Tillmann Olsen, Chief Executive Officer of Bosch Rexroth South Africa Group of Companies, reflects on what the inauguration of the new Rexroth HUBB means for the fluid power and automation industry in sub-Saharan Africa…
A little over two years ago, the first soil was turned on an open plot of land in Witfontein, Kempton Park, Johannesburg. Today, this 16 000-m2 site hosts the central hub of Africa’s largest hydraulic, pneumatics and automation company, the Bosch Rexroth South Africa Group of Companies, formerly the Hytec Group.
By mid-June this year, six companies – Hytec, Tectra Automation, Hytec Services Africa, HYSA, Hägglunds and Bosch Rexroth South Africa – had completed their relocation to the Rexroth HUBB. Now under a single roof with centralised production, training facilities, engineering, sales and support offices, the Rexroth HUBB – an acronym for ‘Hytec Unified By Bosch’ – is a truly fitting name for this state-of-the-art facility, where approximately 300 of the Group’s 800 employees now work.
While the Rexroth HUBB signifies the beginning of a new chapter in the Group’s proud history, fundamentally, the business model that has made the Hytec Group so successful in southern Africa will continue to guide our future growth across the continent.
For our customers, consolidating the Group Companies’ lean assembly, production and logistical capabilities and philosophies within a single location means we can reduce the number of intralogistical transactions, streamlining our handling efficiency to supply our technologies to market with even greater speed.
Sharing the premises with Bosch Rexroth’s South African product development and support division further consolidates the Hytec Group / Bosch Rexroth partnership that has existed for over 50 years, and increases proximity between Bosch Rexroth’s R&D and manufacturing centres in Germany and our 40 branches across Africa. As African markets continue their migration towards the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 technologies, the Rexroth HUBB will play a key role in meeting the ensuing requirements for intelligent, connected solutions.
Significant expansion of our training facilities across the hydraulics and pneumatics fields, as well as the rapidly developing discipline of mechatronics, will ensure the Group expands our footprint as a knowledge centre for some of the continent’s leading technical minds in fluid power and automation technologies.
Across the world, the Bosch Rexroth brand is synonymous with quality and innovative engineering. The Rexroth HUBB is no different. From a completely ergonomic production layout down to a variety of energy-saving building features – such as ultra-efficient smart heat exchange-based HVAC and intelligent lighting systems – a focus on workplace efficiency, employee comfort and safety, makes this a world-class facility and a truly great place to work. Greater integration amongst both the individual Group Companies, and between office and production spaces, has created a more interactive and collaborative environment that enable us to service our customers even better.
In addition to allowing the Group to consolidate its own internal business activities, this R200-million investment also demonstrates the confidence and optimism we share for industrial growth and business in South Africa, as well as in the other African markets. With state-of-the-art facilities tailored to providing solutions for Africa’s industrial markets, we are ready to meet the continent’s requirements for smart, efficient hydraulic, pneumatics and automation technologies.
Chief Executive Officer, Bosch Rexroth South Africa Group of Companies
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