The Netherlands-based Southwest Group specialises in the engineering and development of a wide range of surface mining aftermarket attachments across the globe, to which it holds the full intellectual property rights to. Locally, the attachments will be branded as Gravico, and will be manufactured exclusively at DCD Venco’s 25ha production facility in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.
DCD Venco, a division of international manufacturing and engineering company DCD, boasts the capacity to fabricate and manufacture components of up to 50 tons for OEM equipment, which ranges from dump trucks and bulldozers to wagon tipplers, mills and power station components.
Southwest Group MD, Louw Kriel, says the Gravico line of surface mining aftermarket attachments will include backload buckets and front shovel buckets varying in capacities ranging from 7m3 to 52m3, wheel loader buckets from 10m3 to 20m3, dragline buckets from 30m3 to 105m3 and dragline rigging to dump truck bowls varying from 80 to 363 tons in capacity. “The main area of focus for Gravico will be to supply a high-end range of competitively-priced attachments for equipment that is used during the excavation and extraction processes in surface mining projects.
DCD Venco was selected as the local manufacturing partner of choice for Gravico due to its large manufacturing capacity and excellent reputation for quality and reliability,” Kriel says. DCD Venco GM, Willem Maré, points out that the company boasts numerous certifications, including ISO 9001, ISO 3834, OSHAS 18001 and ISO 14001, which exceed local industry benchmarks. “These certifications ensure an excellent return-on-investment for a number of high profile end users that require the highest standards of quality in efficient turnaround times.”
Intellectual property in the manufacturing sector can take many years to develop, and Maré says that lead times have now been dramatically reduced as a direct result of DCD Venco being named as the official manufacturing partner for Gravico. “This synergy between Southwest Group and DCD Venco places Gravico at the forefront of innovation.”
According to Kriel, the design objectives of Gravico is to ultimately reduce long-term ownership and operational costs for the end user. “Although the initial purchase price of a Gravico surface mining aftermarket attachment may not be lower, the high-quality design, competitive warranty and extended maintenance and repair intervals will ultimately result in long-term savings.”
Maré expects production of the Gravico range of surface mining aftermarket attachments to begin in November. “The attachments will initially be manufactured on an order basis. We have an in-depth understanding of the local mining market and, in order to provide the end user with maximum value in terms of optimisation, we will be flexible according to each individual project portfolio.”
As investment in the African mining sector continues to increase steadily, Kriel is confident that the Gravico brand will obtain measurable market share. “Consistent growth in the African mining sector has prompted a spike in the demand for aftermarket attachments. Given the combined expertise and experience of the Southwest Group and DCD Venco in this sector, I believe that Gravico will prove to be a strong competitor in the near future,” he concludes.