Speaking to Energize on the final day of the Eaton Mobile Tech Day Tour, Malvin Naicker, the company’s sales director for Africa, said that the company is focused on providing electrical equipment into Africa to promote economic growth and development for the continent.
A growing population, increasing urbanisation and an increasing demand for electricity make Africa an exciting market. Although some challenges do exist, the company is growing its presence and market-share on the continent, he said.
According to Naicker, these challenges comprise strong competition – mainly from Asian suppliers, and a shortage of skills in some countries.
The company has offices in Casablanca, Lagos, Nairobi and Wadeville, as well as numerous distributors in Africa. The Casablanca and Wadeville sites also house factories which manufacture some the company’s products. Low- and medium-voltage switchgear, distribution boards and uninterruptable power supplies are manufactured in the Wadeville factory.
The 2017 Mobile Tech Day Tour, which used a large articulated truck as a mobile showroom, came to an end at an event organised by the company’s distributor Diesel Electric Services at Kyalami Country Club with a lamb-on-the-spit luncheon. During the tour the team visited a number of cities including Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Rustenburg and Johannesburg over a period of four weeks.
The truck, which had been imported from Europe for the purpose of the tour, contained a selection of the company’s products ranging from low voltage switchgear, fire panels, sensors and sounders, to a sophisticated energy storage system. The truck also features a motorised extension on one side, which is used as a lecture room by the product managers to provide in-depth information to visitors.
The energy storage system, named xStorage, uses the company’s inverter and energy management system in conjunction with automotive quality lithium ion batteries which are sourced from the Nissan Motor Corporation as part of a joint venture between the two companies. The batteries can be recharged from utility supply or from renewable energy sources. The unit also offers smartphone connectivity which allows users to switch between energy sources.