

“In addition, and most importantly, the assembly line has been engineered to allow multiple shifts to be worked should it become necessary to increase capacity and output.”
The facility has created several new jobs within the business. Most of the new employees are dedicated to the W22 motor assembly line, while some others are shared with the company’s various production lines.

“Governed by our ISO 9001 quality certification, the new assembly line is closely monitored by our dedicated quality department,” says Mbhalati. “All motors are tested and quality inspected prior to dispatch to customers.”

Werninghaus highlights that mines are always looking for opportunities to promote local supply chains in line with the Mining Charter, and also to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint. With some 65% of industrial energy worldwide consumed by motors, WEG’s global corporate strategy aims to use resources responsibly and to create fewer emissions.

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