Electrical wholesale supplier and panel builder Ptytrade 228 (Pty) Ltd situated in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, is a successful Systems Integrator that uses SEW-EURODRIVE products in its electrical panels and Motor Control Centres (MCCs). The two companies have forged a close working relationship that not only boosts business opportunities for both, but raises the bar for technical excellence and innovation in the industry.
“The systems integration approach is being encouraged by SEW-EURODRIVE South Africa as a new business model to forge ties with companies like Ptytrade 228, which invariably supply projects that have specific customer requirements,” Norman Maleka, National Sales Manager, explains. It is also an ideal opportunity to educate the market about both the latest technology and the complete solutions available from SEW-EURODRIVE.
“Our relationship with SEW-EURODRIVE is a mutually beneficial one, as we are both clients of each other,” Ptytrade General Manager Craig Peek comments. He explains that the company supplies all types of electrical equipment from lighting to control components, world-renowned switchgear brands, and associated products. “We predominantly cover the industrial spectrum, from automotive manufacturing, mining and commercial industries. We have clients in virtually every sector,” Peek adds.
This diversification allows the company to both spread its risk profile, and switch focus when any sector is in an economic slump. While mining is down due to the global downturn in commodity prices, Peek points out that mines placed under care-and-maintenance provide an ideal opportunity for owners to effect upgrades and/or repairs.
The company has a fully-equipped panel shop that focuses on building Variable Speed Drive (VSD) starter panels tailored to specific client requirements. “The aim is to provide the best possible solution for the client,” Peek highlights.
Here SEW-EURODRIVE’s modular, integrated approach to product development is of great assistance to a company like Ptytrade 228. “The drives are ideally packaged, which means that our panels more compact. This amounts to a significant cost-saving for customers, as it reduces the customisation that is required. We pride ourselves on our lead times,” Peek elaborates.
Maleka adds that the systems integration approach is also proving highly effective in getting customers to standardise on SEW-EURODRIVE products for their total requirements, rather than relying on separate vendors. “We are finding that a lot of plants have mix-and-match solutions, which is not ideal from an integration standpoint. Collaborating with a company like Ptytrade 228 allows our customers to take advantage of the complete range on offer, from motors to VSDs and mechatronics.”
In addition, standardisation allows for a single point of contact for customers, giving them access to the multinational’s global-based experience. “From our perspective, it has been invaluable to have a company like SEW-EURODRIVE work closely with us. We obviously do not have its full expertise in motors, gearboxes, and drives, which assists us in being able to offer customers cutting-edge turnkey solutions,” Peek points out. Maleka highlights: “We have everything in place to be able to offer a complete system specification, including a comprehensive project plan.”
“Many clients rely on suppliers like SEW-EURODRIVE for comprehensive planning on upgrades and certain design aspects, especially when it comes to motors and gearboxes. Our role as system integrator is to facilitate these projects. We are a trusted advisor at the end of the day,” Peek stresses.
With the technical support offered by SEW-EURODRIVE, Ptytrade 228 can respond to any breakdown or related issue within a two-to-four-hour turnaround time. “That is pretty much our standard. We have raised the bar in the industry. What sets any company apart, in the current market, is its service levels.” Maleka points to SEW-EURODRIVE’s 24/7 hotline as an example of its proactive approach to aftersales backup. Such attention to support is critical, as any plant stoppages have significant repercussions on downtime and lost productivity.
Peek concludes that the collaboration between SEW-EURODRIVE and Ptytrade 228 is essential to boost business opportunities in an economic downturn. “This represents a groundbreaking relationship for both companies. It differentiates us from many of our competitors. We have become more than just a commercial partner; we are an extension of their business.”