Grundfos Targets Mining Sector
Grundfos, which has been a late entrant into the mining industry, has ambitious plans to double its mining sector business from the current 5% to 10% by 2025, Grundfos SSA commercial sales director Michelle de Witt tells SA Mining on the sidelines of its Sustainable Intelligence Hub launch.
This targeted growth will include, apart from the mining and related processing aspects, facilities such as mine accommodation, among others. The aim is to provide a sustainable, cost-saving pump solution across the entire mining value chain, explains De Witt.
The specialist in circulator pumps for heating and air-conditioning “only really entered into the mining sector around 2012/2013” but found market penetration a challenge given the long history of established players, she says.
Given this scenario, the pump manufacturer took the decision to focus on sustainability as related to water treatment and energy efficiency. These are two aspects with which the mining sector continues to grapple, particularly with elements such as acid mine drainage, explains De Witt.
Both water and energy challenges are well documented in South Africa and in line with the associated rising cost of water treatment and energy, all industries are looking to reduce these costs.
In an effort to crack the mining industry, Grundfos has started promoting its product range to decision makers and offering to trial its pump range and showcase its abilities, says De Witt.
The relatively new kid on the mining block has plans to expand its African presence and its team to better focus on all industries across the continent.
The company currently has offices in Ghana and Kenya.
“Henning Sandager, who takes up a permanent position as regional head for Grundfos in sub-Saharan Africa in August, is looking to grow the sub-Saharan African business,” says De Witt.
Sustainable Intelligence Hub
In June, the pump manufacturer launched the Grundfos Sustainable Intelligence Hub at its facility on the East Rand. This is the first facility of its kind for pumps in Africa and second only to Grundfos’s Sustainable Intelligence Hub in Denmark.
According to segment director of building services and water utilities Bennie Thiart, about a year ago the company took the decision to establish a sustainability centre for sub-Saharan Africa based in South Africa that will drive sustainability and align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
“The focus is on developing groundbreaking technology and innovations to help provide solutions to industry challenges,” he says.
“The hub showcases how Grundfos’s intelligent products and services, including industrial pumps, help businesses across various sectors to optimise performance while improving sustainability. This includes using aspects of the internet of things, such as smartphones, to interact with Grundfos equipment. With the use of a smartphone, one can monitor and remotely control equipment,” he explains.
Thiart says that by using virtual reality and augmented reality, customers and business partners are able to better understand equipment offerings, including energy-saving and equipment performance.
In line with its water-solutions offering, the company developed a smartphone app that’s used for the purchase of water. The app enables the East and West African population located in rural areas to access clean drinking water.
In addition, Grundfos, which produces more than 16 million pump units annually and was the first to develop and produce a solar-power-driven borehole pump range, recently developed the Grundfos multi-stage pressure pump which is driven by solar power.
“One does not realise the importance of pumps – in fact, every aspect of life is touched by the use of pumps,” notes De Witt.