The Sunward Group, one of the top 50 construction equipment manufacturers in the world (being ranked 37th in the KHL Yellow Table 2023), offering world-class piling machines, drilling rigs, aerial work platforms, skid-steer loaders, crawler and wheeled cranes, mobile crushing stations, plus a complete range of (1t-95t) excavators has announced intentions to expand operations into the Southern Africa market through its subsidiarySunward South Africa.
“The objective of our strategic move to establish direct operations in South Africa is to enhance our support of and to provide better service to local dealers and customers through our specialist team as well as through spare parts stock,” said Ferry Meng, General Manager for Sunward South Africa and African Region.
Meng says that Sunward was registered in South Africa as a subsidiary in January 2020 and explains that the COVID-19 pandemic however restricted their marketing and branding abilities.
“It is now time for us to enhance our brand image in the South African market! The expansion of our presence across the region reflects our commitment not only to quality and innovation but also to providing cutting-edge solutions that are tailored to the Southern African market’s unique requirements.”
The Sunward range of machines accessible to Africa’s mining sector includes full range of down-the-hole, top hammer and rotary type drill rigs (drill diameters range from 89mm to 280mm) and full range of excavators (with respective working weights from 0.8t to 98t for mini excavators and large machines).
Meng confirms that they will essentially keep 120-165 diameter drill rigs, 21t, 36t and 60t excavators and 5t loaders in stock in South Africa with stock replenishment thrice per annum.
Local customers will also have access to Sunward’s expansive range of mobile jaw, cone and impact crushers as well as heavy duty screens and standard screening plants. A quality range of aerial equipment such as boom working platforms (working heights from 16m to 32m), hydraulic and electric scissor lifts as well as telehandlers (working weights from 2.7t to 4.5t), are also available from Sunward.
Underground construction machines such as pile drilling rigs, pile pressing machines, TBMs, etc. are manufactured and supplied by Sunward in some African countries for large construction projects.
Sunward holds a competitive edge with many ‘own patents’ for their drill rigs, excavators and pile rigs.
“Our in-house developed software and controllers for the hydraulic systems on our excavators, drill rigs, etc. improve machine performance and reduce fuel consumption,” asserts Meng.
Sunward machines incorporate several new and advanced technologies: In addition to fully electric excavators with lithium batteries and hybrid drill rigs and mobile crushers, the company has also developed hydrogen-driven dump trucks.
Furthermore, 5G intelligent control equipment enables operators to monitor and control excavators, dump trucks, drill rigs, etc. via a 5G (wireless) network and the Sunward-Cloud platform technology.
Meng explains that Sunward’s route to market in Africa is via dealerships, stressing that they will support customers in South Africa through close collaboration with their dealer partners across the region.
“We currently have twelve dealers in Africa, three of whom are based in South Africa (Gauteng, Free State and Mpumalanga Province). The remaining dealerships are located in countries including Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. This year will see us further expanding our dealer network with the appointment of ten new dealerships across the African continent including one in South Africa as well as in Zambia, Mozambique, Guinea, Congo, Namibia, Angola, etc.”
Sunward provides dealer training on all new machines, technologies and modifications. Sunward professional engineers conduct five-day customer training of operators and technicians free of charge post-delivery in a bid to provide unsurpassed customer service and support across the region.
Meng notes that training may also be extended to a period of one month when there are multiple machines used in one project. He adds that they also do free seasonal assessments for customers, offering advice on machine maintenance and spare parts.
The expansion of Sunward’s presence in South Africa galvanises the company’s steadfast commitment to dealers and customers across the region.
“With the tremendous untapped potential that we have identified in the South African mining and construction sectors, we are confident of Sunward’s future growth and success,” said Meng.